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Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology Sixth Edition. By Andrew Karmen Chapter Four: Violent Crimes: Murders and Robberies . Using UCR to Analyze Murders.

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Crime Victims: An Introduction to VictimologySixth Edition

By Andrew Karmen

Chapter Four:

Violent Crimes: Murders and Robberies


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Using UCR to Analyze Murders

  • Data comes from Supplemental Homicide Report (SHR)—age, sex, race of victim and age, sex, race, motive, weapon and relationship of accused

  • Homicide—Killing of one human being by another—Accidents, carelessness, suicides are NOT homicides

  • Justifiable Homicide—use of deadly force in self defense


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Using UCR to Analyze Murders

  • Capital Offenses (Death Penalty)—Premeditation, intent, killing certain people—state based law

  • Heat of Passion—results in second degree murder, manslaughter—voluntary or involuntary


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Using UCR to Analyze Murders

  • Profile or Statistical Portrait (2004)

    • Most Murders—Male on Male

    • 90% of Female Murders by Males

    • Most Murders Not Interracial—intraracial

    • 49% Victims were white

    • 48% Victims were black

    • Majority killed by use of firearms


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Using UCR to Analyze Murders

  • Relationships in Homicides (1990-2001)

    • Family—12-14%

    • Friend or Acquaintance—29-38%

    • Strangers—13-15%

    • Unknown or unsolved—35-45%

    • Victims killed by complete strangers most likely charged with most serious of charges—Capital Homicide

    • Those killed during an argument or by an acquaintance—less harsh charges


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Searching for Crime Waves

  • Trends refer to changes that occur over long period of time—not just one year

    Homicide Rate Trends—1900-2004: See Figure 4.1, Page 64

    Aggravated Assault Rate Trends important to review as involve attacks or threats with deadly weapon—Figure 4.2, Page 65


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Searching for Crime Waves

  • Trends in Robbery Rates—Figure 4.3, Page 67

  • Conclusion of Violent Crime Rates

    • Dramatically decreased from early 90s

    • Interpersonal violence NOT out of control

    • Future is unsure

    • Victims of interpersonal violence not growing as rapidly as 60s-80s


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Robberies Turn Into Homicides?

  • Your Money or Your Life

    • Table 4.1, Page 68 reflects murders where robbery was motive—decreased 4% from 1980 to 2004

    • 1/5 of 1% of those accosted are murdered

    • When armed offender declares, “Your money or your life”—statistics say, give him the money


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Differential Risks

  • How frequently murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults are committed against “average Americans,” and how often “typical households” suffer burglaries and motor vehicle thefts


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Differential Risks

  • Differential Risks of being Murdered in U.S. in 2004 was 5.5 per 100,000

  • Murder rates vary by geographical location

    • Highest in South and lowest in Northeast

  • Murder Rates by U.S. Cities: Figure 4.4, Page 70


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Murder Rate Data—2004

  • More than ¾ are males

  • Ten years of age, least likely

  • 25 years of age, most likely

  • African Americans most likely

  • Asian Americans least likely

  • Profile (Greatest Risk)—southerners, urban males, age 18-24 and African American


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International Comparisons

  • Two Main Sources of Data

    1. United Nations

    World Health Organization (WHO)—Tracks Homicides and Sets Standards for Reporting

    2. International Police Organization (INTERPOL)

    Provides Data—See Table 4.2, Page 72


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Assessing Comparative Risks

Criminal Event vs. Accident/Illness—See Table 4.4, Page 74

Conclusions:

1. Leading causes of death—heart disease, cancer, and stroke

2. More died from accidents than homicides

3. More people took their own life than lost life through lethal violence


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Robberies

  • Robbery combines stealing with extortion or outright violence

  • Completed Robberies—face-to-face confrontations in which perpetrators take something of value directly from victims against their will by either force or by threats of violence


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Robberies

  • Five stages of typical robbery

    • 1. Planning

    • 2. Establishing co-presence

    • 3. Developing co-orientation

    • 4. Transferring valuables

    • 5. Leaving


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Using NCVS to Analyze Robberies

  • More information available about victims and the events using NCVS

    • Primary motive is theft—38% of attempts unsuccessful

    • 62% complete strangers

    • 50% assailants unarmed

    • 38% likely to be wounded—1 of 8 seriously

    • 88% of victims attempted to resist

    • Forceful resistance reduced monetary loss but increased likelihood of more severe injury

    • Differential risks noted in Table 4.5, Page 79


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Projecting Cumulative Risks

  • Annual crime rates represent the “rare events” of crime to Americans

  • Cumulative risks represent the likelihood of occurrence over a lifetime or 60 years

    • At least one theft but more likely 3 or more

    • 8% of females raped—Black females 11%

    • 30% robbed

      See Table 4.6, Page 82


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Determinants of Differential Risks

  • Attractiveness

  • Proximity

  • Vulnerability

    • Routine Activities—interactions of three variables described above

    • Lifestyle—how and where people spend their time and money at work and leisure

    • Deviant place factor—exact locations where predators prowl for victims—Hot Spots


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Reducing Risks: How Safe is Safe Enough?

  • Balance between safety and risk is a personal decision—a value judgment

  • Cost-Benefit vs. Risk-Benefit Analysis

  • Ambivalence about risk-taking in U.S.


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From Crime Prevention to Victimization Prevention

  • Risk Reduction Activities

    • Avoidance strategies—actions taken to limit exposure to dangerous persons and frightening situations—don’t walk alone, carry a weapon

    • Target Hardening—using locks, fences, surveillance systems, using lights, trimming down bushes

    • Crime Conscious—personal responsibility to keep out of trouble


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From Crime Prevention to Victimization Prevention

  • Valve Theory of Crime Shifts—predicts that target hardening strategies will not reduce criminal events, only displace them to other locations

  • May decrease victimization rates for some while increasing victimization rates for others


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Criminals as Victims

  • Equivalent Group Explanations

    • Theory postulates that offenders select their victims from their own circles of adversaries, acquaintances, and even former friends

    • Victims who engage in certain high-risk deviant lifestyles viewed in a less-than-sympathetic light

      • Drug scene deaths

      • Drive-by shootings

      • Binge drinking situations


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Deterrence Theory Applied to Victims

  • Classical School of Free Will or Rational Choice Theory notes would-be offenders deterred by prospects of apprehension, conviction, and punishment

  • Does this same theory apply to victims?

  • Do 1st time victims learn their lesson?

  • More Research is needed to answer



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