Evaluation of the Leeds Distraction Burglary Initiative
Home Office Online Report No. 44/04
79 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2005
Distraction burglary (also known as "burglary artifice") has generated considerable public concern during recent years because of the predatory way in which vulnerable and older people are targeted. The hallmark of distraction burglary is the deliberate engagement with victims by offenders in order to deceive them and gain entry to their dwelling. If this approach is unsuccessful, then offenders sometimes resort to violence. This emphasises the serious nature of the offence and its potentially damaging impact upon victims. The research found that in West Yorkshire the average age of distraction burglary victims was 77 years. Almost three-quarters (72%) were aged over 75, with over half (57%) exceeding the age of 80. Most victims (69%) were female. It is estimated that distraction burglaries represent between four and eight per cent of all dwelling burglaries. The transient nature of offenders tends to impede detection, so a proactive, victim-focused crime prevention approach is merited.
Keywords: Burglary, Distraction Burglary, Crime Prevention, Policing
JEL Classification: K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation