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Taxing on the Streets: Understanding the Methods and Process of Street Robbery

NCJ Number
Crime Prevention and Community Safety Volume: 9 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2007 Pages: 52-67
Jo Deakin; Hannah Smithson; Jon Spencer; Juanjo Medina-Ariza
Date Published
February 2007
16 pages
This paper reviews existing research and presents findings related to the “decisions” involved in the commission of street robbery from the perspective of the offenders.
Study findings indicate that street robbers fall into two distinct groups based on their underlying reasons for committing the offense: older drug users and young street-savvy offenders. From these two groups it is clear that robbery is an offense that can be perpetrated in a variety of ways, using varying degrees of intimidation and force. The type of victim selected appears to have a significant impact on the use of violence in the offense, and the violence employed can be explained in a variety of ways. For the younger respondents, violence was used as a method of ensuring victim compliance, as well as a way of gaining respect from peers. The older, drug-using respondents were more likely to use and view violence as a necessary part of their interactions with criminal targets, and as a method of self-preservation in a hostile environment. The research in this paper indicates that there is a displacement of robbery offenses to areas where there is less of a police focus on the offense, where there are victims who are less likely to report the offense or a straight displacement into other crimes, such as burglary. The recent increase in street robbery suggests that when targeted funding is removed and the political pressure eased there is a tendency for such crimes to increase. Street robbery offenses can be perpetrated in a variety of ways. Offenders adopt a particular method of conducting the offense that appears to be closely related to the underlying purpose of the offense and the type of victim that is targeted. This paper is based on interviews with 20 recently convicted street robbers within 1 police division. References