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Investigating Domestic Burglary: Offences, offenders and co-offending

Hambly, Olivia (2017) Investigating Domestic Burglary: Offences, offenders and co-offending. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

A new Model of Burglary Differentiation is proposed based on the central question: how do the psychological interpretations of the domestic burglary offending styles, patterns and offender characteristics relate to a social hypothesis of this crime? Reiss and Farrington (1991) suggest burglary is most commonly committed in groups. As such, the behavioural variations are investigated in relation to an individual’s position within their social network structure. A unique police database, collected from 2011 to 2015, is examined. The data was obtained from a population of offences within a major metropolitan city in the United Kingdom. It consists of 8,491 domestic burglaries (686 solved and 7,805 unsolved). A further 1,017 convicted burglaries from the Police National Computer database are also included. Initial investigation of the differences between solved and unsolved domestic burglaries provided crucial insight to the validity of modelling crime and the utility of the data. Behavioural analysis identified a good relationship between solved and unsolved domestic burglaries, validating the use of this data in modelling burglary and highlighting the evidence required in burglary detection. To provide further clarification of the sample, the behavioural co-occurrences were examined with the aim of identify distinct variations in domestic burglary. Co-offending burglary was apparent in 60% of cases, thus supporting the social hypothesis of burglary. Smallest-Space Analysis (SSA) systematically revealed thematic behavioural differences between offenders in solved and unsolved offences. It was hypothesised that through examination of the offence characteristics, offender traits, and criminal history, behavioural differentiation of burglary could be determined. Four behavioural patterns are identified: Skilled Domestic, Interpersonal, Forceful, and Non-Domestic. The succeeding study predicted offender characteristics from the previously identified behavioural styles, hypothesising differing criminal experience across offending actions. A new Model of Burglary Differentiation was found, across distinct stages of development based on the offender’s age and experience, labelled: Skilled Domestic, Versatile, Opportunistic and Non-Domestic. The prominence of co-offending within the sample allowed for a social-psychological framework of domestic burglary to be investigated. The analysis identified three distinct types of domestic burglary networks: Starter, Core, and Structured. The criminal histories of the co-offending networks were then examined, finding a robust framework of identifying criminal differentiation, with evidence of specialisation to Material, Power, and Vehicle related crime. The final study demonstrates a social-psychological framework of domestic burglary by drawing on the findings of the previous studies. The findings identify small-scale domestic burglary organisations formed through role differentiation. This has significant implications in the use of quantitative information in drawing psychological interpretations of co-offending information. The research demonstrates the utility of a social network framework for understanding the behavioural, social and psychological characteristics of burglary offenders. This suggests further exploration of the social interdependence between offenders and how individuals provide support in offending behaviours. The implications of uncovering a social-psychological framework of domestic burglary and how it contributes to theoretical, methodological and practical settings are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Andrew Strike
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2018 10:53
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 11:00
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34534

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