Burglar target selection : a cross-national comparison

Townsley, Michael, Birks, Dan, Bernasco, Wim, Ruiter, Stijn, Johnson, Shane D., Clare, Joseph, White, Gentry, & Baum, Scott (2015) Burglar target selection : a cross-national comparison. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 52(1), pp. 3-31.

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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.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 76522
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1177/0022427814541447
ISSN: 0022-4278
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 02 Oct 2014 22:29
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2015 02:06

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