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NCJ Number: 74711 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Jonathon Wild and the Modern Sting (From History and Crime, P 225-260, 1980, James A Inciardi and Charles E Faupel, ed. - See NCJ-74702)
Author(s): C B Klockars
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 36
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: 1 R01 DA 01827
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The career of Jonathon Wild, an eighteenth century police informant and receiver of stolen goods is described and related to modern police sting operations, and the results of sting operations are critiqued.
Abstract: Jonathon Wild pruchased stolen goods from thieves and returning them to victims for a profit, turned the criminals who sold him their goods over to the police in return for rewards, and operated a system of theft and fencing operations across England. Wild's career suggests that working as a fence is the most powerful crime detecting method available; however, the risks and costs are considerable. Sting operations are expensive in terms of budget expenditures and personnel resources if an acceptable level of authenticity is to be maintained. Also, the activities in which police-fences must participate the types of persons with whom the officers must associate can be very damaging to the morals of the personnel involved. In addition, a desire to justify the costs of sting operations encourages the exaggeration of results. In this regard, the results claimed by a document which analyzes several sting operations are considered. The document's findings that stings tend to result in the arrest of the older hard-core criminals ignore the fact that the sting operations intentionally avoid the arrest of juveniles. Findings thus distort the number of fences and arrestees with long criminal histories. A suggestion that sting operations resulted in increased conviction rates fails to include a large number of pending cases. Suggestions that sting operations result in a decrease in property crime activity are unsupported. Sting activities may encourage some thieves to steal certain types of goods. No information is given in the report on the extent to which stolen material was returned to victims. Sting operations may be most beneficial to owners of large quantities of stolen items or those who own single items of great value which are recovered. Notes which include references are included.
Index Term(s): Critiques; Police-run fencing operations
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