Purpose – Although many studies have examined the correlates of homicide clearance rates, few analyses have examined the factors related to the clearance of burglary offenses. The purpose of this paper is to address several gaps in the literature to determine if burglary clearance rates are due to discretionary, non-discretionary, and/or neighborhood contextual factors. Design/methodology/approach – Data are analyzed from more than 10,000 burglary incidents in Philadelphia from 2010 using multilevel models to simultaneously test for the influence of multiple perspectives of the factors of crime clearance. Findings – The results indicate that variables representing broken windows enforcement, discretionary factors, and non-discretionary factors are related to the increased likelihood that burglaries are cleared, but processes associated with social disorganization within communities is not. Research limitations/implications – The findings contribute to the literature by showing that future examinations of the factors of burglary clearance should consider community contextual factors, and specifically, that broken windows police enforcement appears to be a more important predictor of burglary clearance than do factors related to social disorganization theory. As a result, it is suggested that law enforcement also consider their tactics regarding low-level offenses if they wish to address the clearance rate of burglaries. Originality/value – This analysis is among the first to examine multiple perspectives of the factors of crime clearance on burglary incidents.
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 11, 2014
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