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NCJ Number: 171297 Find in a Library
Title: Armed and Dangerous? The Use of Firearms in Robbery
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:36  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1997)  Pages:305-320
Author(s): I O'Donnell; S Morrison
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Information from police records and interviews of 88 convicted armed robbers were used to explore the circumstances in which armed robberies take place in London, England, and the extent to which the guns used in robbery are actually capable of discharging lethal shot.
Abstract: The average annual number of recorded armed robberies in England and Wales has increased from 800 in the 1970s to almost 2,400 during the 1980s and more than 5,000 for the first 4 years of the 1990s. Forty-three percent of the armed robberies in 1993 took place in London. The study data came from the London Metropolitan Police Department and included all 1,134 incidents of armed robbery or attempted armed robbery using a firearm during 1990. Results revealed that 73 percent of the guns were known (6 percent) or believed (67 percent) to be real. The gun was known to be an imitation in 11 percent of the cases and was not seen but was believed by victims to be in the offender's possession in 16 percent of the cases. The interviews with robbers revealed that a substantial proportion either used an imitation gun or had no gun but suggested from their demeanor, words, or a note that they had a gun. Thirty-three percent of these robbers had carried guns capable of discharging lethal shot. Findings also indicated that the decision not to carry a real loaded gun was a deliberate choice rather than the result of the unavailability of genuine firearms. The findings were not intended to suggest that armed robbers present little danger or that victims or the police should express skepticism about a weapon's authenticity. Nevertheless, the findings suggested the inherent difficulties involved in interpreting statistics related to armed crime and demonstrated the wide range of offenders' behaviors and attitudes. Figure, tables, notes, and 21 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Armed robbery; Crime in foreign countries; England; Offender attitudes
Note: US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics International Crime Statistics Program
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