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Investigating the methodology of case linkage research with serial residential burglary.

By Lucy Markson


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.The present investigation aimed to replicate and extend current research of case linkage, a method that uses across-crime offender behavioural similarity to predict whether crimes belong to a common offender (Woodhams, Hollin, & Bull, 2007). A total of 320 solved residential burglaries were obtained, and three samples, each with 80 pairs of offences were created (linked, unlinked (dependent), unlinked (independent)). Following the method employed by previous researchers, behavioural similarity of linked pairs (committed by the same offender) was compared to unlinked (dependent) pairs (committed by different offenders). Following Woodhams‟ (2008) study of serial juvenile stranger sexual offences, this methodology was extended by also comparing similarity of linked pairs with unlinked (independent) pairs that were matched with the linked pairs on variables that have been shown to influence the characteristics of burglary offences (e.g. Rengert, 1975, as cited in Rengert, 1989; Snook, 2004). The justification for this methodology is to reduce potentially inflated dissimilarity between unlinked pairs that may have been problematic in previous research. In both analyses (linked versus unlinked (dependent), linked versus unlinked (independent)), distance between burglary locations possessed a high degree of accuracy in distinguishing linked from unlinked pairs. Comparatively, other traditional modus operandi behaviours showed less potential for linkage, in both analyses. The implications of the findings are interpreted and avenues of future research are discussed.University of Leiceste

Year: 2008
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