Distance matters: a look at crime trip distances in Flanders

author Christophe Vandeviver
journal GERN (ISSN: )
volume 2013
issue 1. Crime, Violence, Justice and Social Order
section Article
publicatie datum 2 juillet 2013
langue English
pagina 229
keywords distances, journey-to-crime

Most journey-to-crime studies are flawed in two ways: they predominantly rely on local police data; and long trips are deliberately removed from the analysis, although a number of studies hint at the presence of substantially longer crime trips than are commonly reported. Consequently, current journey-to-crime studies limit the scope of their conclusions to local offending, and their empirical design is biased towards studying short trips. This paper demonstrates the need for dedicated criminological research into long crime trips, and provides a preliminary insight into journey-to-crime distances in the greater Ghent area, Belgium. It analyses five-year public prosecutor data on property crimes to assess the length of the journey to crime and the number of long crime trips. The study found a substantial number of long crime trips, with 35% over 10 km. The criminological implications for future journey-to-crime research are discussed.