Spatial analysis of residential break and enter

Date

2010-04-07T17:46:43Z

Authors

Mots, Timothy R.

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Abstract

This study explores three separate, but inter-related aspects of residential break and enter. The study, located in the Capital Regional District of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, offers a unique environment for this type of research with its thirteen municipalities, four municipal and one national police force confined geographically by sea on three sides and wilderness on the fourth. The first part of this research identifies spatial and temporal patterns of residential break and enters at the regional level and the municipal level. The results showed that patterns existed at the municipal level, but changed at the regional level. There was evidence that some of the patterns at the municipal level persisted over time. Temporally, break and enter is predominately an afternoon occurrence. No other consistent pattern was found daily, monthly, nor seasonally over the course of the study period. The second part of the study examines police perceptions about the location of residential break and enters high activity areas or 'hot spots'. Police perceptions were compared to actual hot spots to determine the degree of agreement. The research also explored the concordance between police perceptions of hot spot locations. The results indicated that police hot spots did not conform to actual hot spots; furthermore, there was only limited agreement amongst police on hot spot locations. The third part of the study examined burglar's use of space. Burglars were asked a number of questions to establish their geographical knowledge of the region. Information was obtained on the location of their offences, routes taken to offence sites, method of transportation, trip start location, motivation behind the offence, and purpose of the trip. The findings indicate that offenders commit the majority of their crimes within areas they know. The subjects in the study were motivated by the need for money, mainly to purchase drugs. The majority of Offence trips were initiated with the sole purpose of committing a burglary. Most journey to crimes emanated from the offenders' residence. Travel was restricted not so much by distance, instead by their knowledge of the region or by the necessity to obtain money for drugs.

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Keywords

Burglary, Theft, Victoria, B.C.

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