Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Research Student: Mike Cooper

Why Burglars Burgle: Offenders' Motives and Decision Making

The aim of this research is to understand, from the perspective of offenders, why Leeds continues to have high levels of domestic burglary when nationally this offence is in decline. Domestic burglary is a complex issue with a number of structural, social, economic and cultural factors underpinning the offence. A considerable amount of research exists explaining 'how' burglaries are committed, but analysis is lacking from an offenders' perspective. The purpose of this research is therefore to ask 'why', by exploring motive and decision-making processes.

The research will limit the age range to offenders to those aged 18-21 years as this is the peak age period for committing burglary in Leeds. Furthermore, by understanding the motive and decision-making processes of offenders in this age range it should provide some indication of the factors influencing young offenders before their offending potentially becomes entrenched. It may also inform the interventions that might help this group desist from further offending.

The research will use qualitative and quantitative methodology in the form of semi-structured interviews and further analysis of court reports and agency assessments of convicted burglars.

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