drawn from Goode, 1994-2008
See the disclaimer)
- Common Law and Statutory
- Pre 1066: England; decentralized:
- King Henry II (1154-1189):
- Decisions codified: Common
Law (case or judge-made law)
- Ancient tradition, precedent,
- Laws whose existence began
as statutes: Statutory law
- Consensus: more or less
- Encompasses most of criminal
- White collar crime
- drug law
- Constructionism versus
- Causes and consequences
Goode, 4-7th editions,1999- 2005)
- All Victims
- All Perpetrators
We tend to display an overall ambivalence
toward economic crimes
- Situational Inducement
- Neutralize stigma
- Lifestyle-crime integrated into
- Learning: career structure
- Shover-"The Good Burglar"--competence,
integrity, specialization, $ success, avoid detection-element of esteem
- Variety of statuses-hierarchy,
- Code of Honor
- Wit/Cunning/Stealth vs. force
- Highly motivated and proud-no
- Small number, but impact high
- Widespread activity, yet little
- No loss of status among peers,
in fact status increases with continued success
- Repeat offending: CJS little
- Urban industrial society: Impersonality
- Anomie Theory
- Emphasis on money and buying
- De-emphasis on legitimate
- Not poverty per se, but Relative Deprivation: Affluence and Poverty
- Propinquity: Routine Activity
and WWW Sites
Department of Justice:
Bureau of Justice Statistics: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs
National Institute of Justice: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/
Federal Bureau of Prisons: www.bop.gov
and Clearance: Overall 40% reported,
21% of total cleared
- Robbery: 60%--1 of 8 cleared of
- Larceny-Theft: 25%--1 of 20
- Auto: 75-95%-- 15%
- Burglary: 50%--7%
Severity: ranking by general public
- Use of violence
- Victim confrontation
- Presence of victim
- Consequences: attempted vs. completed
- Use of weapon
- Amount of money involved
- What perpetrator has to do
- Robbery entails victim confrontation; it is a theft involving force,
violence or the threat of violence.
- It is the only crime that is both a property crime and a crime of
- Robbery is a vastly less common offense than the other forms of stealing
- Most offenders simply do not wish to engage in robbery because it
is a dangerous, high-risk activity.
robberies (down from 2002, 550,000 in CVS)
2.1 million burglaries
7 million simple thefts or larceny
the 400,000 robberies that took place in 2004:
49% took place on the street or on a highway
12% occurred in a residence
24% were robberies of a "a commercial
house" i.e. a bank, or convenience store
15% were "miscellaneous"
Total Financial Take for Robbers in 2004= $525 million and The Arrest
Rate was 26% (stable)
or property worth an average of $1,308 per incident
per bank v. $653 per convenience store v. $1,749 service station v.
$1,488 private residence
BUT: If a typical
robber steals only $1,308 per offense, and assuming his crime is reported half
the time, and he is arrested only a quarter of the time his crime is reported,
he will earn around $9,000 for each arrest.
- the more that
is stolen, the greater the likelihood that the incident will be reported.
- Commercial robberies
are almost always reported.
The average robbery represents an
extremely risky and unlucrative means of earning a decent income. It is appealing
because it yields a fairly substantial amount of cash in a very short period
- Robbery is overwhelmingly a big-city offense. The likelihood of being
a victim of a robbery in a big city is a lot larger than in a small town or
a rural area.
the robbery rate urban areas was over 25 times as high than for rural
- 15.7 per 100,000 v Urban - 375.6 per 100,000 (cities with a population
of a million or more).
cities offer robber anonymity.
- Daring and poverty
people are robbed by a Strangers - (Harlow 1987)- a victimization survey:
- Seven out of Ten cases of robbery by a single offender (69%)
- Eight of Ten cases involving a multiple offender (82%)
- For single offenders One in Ten (9%) was a casual acquaintance. One
in eight (12%) was well known to the victim, but was not a relative.
- 4% of all single robbery offenses entailed one spouse robbing another
- 2 % entailed relatives robbing one another.
Robbery is not a completely homogeneous
category. However, robbery tends to be a crime between strangers, in which the
victim does not usually know the offender. As, a consequence, it is a crime
vastly likely to take place in large cities rather than in small towns
and rural areas.
Who is victimized by robbery? (2002)
- Males are twice as likely to be robbery victims - 2.9 per 1000 than
females 1.6 per 1000
- Teenagers (16-19) and young adults (20-24) are most likely to be
victims - 4.0 per 1000
- Elderly (65 and older) are least likely 1.0 per 1000
- African Americans are more likely to be victims 4.1 per 1000 - 2x's
as high as for whites -1.9 per 1000.
- Lower-income persons are more likely to be robbed than the affluent
- Families earning $7500 annually were 6x's as likely to be robbed than families
earning $50,000 annually 6.3:1 per 1000.
is it is very powerful indicator or measure of someone's involvement
in or commitment to criminal behavior; A good predictor of future criminal
- Usually the robber threatens his victims with harm, rather than actually
harming them. However, a significant minority is harmed.
