Roach, Jason (2007) Those who do big bad things also usually do little bad things: identifying active serious offenders using offender self-selection. International Journal of Police Science and Management, 9 (1). pp. 66-79. ISSN 1461-3557

Traditionally the identification and apprehension of active serious offenders has relied on information from the public, the targeting of ‘known’ offenders and current knowledge of offending patterns. More recently, the method of offender self-selection has been offered as an additional identification tool, where certain minor infractions have been found to be ‘triggers’ for uncovering serious criminality — self-selection because the individual has broken a law in the first place. This paper details a police operation — ‘Operation Visitor’ (focused on visitors to a young offenders' institute, to explore whether minor offences committed (either whilst at, or en route to the institution) can be used as trigger offences to indicate serious criminality. One-third of visitors caught offending had criminal histories, several considered serious active offenders.

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