The Burglar as a Rational Economic Agen

Understanding the spatial search of burglars is based upon rational choice models which were developed in environmental criminology and economics, and applied also in regional science. The objective is to see whether the behavior of burglars is rational and whether they evaluate alternative courses of action, including the location of the home, its attributes and surroundings, and the security precautions held in the target choice. Such understanding is significant in the design of strategies for police and private security companies aimed at reducing residents' risk of becoming burglary victims. Such findings can also aid residents in selecting the most effective physical security precautions and the preferred behavior to minimize the probability of being victimized. Furthermore, local governments may choose to reduce their visibility and leave space for market forces to fulfill some of the functions and duties that are currently considered to be police responsibility. This paper offers an empirical model which explains the target choice by residential burglars. The model can also be used to predict the relative effectiveness of various security measures in reducing burglary incidents. A logistic regression analysis was employed to estimate the probability of households being burgled as a function of the location of the home with respect to major arterial routes, as well as the attributes of the house, immediate surroundings, and the security precautions that were in use.

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