Study Guides (238,467)
Canada (115,151)
Sociology (238)
SOC 229 (16)

Force Robbery in Canada & Fear Summary

14 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Waterloo
SOC 229
Fred Desroches

Force Robbery in Canada & Fear Robbery ­ stranger-to-stranger and face-to face confrontations ­ more serious crime than theft b/c it involves the use of force against an individual ­ study was conducted over an eight year period through interviews with 80 convicted male bank robbers in prisons across Canada Reporting Robbery ­ in the US, all bank robberies must be reported to the FBI ­ surveys show that robberies against individuals are frequently unreported Gottfredson and Gottfredson describe citizens as gatekeepers and argue that the decision to report crimes, b/c it initiates official action, may be the most influential one made in the criminal justice system ­ victimization surveys are designed to shed light on the “dark figure” of crime- aka unreported crime o self-reported questionnaires, focused on experiences of victimization, and filled out anonymously o this type of research provides us with important alternative measures of certain crimes, which can help us to understand and define the circumstances that inhibit victims from reporting crime to the police o they tend to focus on muggings The Canadian Urban Victimization Survey ­ the presence of a weapon of any kind is an indicator of incident seriousness and the use of a gun is a significant predictor of reporting ­ crimes committed against female victims were more likely to come to police attention ­ for both sexes, chances of reporting increased with the # of offenders involved in an incident Chapter 2- An Overview of Robbery Characteristics of Robbery An Unsophisticated Crime ­ they do little planning ­ they fail to consider the risk ­ current research shows that unsophisticated crime are committed by unsophisticated criminals ­ most of them are young 16-25 years old, have less than a secondary school education, come from a low socio-economic background and have a drug/ alcohol problem ­ rarely plan their crimes, wear rarely or minimal disguise, steal small sums of cash and seem unconcerned about getting caught The Financial Gains are Small ­ robbery usually provides small sums of money ­ burglary and robbery bring in small cash rewards of under $100 ­ since robbery pays so little, the proceeds are spent quickly and offenders soon return for more ­ robbery is a crime that is usually repeated until they are arrested Stranger and Victim ­ most robberies occurred away from the victim’s residence ­ they may target persons or businesses known to them but they are likely to disguise themselves to avoid being identified o the insider-offender will have the advantage that he/she is more familiar with the setting, the victim’s habits and the potential gain ­ robberies by acquaintances appear to evolve out of illicit sexual or drug activities where a brief relationship may have existed between the offender and the victim o in these cases, the victim may fail to report the incident Victim Confrontation ­ robbery was one of the first types of behavior codified into law 1 ­ robbery is generally classified as an offence against the person b/c the offender confronts a victim and uses violence to steal money or other valuables ­ court consider the psychological or emotional trauma that victims experience, which has resulted in increasing the seriousness of the crime in sentencing Gibbon argues that although robbers sometimes threaten or use force, it is essentially incidental to the real purpose of the crime- to relieve the victim of money or other personal property Haran and Martin similarly refer to bank robbery as property crime, and suggests that the range of penalties in the US courts should be reduced from the life sentences Normandeau points out that robbery is also an assault and differs from other property offences in that the perpetrator physically confronts and dominates the victim Luckenbill defines the core element of robbery as the transformation of interaction between the offender and target from some routine frame, such as that between a customer and clerk, to the robbery frame ­ the robbery frame consists of two elements (1) to avoid death or serious injury, (2) the offender should control the target’s conduct by means of force Letkemman differentiates between offences committed surreptitiously (burglary) and overt crimes such as robbery, which involve direct confrontation with the victim ­ surreptitious criminals avoid their victims, robbery requires that the offender interact with their target ­ he uses the term ‘management” to differential this process from what might be termed “victim manipulation” ­ robbers employ a number of techniques (1) choose vulnerable victims (2) they use speed and surprise to control their victims, (3) they use a weapon and/or threats and violence to gain compliance ­ he argues that skills associated with robbery include those necessary for the management and manipulation of people ­ victim management is a skill that the robbery must develop to be successful in this type of crime ­ robbers must be willing to face the possibility of resistance ­ they must consider these risks: they may be hurt or they may hurt the victim b/c of victim resistance; they may be identified by the victim who is now a witness; the police or other witnesses may intervene and they may receive a lengthy sentence if they are caught ­ robbers must learn to avoid identification, apprehension and conviction TYPES OF ROBERIES ­ three distinct types based on victim/target characteristics: (a) mugging of individuals; (b) commercial robberies; (c) and bank and other financial institution holdups MUGGING Mugging- the act of robbery committed in public and semi-public places against individuals involved in their everyday activities o the attack is immediately threatening b/c the victim fears for their safety and life if the transaction does not proceed smoothly o victim is usually accosted by a stranger who uses force with a weapon to gain compliance o the mugging usually takes place in a secluded area in which the victim s vulnerable and isolated ­ robbers may use stealth and surprise to overcome their victims, this type of attack is “blind-side mugging” o