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NCJ Number: 224428 Find in a Library
Title: Repeat Burglary Victimisation: A Tale of Two Theories
Journal: Journal of Experimental Criminology  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:September 2008  Pages:215-240
Author(s): Shane D. Johnson
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: British Academy
London, W1V 0NS, England
Temple University Research Incentive Fund
PA, 19122
UCL Futures
London, WC1E 6BT
Grant Number: LRG-45507
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines two theories on repeat burglary victimization.
Abstract: Results are reported for a simple micro-simulation experiment used to examine patterns of victimization under conditions where the contributions of both theoretical mechanisms are varied. The findings suggest that increasing the heterogeneity of target attractiveness can generate spatial concentrations of crime not dissimilar to those discussed, but that a contagion-like process is (also) required to generate the time course of repeat victimization. It is noted that research consistently demonstrates that crime is spatially concentrated, and regarding repeat burglary, studies conducted across a variety of countries and for different periods of time have demonstrated that events also cluster in time. Two theories have been proposed to explain patterns of repeat victimization, with the first suggesting that repeat victimization is the consequence of a contagion-like process. If a home has been burgled on one occasion, the risk to the home is boosted, most likely because offenders will return to further exploit good opportunities (e.g. to steal replaced items or those left behind). In contrast, the second theory examined suggests that repeat victimization may be explained by time-stable variation in risk across homes and a chance process; different offenders independently target attractive locations for which risk is flagged. Understanding the contribution of the two explanations is stated to be important for both criminological understanding and crime reduction, as previous research concerned with repeat victimization has adopted a top-down methodology, analyzing either victimization or offender data. The implications of the findings are also discussed. Tables, figures, appendices, and references
Main Term(s): Burglary victims; Multiple victimization
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Crime simulation; Victimization risk
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