New research reveals burglars have changed their 'shopping list'

Feb 10, 2010

Globalisation, and particularly cheaper electronic goods from China and the Far East, has altered behaviour among Britain's burglars according research in progress at the University of Leicester.

James Treadwell, a lecturer in Criminology from the University of Leicester's Department of Criminology suggests that the incredible rise of the new superpower has made burglars 'redundant' due to the decline in cost of household goods traditionally targeted by thieves.

Treadwell is currently researching how has changed over time. He commented:

"The last decade has been a remarkable one where crime is concerned, with massive changes and shifts. If we look back to the 1980s and 1990s, the type of staple crimes would be, for example, very often burglary and car crime and those crimes worked because they followed a business model and it was possible to break into a house and steal a and sell that at a profit.

"Cheap labour in China has had an impact on the type of crime that's committed in the UK and the type of goods that are stolen today. Gradually, the prices of such goods has fallen so low as to they almost have no resale value. If you can buy a DVD player for £19.99, it's simply not worth stealing."

Treadwell will be presenting his findings of the changes in criminal trends at the British Society of Criminology conference that will be held at the University of Leicester in July. The theme of the conference is 'Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Dilemmas and Diversity in Criminology' and Treadwell will be discussing the changes in criminal practices over the last decade.

He comments:

"While we might have seen a decline in some types of crime, we have seen a rise in other forms of criminal activity, particularly young people who seem to be mugging one another.

"While DVD players for example, got cheaper, certain consumer items became smaller and were very, very expensive and sought after and so the latest mobile phone, or the latest ipod, which people carry about them, have become targets for robbers."

It is these expensive, personal items, which are the most attractive to thieves today as they still retain value and can therefore be sold on, igniting a career change for criminals from the more traditional household burglaries to personal muggings.

Explore further: Pop music heritage contributes to the formation of identity

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Watermark Leaves Criminals High and Dry

Jan 17, 2008

Criminals have admitted that a hi-tech invisible liquid, which can only be seen under ultra violet light, is the most effective in stopping them in their tracks.

Parolee releases spike violent crime, study suggests

Sep 01, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- California lawmakers may want to rethink a cost-cutting proposal to release at least 27,000 inmates from state prison in light of a new study linking parolees to increases in violent crime.

Death Penalty Does Not Deter Murder, According to New Study

Jun 17, 2009

Eighty-eight percent of the country's top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide, according to a new study published today in Northwestern University School of Law's Journal of Criminal ...

Recommended for you

Pop music heritage contributes to the formation of identity

16 hours ago

The musical rebels of the past are today's museum pieces. Pop music is increasingly penetrating heritage institutions such as museums and archives. That is apparent from the PhD research of Arno van der Hoeven. On Thursday ...

Helping older employees stay in their jobs

16 hours ago

Factors that can hinder older employees from continuing to work include workload, a poor memory and the pensionable age-effect. The Job-Exposure Matrix is a newly developed instrument that provides an easy way to chart the ...

Explainer: What is a small private online course?

17 hours ago

If you have studied an online course at a university over the past couple of decades, you've probably already experienced a SPOC, or Small Private Online Course. SPOC is a new term for an old concept, which appears to be frustrating members of the distance edu ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
2.7 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
Obviously, too steep gradients in the distribution of wealth generate crime.
That's why too steep gradients in the distribution of wealth should be considered a crime, too.
gwrede
3 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
@frajo: Yes. But someone having an iPhone or an iPod when the other hasn't, doesn't need a steep wealth gradient.

Further, a society where the difference between the rich and the poor is artificially reduced (as with income tax and property tax favoring the poor and punishing the better earners), is a major hindrance to economic motivation and activity.
frajo
2.7 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
But someone having an iPhone or an iPod when the other hasn't, doesn't need a steep wealth gradient.
It's not about having an iPhone, it's about the monetary value.
Further, a society where the difference between the rich and the poor is artificially reduced (as with income tax and property tax favoring the poor and punishing the better earners), is a major hindrance to economic motivation and activity.

Depends on personal ideology. Other people see "economic motivation" as an unhealthy principle. This motivation has generated a lot of pain and crime throughout history.

And how is "artificial" defined? Like in artificial hearts, in glasses, in teeth?
Dunbar
3 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2010
@gwrede

What? Like in Finalnd, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, etc... Social Democracy with smaller differences in wealth distribution is NOT a hinderance to 'economic motivation and activity'. I guess you're a Fox News absorber.
david_42
5 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2010
The vast majority of crimes are committed against people at or near the social/economic level of the criminal. Even murderers are most likely to kill within their family, circle of friends or neighborhood.

Bankers, in turn, steal from other bankers.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.