SOC229 Lecture 1: bank robbery modules

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Module 5 - Sample and Research Methodology
-deals with bank robbery
-“Force and Fear: Robbery in Canada”
interviews with 80 convicted male bank robbers in penitentiaries across Canada
took over 8 years for him to do the study
-some of them were reoffended and went back after they did more robberies
Part 1
-Roger Caron - the book “Bingo!” and “Go-Boy!”
-he was a bank robber
-no female bank robbers - except for one - but she refused to give an interview
-background info about these robbers
drugs were a part of the picture
dysfunctional families
low SES
unemployment
-these men were most recidivists; criminals who reoffend
-many types of offences
car theft / assault / abduction / kidnapping / fraud / shoplifting / B&Es
possession of narcotics, possession of offensive weapons, stolen property
one case of murder and manslaughter
Part 2
-statutory release - good behaviour
-in Canada, if you get a prison sentence of 2+ years, you go to a federal penitentiary
-the violent nature of bank robberies is what classifies them as “violent”
-many of these men are caught after just one robbery, the reasons they get caught is
bc they continue to do these kind of robberies - and don’t stop, until they get caught!
-the most common type of bank robbery is committed by what is called a “note pusher”
or “beggar bandit”
-and there are “crews” who consist of 2+ people who are armed and have masks
-there are also “gunmen” but they’re a rare type of bank robbers
-characterize and depict all types of bank robbers
Part 3
-problems in gaining access to Penitentiary inmates
-sometimes parole officers were helpful and accommodating with other were rather
indifferent and made it difficult for him to set up interviews
-remember this was done over an 8 year period - took a lot of patience
Part 4
-“Hold-up” squad officers
specialized investigative unit that deals with robberies of all types
separate specialized units that deal with robberies of financial institutions
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Force and Fear Chapter 1 pg. 1-8
-criminal seizes victim’s money / property by using threats or outright violence
-robbery is a more serious crime than theft bc it involves the use of force against an
individual
-fear of robbery = climate of distrust
-offender’s motivation, life circumstances, educational / occupational / family
background, previous criminal involvement, robbery experiences, modus operandi,
influence of mass media, lifestyle and spending, etc
Module 6 - Defining Robbery - Robbery and the Law
-the term “robbery” actually applies to a form of theft - in which there is a violence
-robbery = property crime and a crime of violence
-robbery occurs only if the offender and victim are at the same place at the same time
-bank robbery is seen as a dumb crime to commit for many reasons,
people easily get caught
small amount of money
treated very seriously by the criminal justice system
witnesses are present
-drug trafficking is seen as a smart crime to commit
-any time there is FORCE or a THREAT then it becomes a robbery
Force and Fear Chapter 1 pg. 8-23
-there are 2 types of offences
summary conviction - less serious
indictable offences - more serious
-there are 2 models to explain how laws evolve
consensus theory - laws reflect a common morality supported by the population
conflict theory - sees laws as resulting from conflict among competing groups in
a heterogeneous society
Module 7 - An Overview of Robbery
Types of Robberies
-3 main types
robbery of individuals (mugging)
commercial robberies / retail-type robberies (most common in Canada)
robberies of financial institutions (banks)
-when a person resists, they’re much more likely to be harmed in a robbery
-compliance is the best policy
-muggings: look for vulnerable victims - certain hotspots like dark laneways / parks
-commercial: offender is usually robbing targets that they know
-financial: seldom harmed bc there is compliance - tellers give over the money
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The Robber and the Victim
-usually known to one another - involved in an intimate relationship
-robbery isn’t this kind of crime - it deals with strangers or acquaintances
-assault is motivated out of emotions
-robbery is not, it is instrumental and is done to gain certain end results (money)
-victim confrontation: they’re frightened, surprised, intimidated, forced, etc
-victim management: achieved by choosing victims who are vulnerable, using speed
and surprise, and the use of force
The Robbery Rate - Urban vs. Rural
-robbery rate has steadily decreased over the past decade due to demographics
-US > Canada in terms of robbery rate bc there are a lot more poor people in the US
distribution of income plays a significant level in influencing the robbery rate
-urban > rural in terms of where robberies tend to occur
bc in rural areas people don’t tend to be strangers to one another
small town - commit a robbery - someone’s going to recognize you
urban areas provide a lot more targets
there are greater opportunities in an urban setting, greater anonymity
Socioeconomic Status, Race, and Ethnicity
-correlated to the crime of robbery
-poor / low SES / males
-people in lower class want and need money but lack legit means to getting that bc of
racism and discrimination in hiring and promotions
lack good schooling
lack of networks
-crime becomes their illegitimate way of obtaining financial success
-race: over representation of blacks amongst robbery offenders & French-Canadians
French Canadians have the highest rate of robbery in Canada
blacks have the highest rate of robbery in US
Drug Usage, Addiction, and Gambling
-drug addiction causes crime hypothesis - correlation
-people get addicted to drugs - they’re illegal and therefore expensive - physiological
need exists - people become desperate for it - eventually start stealing
-drug addiction is FIRST, crimes (like robbery) is LATER
-criminalization hypothesis - deviant lifestyle
-no work, use drugs, sell drugs, all kinds of criminal activities
-deviant criminal lifestyle is FIRST, the addiction is LATER
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Document Summary

Force and fear: robbery in canada : interviews with 80 convicted male bank robbers in penitentiaries across canada, took over 8 years for him to do the study. Some of them were reoffended and went back after they did more robberies. Roger caron - the book bingo! and go-boy! . No female bank robbers - except for one - but she refused to give an interview. Background info about these robbers: drugs were a part of the picture, dysfunctional families, low ses, unemployment. These men were most recidivists; criminals who reoffend. Many types of offences: car theft / assault / abduction / kidnapping / fraud / shoplifting / b&es, possession of narcotics, possession of offensive weapons, stolen property, one case of murder and manslaughter. In canada, if you get a prison sentence of 2+ years, you go to a federal penitentiary. The violent nature of bank robberies is what classifies them as violent .

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