- Harlow 1987 Victimization survey: Victims were injured in 33% of
all robberies. 15% required hospital care and 2% had to stay overnight.
- In 1998, 1 in 14 murders were committed during a robbery. ( 1,092 out of the
2,314 murders during a felony).
likelihood of being injured during a robbery varies with the nature of the weapon.
robberies committed with a gun are the least
likely to result in injury, and strong-arm or weaponless robberies are
the most likely to result in injury,
if the perpetrator uses a gun, death
is more likely than for any other
type of robbery. But: the victim is unlikely to be killed during the course
of a robbery ( in 1998, less than one out of a thousand of all robberies).
- The use of a weapon and the
occurrence of injury strongly influence whether a robbery will be reported
to the police. In 1987, Victims
reported robberies in:
- 45 % of all strong-arm robberies
- 54 % of all robberies in which
a knife was used
- 73 % of those in which a gun
- 49% of non-injury
- 61% of minor injury
- 76% of serious injury robberies
Who is the robber? According to the 2002 Uniform Crime Reports of all arrested robbers: Robbers are predominately Young,
Black and Male.
- 90% were Male
- 54% were ‘Black’
- 44% were ‘White
- Young - 61% were under the
age of 25, 26% were under the age of 18 and 5% were under the age of 15.
statistics represent arrested robbers, not robbers in general. Those who are
not caught will differ. They are older, wiser, more cautious, more professional,
and more experienced.
National Crime Victimization Surveys
- 89% were male
- 5% were female
- 4 %, were both male and female
- 51% were ‘Black’
- 36% were ‘White’
- 4% were ‘other’
- 4% were “team of ‘mixed race’
- Nearly 10% more
arrested robbers were Black than were robbers identified in victimization
The portrait we received from the FBI’s figures
on arrest and the characteristics as identified in victimization surveys, is
that, relative to their numbers in the population, robbers tend to be young,
Black, male, and typically urban.
Explanations of robbery which focus on the offender
must make use of two factors: daring and
- Robbery is not a crime for
the fainthearted; it entails a great deal of risk, both to the victim and
to the perpetrator. Robbers, therefore tend to be (unrealistically) confident
that they won’t be injured or caught. Such misplaced confidence is more
characteristic of males than females, the young than the old.
- Jack Katz: Crime
of passion? Fantasy of moral superiority, victim as "chump."
- The ‘race’ of robbery
offenders is probably largely a function of a combination of the economic
position of Blacks in the United States and the fact that African Americans
live in large cities (50-60%).
- Black family income is roughly
60% of that of whites, and Black unemployment is twice as high. (2000)
- In addition, since 1973, the
poor have been getting poorer and the rich have been getting richer; hence
over the past two decades or
more, the economic situation of the “underclass”, of whom a disproportion
are inner-city minority members, is not only stagnating, but deteriorating.
- Nearly 3 out of 10 ‘Whites’
live in a rural area compared to only 15% of ‘Blacks’
So: The combination of a lower per capita income and
a far more urban residence makes it almost predictable that ‘Blacks’
will have a higher rate of robbery than ‘Whites’.
ALSO: In addition, there is the factor of age; while
only 30% of the white population is under the age of 20, 40% of the Black population
is. this factor alone would tend to boost the robbery rate for African Americans.
activity (victim shopping or at work)
- Bag of tricks--techniques
to insure safety and impede detection
- Quick cash versus deterrence
- Decker and Wright (1994): "pressing
need for cash:
- Solving immediate problems
- Food, yes, but also "high
- "Keeping the party
- Drugs, alcohol, sex
- Values of "street
- openiness to iliicit
- Legitimate work not
(try The Sociology
of Shoplifting: Boosters and Snitches Today)
billion (total for all property crimes: $14 billion)
- Model Code
- Pro-"booster" 10% of
All type and kinds, neutralize, females (see also, Katz)
- Routine (1 of 10)
- Box/Walmarts--leads to rise
- Group support: amusement, adjunct
to other activities
- Sociability, conventionality,
- Reporting: value of item, nature
of goods (resale), older studies-gender, race.
- 1/4 report staged event, 10% detected
by employees dealt with, few prosecuted.
- More respectable
- Rarely considered problematic-Victim?
- Costly: double cost of other theft.
or more--2% of sales--$120 billion (Buss, 1993- in Thio 1998)
- Easy to rationalize and justify
- Employee morale booster-unofficial
reward, controlled larceny: Compensates for low wages, retards change, losses
recovered-insurance, customer price, tool of control over employee.
- Union-management conflict
- Large and impersonal corporations
Owner: Robert O. Keel firstname.lastname@example.org
Credits for this Page of Notes
Wednesday, March 26, 2008 2:22 PM