Individual differences in distance travelled by offenders committing thefts from vehicles in Cambridgeshire

Kerridge, Deborah (2011) Individual differences in distance travelled by offenders committing thefts from vehicles in Cambridgeshire. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Journey to crime studies have a long standing tradition in the field of environmental criminology and have contributed significantly to developing geographic profiling techniques for a wide range of crime types. Despite being a high volume and poorly detected offence however, theft from vehicles remains a relatively neglected offence type in the existing literature.

    This research studied a sample of 445 theft from vehicle offences, which were committed in Cambridgeshire’s Southern Basic Command Unit, by a total of 167 offenders over a six year period. In accordance with the existing body of knowledge, the current study found that domocentricity and distance decay were key characteristics in the spatial behaviour of these offenders and that younger offenders and those working alone were tended to travel shorter distances. Urban targets were also found to be related to reduced travel. No significant relationship was found between the level of an offender’s criminal experience and distance but it was found that offenders tended to travel shorter distances when they were also involved in other acquisitive crimes such as burglary, during the same time frame.

    The current study started to explore some of the complexities of theft from vehicle as a crime type in itself. It was found that offenders travelled greater distances when targeting specific property types such as fuel or tools and building equipment, compared to the more localised nature of ‘smash and grab’ type scenarios where transportable and ubiquitous acquisitive items were stolen.

    All results are discussed in relation to findings from the existing body of knowledge as well as the dominant theoretical perspectives. Limitations of the current study, implications of the conclusions and suggestions for further study are also explored.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 13:29
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:50

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