TOWNSLEY, M. and PEASE, K., 2002. How efficiently can we target prolific offenders? International Journal of Police Science and Management, 4(4), pp. 323-331
This report looks at the magnitude of crime
perpetrated by the most active offenders in a
particular police area and places it in the context
of a research programme which seeks to integrate
and render locally useful the major findings of
applied criminology. The results are contrasting.
In terms of all crime, the group of offenders
nominated did not appear to contribute substantially
to levels of crime. The level of burglary
did not bear any relationship to the availability of
nominated burglars. The volume of vehicle-related
crime (unlawful taking, theft of and theft from a motor vehicle) did vary according to the number of
nominated offenders available.
Breaking down to neighbourhood level, only
one area displayed a relationship between levels of
vehicle crime and the availability of nominated
offenders to commit crime. Furthermore, there
was some evidence that this group accounted for a
component of other crime types, namely burglary
and criminal damage. Two areas failed to produce
any meaningful relationship between nominated
offenders and crime levels.
The results have major implications for the
mechanism used to nominate prolific offenders
and the resources used to target such individuals.
It is argued that refinement and local application
of the kinds of analysis described here would be of
great utility in shaping offender-targeting