relies on physical speed and agility ­ another technique is to choose victims who are particularly vulnerable, ex. intoxicated which is known as “jackrolling” o drunk victims are attractive to young robbers o like blind-side muggings, they feel secure that they won’t be identified ­ robbers may use trickery to lure victims to an appropriate place to be robbed 2 ­ the classic strategy is “the Murphy” takes advantage of a moral weakness built in the victim’s physical desires o ex. a prostitute may lure a customer to a private place, where he is assaulted by a stickup man while she mysteriously vanishes, his prospects of pleasure abruptly fold up and disappear, like a Murphy bed COMMERCIAL ROBBERIES ­ includes holdups of persons in the process of conducting business ­ robberies of retail businesses ­ taxi holdups have characteristics of both commercial and noncommercial robberies b/c the river is engaged in business but is victimized in a manner similar to mugging o still treated as commercial robberies since they are business activities which make them an attractive and easily approachable target o taxi drivers have adopted strategies to deter robbers and minimize their financial loss if a robbery occurs THE ROBBERY OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ­ they have policies that make them difficult targets o banks aren’t isolated, do not operate in the late evening and more than one person are working o located in busy area, large number of staff and use cameras, silent alarms, lock safes and time locks o controlled entrances ­ financial institutions are better prepared to deal with robbery and represent an intimidating target to robbers ­ the ones who rob banks are older than those in muggings and commercial robberies ­ they view muggers as “[inks” who “make it hot for everybody” THE ROBBERY RATE ­ gun usage has not increased in robberies but use of other offensive weapons has increased significant may be part of the gun-control provisions of the 1977 Bill, which provides an additional one year to the sentence of anyone convicted of using a firearm during a robbery ­ Quebec and British Columbia were the only provinces to record a robbery with a fire arm in 1992 that was higher than the national average of 32 per 100, 000 population ­ Robbery rats in the US is 2-3 times higher than in Canada Blau and Blau suggest that the higher U robbery date may be due to the higher level of income inequality and economic disparity in the US, which create potentially violent situations ­ most of the increase in bank robberies in the 1980s-1990s reflects the emerge of the “beggar bandit” the robber who works alone, enters the bank, and passes a note to the teller demanding “begging for” money ­ the rates of violence in general have increased at about the same pace as robbery and armed robbery since 1960s ­ one explanation to explain increasing crime rates is the demographic hypothesis o the “baby boom” of the postwar years led to a large increase of the teenage population in the 1960s-1970s and this demographic tend coincided with the rise of crime in Canada and the US ­ another explanation is the increase of hard drugs o drug usage is associated with crime since drug users turn to crime to support their addiction Conklin suggests that the increased availability and ownership of firearms may also affect crime rate ­ two young men in the study indicated that they had moved from break and enter to robbery after finding a handgun in one of the homes that they had burgled o the guns provided the means to commit robbery 3 o the greater ability of guns in the US may explain why the US robbery rate is always higher than Canada URBANIZATION AND ROBBERY ­ increase sin crime since WW2 esp 1960s, has happened worldwide ­ theorists tried to explain this phenomenon by pointing to the trends towards increased urbanization and the social dislocation that this entails Phillip Cook calls robbery the “quintessential urban crime” due to the anonymity of city life and the virtually unlimited number of targets in an urban centre ­ robberies are committed in large urban areas ­ 90% of bank holds up occur in the three most populous provinces, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec ­ Montreal is the robbery capital of Canada ­ There is a positive linear relationship between the size of American cities and their robbery rates ­ Theoretical perspectives have tried to explain the connection between urban centres and crime including (a) social disorganization theory (b)inequality theory, (c) demographic hypotheses and (d) opportunity, routine activity and social control theory ­ According to social disorganization theory, urbanization is equated with a heterogeneous population, anonymity, lack of common values, lack of family controls and a weakening of interpersonal ties, primary relations and normative consensus o Argues that fewer persons in urban areas are effectively controlled by internalized value systems and informal social control mechanisms Radzinowicz and King argue that city life offers increased criminal opportunities and fewer controls over behavior ­ researchers concluded that increased opportunities to engage in rime do not themselves result in higher crime rates, there must be factors that motivate potential offenders to break the law ­ these theories suggest that crime results from poverty either through absolute or relative deprivation ­ absolute deprivation explanations focus on the criminogenic conditions of life experienced by the poor and oppressed in the slums of our cities ­ Merton’s anomie theory suggests that the important motivational component for certain crimes is deprivation or inequality in the face of plenty ­ Opportunity theory emphasizes the crime-eliciting potential of immediate circumstances or situations o Suggest that certain features of the urban environment increase opportunity for crime ­ Robbers prefer urban areas b/c there are a large numbers of potential targets, many opportunities to escape anonymously into the crowd, and easy access to transportation ­ Routine activities theory argues that crime rates are affected not only by absolute size of the supply of offenders, targets or guardianship but also by the factors affecting the frequency of their convergence in space