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Crime Reduction Toolkits

Repeat Victimisation

Crime - Let's bring it down
 
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What is Repeat Victimisation

Past victimisation predicts future victimisation and is, therefore, preventable

A growing body of evidence shows that certain people and places suffer repeated incidents of crime.

  • Analyses of the British Crime Survey 2000, for example, have estimated that 4% of victims account for between 38 and 44% of all crime reported to the survey

(Kershaw et al. The 2000 British Crime Survey for England & Wales. Home Office Statistical Bulletin 18/00. London. Home Office.)

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hosb1800.pdf

  • Patterns of repeat victimisation have been found for both property and personal crime, for example, burglary and domestic violence.

(Anderson et al. (1995a) Biting Back: Tackling Repeat Burglary & Car Crime. Crime Detection & Prevention Series. Paper 58. London. Home Office.)

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/policerspubs1.html

(J. Hanmer et al (1999) Arresting Evidence: Domestic Violence & Repeat Victimisation. Police Research Series. Paper No.104. London. Home Office)

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/prgpdfs/fprs104.pdf

  • The evidence is that high crime areas have such high crime levels, not because they have more victims but because they have more heavily victimised victims.

(K. Pease (1998) Repeat Victimisation: Taking Stock . Police Research Series. Paper No.90. London. Home Office)

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/prgpdfs/fcdps90.pdf

Many practitioners will be aware of working with victims or locations that have been repeatedly victimised. However we now know, as the British Crime Survey 2000 analyses suggest, that this is on a greater scale than was suspected. More positively, the research has found that the particular features of repeat victimisation make it predictable and therefore preventable.

A substantial programme of research and development has demonstrated the scope for reducing crime by targeting preventive effort on victims and locations of repeat crime and disorder. More recent research has highlighted the value of targeting offenders who re-offend against the same people and places. A local strategy should encompass both preventive and detecting measures and will rely heavily on effective co-operation between agencies to prevent repeat victimisation.

Tackling repeat victimisation has a number of attractions:

  • it helps to reduce crime and disorder;
  • it makes better use of limited resources by targeting them where they can be most effective
  • it can help the police to target prolific offenders; and,
  • by reflecting the true nature of victimisation, it addresses people’s fear of crime and can stimulate improvements in the quality of service to victims.

(K. Pease (1998) Repeat Victimisation: Taking Stock . Police Research Series. Paper No.90. London. Home Office)

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/prgpdfs/fcdps90.pdf

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