Infectious Burglaries: A Test of the Near Repeat Hypothesis
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This paper explores one aspect of spatial dependence for the offence of burglary, utilising epidemiological methods for the study of infectious diseases to investigate the phenomenon of near repeat victimization. The near repeat burglary hypothesis states that proximity to a burgled dwelling increases burglary risk for those areas that have a high degree of housing homogeneity and that this risk is similar in nature to the temporarily heightened risk of becoming a repeat victim after an initial victimization. The near repeat hypothesis was tested on 34 months of police recorded burglary data across a high crime area of Brisbane, Australia. Near repeats were shown to exist in the study area, mainly in suburbs containing homogeneous housing. Little or no housing diversity, in terms of the type of physical construction and general appearance of dwellings, serves to restrict the extent of repeat victimization. Housing diversity allows offenders a choice of targets, and favoured targets will be 'revisited' by burglars. Near identical targets usually present no motive for an offender to favour one property over another. Thus in areas with low housing diversity, victim prevalence should be higher than in areas with heterogeneous housing.
The British Journal of Criminology
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in the British Journal of Criminology following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Br J Criminol 2003 43: 615-633 is available online at: http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/43/3/615