U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Prevalence and Characteristics of Co-Offending Recruiters

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 28 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2011 Pages: 325-359
Sarah B. van Mastrigt; David P. Farrington
Date Published
April 2011
35 pages
This study examined the characteristics of offenders in the United Kingdom who commit crimes with a large number of co-offenders.
Previous examinations of co-offending have identified a subset of high-rate offenders who commit crimes with a large number of co-offenders, most of whom are younger and less criminally experienced. These so-called "recruiters" are of particular interest to researchers and practitioners, because of their potential role in facilitating offending onset and recidivism among their co-offenders. In this paper, data on 61,646 individuals detected by a large UK police force are used to identify offenders who fitted the recruiter profile, and to compare their individual and offending characteristics with those of non-recruiters. In total, 86 recruiters were identified. In multivariate analyses, recruiters were found to be older than non-recruiters and were typically involved in property crimes. In addition, they tended to offend in criminal groups that were more heterogeneous and stable than non-recruiters. These findings suggest that a small but identifiable group of recruiters can be detected using official data and that these individuals may be important targets for police attention and court treatment. (Published Abstract)