Crime in Space and Time: A Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Burglary in Christchurch
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
This thesis provides analyses on the spatial and temporal distribution of residential burglaries in Christchurch for the five-year period 1998/1999 to 2002/2003. The specific aspects of residential burglary that are explored are the geography of burglary and clear-up rates, the characteristics of burglars, the distance they travel and the characteristics of the burgled properties. It was important to research these aspects of residential burglaries in Christchurch as there has previously been minimal research conducted into burglaries in Christchurch. The research that has been conducted is almost ten years old and did not comprehensively cover all aspects of burglaries. This thesis provides up to date analysis of the current burglary problem in Christchurch. The residential burglary data was provided by the Christchurch Branch of the New Zealand Police Department. This data included the addresses of both burglary victims and offenders and demographic characteristics of offenders. Information regarding the burglary event such as the items stolen and the time and date that the burglary occurred, was also supplied. This data allowed for analysis into many aspects of burglaries. In order to substantiate the conclusions formed there is comparison with the results of international and national studies into burglaries. The key findings of this research were that Christchurch residential burglary rates decreased and were positively related to deprivation. The greatest percent of burglaries occurred during traditional work times, during the traditional workweek. Conversely, the clear-up rates increased and were inversely related to deprivation. The majority of offenders were unemployed European males, aged between 15 and 19 years of age. Generally, offenders travelled short distances to burgle, and the distance was found to be negatively correlated with the level of deprivation of the area in which the victim lived. There were also some interesting findings regarding the characteristics of the burgled and non-burgled properties and how they differed depending on whether the property was in a deprived or non-deprived area.