Places, people or properties that have been targeted by offenders have a higher likelihood of falling prey again for the same crime by the same offenders in a very short period of time. The writers of this article Biting Once, Twice: The Influence of Prior on Subsequent Crime Location Choice arrived at this conclusion after conducting a series of research on the influence of prior crime on a location in the determination of future crimes on the same location (Lammers. et.al, 2015). The writers note that an offender is likely to visit the same place, person or property especially if they got away with the crime in the previous encounter.
The article examines the choice of location of repeated crime, test the hypothesis that offenders are more inclined to visit a place that they targeted earlier instead of looking for a new niche. The article complied data from 12,639 offenses by 3,666 offenders (Lammers. et.al, 2015). According to the article, the result revealed that previous choices of crime location had almost everything to do with the next location. The crimes were, frequent, recent, similar and in close proximity.
The writers note that in most crimes of victimization, the offender is the same and is responsible for the first and subsequent crime. In this case, it is not only the first victim at risk of a subsequent attack but those nearby (Lammers. et.al, 2015). The writer note theses offenders are more confident visiting the same place twice since they know the dynamics and are pretty confident having got away in their previous encounter.
The article also talks about the crime pattern theory whose central idea is that offenders criminal activities are shaped and determined by their knowledge of the area they plan to target (Lammers. et.al, 2015). Offenders just like everyone else study their environment as they go around their daily routines, in this case, criminal activities. They become more familiar with certain territories and understand every detail in terms of security and venerability. According to the article, crime pattern theory offers theoretical explanation would carry out multiple activities targeting the same area (Lammers. et.al, 2015). The article highlighted several reason among which were; First, the offender may have no reason, criminal reason to travel to new place, secondly, the first target may still be attractive and easy, also they may have gathered enough intelligence and experience about their first target to risk new areas.
The article is very important for not just for the law man but also the victims of repeated crimes. The article is helpful to the law keeper, the police, since it can help them understand the dynamic of crime and criminal activities. Not only does it help them to prepare for eminent danger but also help them in making gathering intelligence and making arrest without having to chase after ghosts. As for the victims, once bitten twice shy. Understanding that being targeted once open them to more targets in future will make people more alert and prepared to handle the threats.
In my opinion, the article is relevant and very informative, especially on the issue of crime pattern theory. However, it is not possible to tell exactly the amount of space an offender could be conversant with. Is it a town or a state or a whole country? Is it possible that an offender could be familiar with more than one place? If so, how does this affect the crime theory pattern and the likelihood of taking advantage of this prior knowledge? In my opinion, criminology should not be left to predictions or fate; there should be an airtight and more practical way of getting into the criminals minds.
Lammers, M., Menting, B., Ruiter, S., & Bernasco, W. (2015). Biting Once, Twice: The
Influence of Prior on Subsequent Crime Location Choice. Criminology, 53(3), 309-329. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1745-9125.12071
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