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Household occupancy and burglary: A case study using COVID-19 restrictions

Frith, MJ; Bowers, KJ; Johnson, SD; (2022) Household occupancy and burglary: A case study using COVID-19 restrictions. Journal of Criminal Justice , 82 , Article 101996. 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2022.101996. Green open access

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: In response to COVID-19, governments imposed various restrictions on movement and activities. According to the routine activity perspective, these should alter where crime occurs. For burglary, greater household occupancy should increase guardianship against residential burglaries, particularly during the day considering factors such as working from home. Conversely, there should be less eyes on the street to protect against non-residential burglaries. METHODS: In this paper, we test these expectations using a spatio-temporal model with crime and Google Community Mobility data. RESULTS: As expected, burglary declined during the pandemic and restrictions. Different types of burglary were, however, affected differently but largely consistent with theoretical expectation. Residential and attempted residential burglaries both decreased significantly. This was particularly the case during the day for completed residential burglaries. Moreover, while changes were coincident with the timing and relaxation of restrictions, they were better explained by fluctuations in household occupancy. However, while there were significant decreases in non-residential and attempted non-residential burglary, these did not appear to be related to changes to activity patterns, but rather the lockdown phase. CONCLUSIONS: From a theoretical perspective, the results generally provide further support for routine activity perspective. From a practical perspective, they suggest considerations for anticipating future burglary trends.

Type: Article
Title: Household occupancy and burglary: A case study using COVID-19 restrictions
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2022.101996
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2022.101996
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. under a Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Burglary, COVID-19, Guardianship, Household occupancy, Lockdown, Routine activities perspective
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10160165
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