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Applying the concept of revictimization: Using burglars' behaviour to predict houses at risk of future victimization

Ewart, B.W. and Oatley, G.C. (2003) Applying the concept of revictimization: Using burglars' behaviour to predict houses at risk of future victimization. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 5 (2). pp. 69-84.

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A good predictor of a domestic burglary is whether the property suffered a prior victimization. Using officially reported burglaries, most houses appear to be victimized once and most repeat victims suffer twice only. Defining high-risk properties by waiting for the second burglary has its operational limitations. A police database of burglaries over 45 months is examined to explore whether the modus operandi distinguishes houses burgled once only, from those suffering a revictimization. The use of force, searching behaviour, type of property, place of entry, place of exit, alarm activation and use of a bogus official method of entry are discriminating features. Comparing non-repeats with ‘quick’ Repeats (ie within 365 days), searching behaviour, type of property, entry method and a bogus official strategy are discriminating features. Survival analyses on the latter group reveals that ramming and removing glass are significantly associated with being revictimized sooner rather than later. Conversely, exit via a window indicates a longer period to revictimization. The findings demonstrate the value of crime scene information held by the police and, when guided by an appropriate criminological or operational framework, the benefits of more substantive analyses to prevention and detection initiatives.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © 2003 Vathek Publishing
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