Exploring a model of professionalism in multiple perpetrator violent gun crime in the UK
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The present study examines co-offending groups that commit violent firearms offences within the UK, in order to develop an understanding of these groups in terms of their level of professionalism. A sample of 69 cases was selected from two British law databases, consisting of offences that involved the utilization of a firearm in a violent crime committed by more than one offender. Cases were content analysed for offending behaviour. The presence of a three-way thematic model of criminal professionalism, previously identified in robbery, was tested using multi-dimensional scaling. Three themes of offences were identified as Targeted, Gratuitous and Reactive, which differed in the level of professionalism displayed. Gratuitous was the most common theme for the sample, demonstrating some evidence of planning but also gratuitous violence towards victims. In conclusion, while violent gun crime is typically a phenomenon involving young males, not all groups display the same behaviour or levels of professionalism, as is evident in the existence of all three themes. These differences are important for understanding the psychology of the offences and designing operational responses.
Criminology & Criminal Justice
© 2011 The Author(s). This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Criminology not elsewhere classified