Consistency in crime site selection : an investigation of crime sites used by serial sex offenders across crime series

Authors: Deslauriers-Varin, Nadine; Beauregard, Eric
Abstract: Purpose Knowing sites used by serial sex offenders to commit their crimes is highly beneficial for criminal investigations. However, environmental choices of serial sex offenders remain unclear to this date. Considering the challenges these offenders pose to law enforcement, the study aims to identify sites serial sex offenders use to encounter and release their victims and investigate their stability across crime series. Methods The study uses latent class analysis (LCA) to identify victim encounter and release sites used by 72 serial sex offenders having committed 361 sex offenses. Additional LCA are performed to investigate the stability of these offense environments across offenders' crimes series. Results Distinct profiles of crime sites that are recurrent across crime series are found, suggesting that serial sex offenders present a limited diversity of victim encounter and victim release sites. Encounter sites representative of longer crime series are also identified. Specifically, the use of sites known to "attract" potential victims decreases over series and offenders become more risk-taking in regard of sites used to encounter their victims. Conclusions The study identifies patterns of site- selection for the victim encounter and release in cases of serial crimes. Implications for crime linkage and police investigations strategies are discussed.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 1 April 2014
Open Access Date: 1 April 2017
Document version: AM
This document was published in: Journal of criminal justice, Vol. 42 (2), 123–133 (2014)
Alternative version: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2013.09.005
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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