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Offender Interviews: Implications for Intelligence-Led Policing

NCJ Number
Policing: An International Journal Volume: 42 Issue: 1 Dated: 2019 Pages: 31-42
Date Published
12 pages
Since Intelligence-led policing (ILP) involves the analysis of data to inform the development and implementation of strategic actions aimed at more efficiently reducing crime, the current study examined how chronic acquisitive offenders - a focus of ILP - respond to police patrol, and how this knowledge can be turned into actionable strategies to reduce crime.

Interviews were conducted with 137 chronic offenders who had multiple convictions for burglary, robbery and/or vehicle crime. The interviews involved the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data, including responses to situational crime vignettes. The study found that when encountering police patrols, criminals were initially more likely to displace (e.g. committing crime elsewhere and/or later in the day) than to desist from offending. Some of the conditions under which police patrol was most effective were identified, including offenders' fear of being recognized by officers. Repeated thwarted crime attempts appeared to be most impactful, with even the most chronic offenders becoming "worn down." Based on these findings, the study recommends that the profiles of top offenders be systematically disseminated to front line officers to augment the effectiveness of police patrol and minimize the possibility of crime displacement. The study concludes that offender interviews are a valuable source of information, but they have been underutilized within an ILP framework. This research illustrates how offender interview research can inform and support the role of police in preventing crime. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019