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Debuts and legacies: the crime drop and the role of adolescence-limited and persistent offending

Farrell, G; Laycock, G; Tilley, N; (2015) Debuts and legacies: the crime drop and the role of adolescence-limited and persistent offending. Crime Science , 4 (16) 10.1186/s40163-015-0028-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Age-specific arrest rates for the United States at the crime peak of the late 1980s and early 90s are compared to those for 2010. Three key features are explored; (1) The disproportionate decline in adolescent offending; (2) The decline in this age-effect up to age 40; (3) Offenders aged in their 40s who in 2010 offended at higher rates than offenders of that age at crime’s peak. The first two are interpreted as consistent with the debut crime hypothesis: crime fell because reduced crime opportunities made adolescent crime, and hence criminal career onset and continuance, more difficult. We interpret the third as a legacy of increased onset and habitual criminality fostered by exploitation of the plentiful crime opportunities of the 1970s and 80s. Implications for theory and practice are identified.

Type: Article
Title: Debuts and legacies: the crime drop and the role of adolescence-limited and persistent offending
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40163-015-0028-3
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1186/s40163-015-0028-3
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Farrell et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Crime drop; Crime decline; Security hypothesis; Adolescence-limited offending; Life-course persistent offending
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/1534159
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