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Burglar Target Selection: A Cross-national Comparison

Townsley, M; Birks, D; Bernasco, W; Ruiter, S; Johnson, SD; White, G; Baum, S; (2015) Burglar Target Selection: A Cross-national Comparison. JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN CRIME AND DELINQUENCY , 52 (1) 3 - 31. 10.1177/0022427814541447. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: This study builds on research undertaken by Bernasco and Nieuwbeerta and explores the generalizability of a theoretically derived offender target selection model in three cross-national study regions. Methods: Taking a discrete spatial choice approach, we estimate the impact of both environment- and offender-level factors on residential burglary placement in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Combining cleared burglary data from all study regions in a single statistical model, we make statistical comparisons between environments. Results: In all three study regions, the likelihood an offender selects an area for burglary is positively influenced by proximity to their home, the proportion of easily accessible targets, and the total number of targets available. Furthermore, in two of the three study regions, juvenile offenders under the legal driving age are significantly more influenced by target proximity than adult offenders. Post hoc tests indicate the magnitudes of these impacts vary significantly between study regions. Conclusions: While burglary target selection strategies are consistent with opportunity-based explanations of offending, the impact of environmental context is significant. As such, the approach undertaken in combining observations from multiple study regions may aid criminology scholars in assessing the generalizability of observed findings across multiple environments.

Type: Article
Title: Burglar Target Selection: A Cross-national Comparison
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0022427814541447
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022427814541447
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 by SAGE Publications. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: Offender mobility, residential burglary, discrete spatial choice, replication.
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/1437594
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