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Revictimization: Reducing the Heat on Hot Victims

NCJ Number
Date Published
5 pages
Publication Series
Crime prevention through the identification of victims who repeatedly experience crime is examined, based primarily on data collected in the United Kingdom.
Preventing crime in high-crime areas (hot spots) requires police to determine where and when crimes are likely to occur. The British data demonstrate why a focal point for effective crime prevention is the hot dot, or repeat victim. Two studies indicated that about 4 percent of surveyed victims experienced approximately 44 percent of the offenses. Results revealed that individuals' past crime victimization is a good predictor of their subsequent victimization, which is often inflicted by the same offenders. In addition, the greater the number of prior victimizations, the higher the likelihood that the victim will experience future crime. Moreover, revictimization tends to occur soon after the previous victimization. Furthermore, repeat victimization is highest in areas of highest crime. Findings indicate that a police officer's visit to a crime victim can usefully be directed at preventing the next possible crime as well as addressing the current one. One municipality reduced residential burglaries by 24 percent as the result of victim-focused crime prevention efforts. Therefore, the repeat-victimization approach would be explored as a useful component of crime prevention strategy. 6 reference notes and list of related NIJ publications and research

Date Published: January 1, 1996