Infectious Burglaries: A Test of the Near Repeat Hypothesis

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Title Infectious Burglaries: A Test of the Near Repeat Hypothesis
Author Townsley, Michael Kenneth; Homel, Ross; Chaseling, Janet
Journal Name The British Journal of Criminology
Editor Richard Sparks, G Pearson
Year Published 2003
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Abstract 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.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement 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:
Volume 43
Issue Number 3
Edition 2003
Page from 615
Page to 633
ISSN 0007-0955
Date Accessioned 2004-03-30
Language en_US
Research Centre ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security; Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance
Faculty Faculty of Environmental Sciences
Subject PRE2009-Applied Statistics
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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