Journey "During" Crime: Predicting Criminal Mobility Patterns in Sexual Assaults

Journal of Interpersonal Violence (Impact Factor: 1.64). 01/2013; 28(10). DOI: 10.1177/0886260512471084
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to test whether there is a relationship between situational and modus operandi characteristics and criminal mobility during the sexual assault event. Data collected from both police files and semistructured interviews with 72 serial sex offenders who have committed 361 sexual assaults have been used. Negative binomial regression was used to identify the relationships between the situational and modus operandi characteristics and the criminal mobility exhibited during the sexual assault. Events that involved child or adolescent victims, those where the offender did not use pornography prior to crime, and those where victim resistance was observed exhibited more criminal mobility. Moreover, crimes in which the victim was selected, the victim was alone when approached by the offender, and the assault was characterized by sexual penetration and a lack of premeditation exhibited more criminal mobility. Results seem to suggest that criminal mobility is a goal-oriented action taken by serial sex offenders to successfully complete their crime and to avoid detection and apprehension.

1 Follower
6 Reads
    • "As offenders may move their victims up to three times during any given sexual crime—that is, move them from the encounter site to attack site, attack site to crime site, and crime site to victim release site—it is worthwhile to investigate whether this strategy serves a purpose for them. Hence, the current study differs from that of Beauregard and Busina (2013) in three fundamental ways: (a) The focus is placed specifically on the characteristics of the victim encounter site, rather than the number of location changes, because it is arguably the first point at which the offender needs to make offense-related decisions (e.g., is it safe enough for me to assault the victim in this same location, or should I move him or her somewhere else?); (b) additional modi operandi and situational variables are chosen that were not considered in the previous study, while a third element of the criminal event, the environmental aspect, is introduced to provide a more qualitative understanding of its influence on offender mobility during sexual assaults; and (c) unlike Beauregard and Busina who simply inferred that offender mobility be seen as a goal-oriented action that aids in the successful completion of the crime (Clarke & Cornish, 2001), this exploratory study sets out to empirically investigate this assertion by specifically addressing the following research questions: "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using data from qualitative interviews and police reports, latent class analysis is used on a sample of 54 repeat stranger sexual offenders who committed 204 sexual assaults to identify discrete contexts present at the time of victim encounter that influence these offenders' decision to use more than one location to commit their crimes. Five distinct classes are identified: residential outdoor common area, spontaneous/quiet outdoor site, residential home, active green space, and indoor/public gathering place. An investigation into the outcome(s) that most often result from the offender's decision to move the victim during the sexual assault indicates that those who move the victim from an active green space overwhelmingly engage in sexual penetration, as well as forcing their victims to commit sexual acts on them. Crimes where the victim is moved from a residential home show evidence of the offender physically harming the victim as well as using more force than necessary to complete the assault. Implications for situational crime prevention are discussed. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Annals of Sex Research 07/2015; DOI:10.1177/1079063215594377 · 2.21 Impact Factor
    • "The offender ' s intra - crime travel in such cases is facilitated by the victim ' s willingness to accompany the offender to a location different from the point of initial contact . Beauregard and Busina ( 2013 ) have suggested that criminal mobility – the action of switching location during the criminal event – is a purposive behaviour , a goal - oriented action to avoid detection and apprehension ( Clarke & Cornish , 2001 ) . This is consistent with what was observed in the current study , when sexual murderers specifically tar - geted sex workers . "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the empirical research on the journey to crime seems to indicate that most crimes are committed close to home, only a few studies have specifically examined the journey to crime in cases of sexual homicide. Using a sample of 214 sexual homicide cases, the current study investigates, using logistic regression, offenders who travel during the crime to those offenders who commit their crime, all at the same location. Current findings suggest that sexual murderers who engage in intra-crime travel tend to use a vehicle in the commission of their offence, target adult victims who are involved in the sex trade and move the body post murder.
    Police Practice and Research 01/2015; DOI:10.1080/15614263.2014.994215