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Preventing near-repeat residential burglary through cocooning: Post hoc evaluation of a targeted police-led pilot intervention

Stokes, N. and Clare, J. (2018) Preventing near-repeat residential burglary through cocooning: Post hoc evaluation of a targeted police-led pilot intervention. Security Journal, 32 (1). pp. 45-62.

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The Western Australian Police piloted an 8-month small-scale targeted burglary prevention initiative involving distribution of crime prevention pamphlets to burglary victims and their immediate neighbors in the few days directly after victimization. External researchers then undertook a post hoc evaluation of this intervention, examining the impact with a pre- and post-comparison using Ratcliffe’s (Near-repeat calculator (version 1.3), Temple University, Philadelphia, 2009) near-repeat calculator (using 50 m and 5-day intervals for space and time, respectively), analysis of police records relating to the implementation of the intervention, and an online survey of residents who had been scheduled to receive the burglary prevention information. Relative to the pre-intervention period, the near-repeat calculator demonstrated a significant reduction in near-repeat residential burglary (within 0–5 days and 1–200 m from the victim) but no corresponding reduction in same-address repeat victimization (within 0–5 days). Analysis of police records explained this unexpected pattern, revealing an implementation issue had resulted in only 23% of victim addresses receiving the treatment pamphlet. Despite low-response rates to the online survey limiting the strength of the conclusions possible from this data source, trends were indicative of the pamphlet changing residents’ behaviors to reduce the opportunity for burglary. These results add support to prior findings demonstrating police can use victimization information to work in a targeted, timely manner and reduce the risk of burglary. It also emphasizes the importance of good data management practices when undertaking prevention initiatives to ensure programs are delivered as intended.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School Of Business and Governance
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright: © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature
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