and time CHARACTERISTICS OF OFFENDERS AGE OF OFFENDERS ­ muggings are more likely to be committed by youthful or teenage offenders and bank robberies by men in their twenties o maybe b/c young people have less experience with banks and find them more intimidating ­ robbery is more often a group activity for young offenders THE AGE-CRIME CURVE ­ crime rates increases fro the minimum age of criminal responsibility to reach a peak in the teenage years; it then declines rapidly throughout life ­ social control theory points out that although young children are influenced by elders, they gradually break away and become influenced by peers, who may encourage offending 4 ­ the rate of offending declines in the twenties as peer influences give way to family influence, except now family influence originates in spouses rather than parents ­ young offenders are less scare of prison sentences than older men who have already served time Greenburg argues that juveniles have financial needs but are excluded from the labor market or limited to part-time, they have to commit crime MALE VERUS FEMALE CRIMINALITY ­ when woman are involved in robbery, they usually act with men ­ woman involvement in crime is assumed to be under-represented compared with men’s involvement b/c woman are less likely to be arrested, prosecuted and convicted ­ female offenders infrequently use force against a person (robbery) or enter a structure illegally (burglary) in crimes of theft ­ anomie theory suggests that differential male involvement in crime occurs b/c monetary success goals are more acutely applied to men than woman ­ “power control theory” maintains that gender differences in criminal conduct are tooted in historical changes that have assigned men and woman to different social realms and created differences in the kinds of social control to which each gender group is subjected ­ another explanation is that woman are often portrayed as less capable of acting in physical aggression and males are socialized to be more aggressive SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, RACE, AND ETHNICITY ­ robberies are committed more by men in lower socioeconomic class ­ anomie and opportunity theory explain the financial need among the lower socio-economic class ­ conflict theory focuses on discrimination and racism ­ social control theory attributes higher crime rates to the social disorganization of poor urban neighborhoods and differential association theory explains how a tradition of robbery within urban neighborhoods can be passed on to younger generations ­ for young urban black males raised in the ghettos, robbers are role models and represent the anti-hero who challenges the establishment ­ robbery is attractive to young offenders b/c it allows them to experience a sense of power DRUG USAGE AND ROBBERY ­ Drug addiction hypothesis assumptions: the drug is addictive and produces withdrawal symptoms if stopped, increased usage result in increased tolerance, which means that greater quantities must be used to achieve the same effect; increased tolerance leads to increased usage and higher costs; and the higher costs force the addict to commit crimes to pay for the drugs ­ An alternative hypothesis is the ‘criminalization”: through criminal associations, the individual is introduced to illegal drugs and both crime and drugs are used and maintained ­ Drug use chances over time and different stages of drug usage influence the drug/crime connection o During the “occasional user” phase, drug use can be sustained with a legitimate income, and any criminal activity is often quite spurious to drug use o “stabilized junkie” and “free-wheeling junkie” periods are the level of drug use in related to available, which is typically enhanced through criminal income UNEMPLOYMENT AND ROBBERY ­ unemployment and crime have a positive and negative impact on crime rats, by increasing the motivation and decreasing he opportunity for criminal activity FAMILY BACKGROUND ­ most robbery offenders are unmarried and unattached at the time of their offence OFFENDER TYPOLOGIES ­ typologies are ideal-type construct based on and abstracted from the real world ­ offender typologies are derived from an analysis of research on specific offenders and aim to simplify reality by highlighting the criminal’s defining characteristics 5 ­ typologies can be based on criminal activities or on characteristics of the offender or a combination of both; they are constructed to assist in the understanding of criminal behavior ad the development of theoretical explanations; and they are sometimes used to assist criminal investigations Gabor et al. classify robbers into four types (1) the chronic offender has a long career, commits many other offense, is poorly prepared and gains moderate amounts from this crime (2) the professional also has a long career and commits other offences but is better prepared and makes larger profits (3) the intensive has a very short career, commits poorly planned robberies in quick succession and brings in modest sums of money (4) the occasional offender also has a fairly short career in armed robbery, commits only a small number of robberies relative to other crimes, puts little planning into their rime and receives minimal profits Haron and Martin have constructed a typology based on the career patterns of 500 bank robbers and their degree of involvement in crime as a way of life (1) the heavy-career typology (29%) consists of bank robbers with 4 or more convictions for property crimes including bank robbery (2) the casual group consists o robbers with 2-3 property convictions (25%) (3) the compulsive typology (24%) includes heroin and alcohol addicts whose thefts are related to their drug abuse (4) the amateurs (22%) have no more than one property-crime convictions Camp differentiates three criminal life situations of bank robbers using the source of income and types of associates (1) individuals who derive their income from legitimate sources are classified as noncriminal (2) quasi-criminal combine legitimate and illegitimate income and (3) criminal group earn a living through illegitimate means and associate primarily with other criminals Conklin’s typology of robbers is based on motivational factors, modes of operation, and degree of involvement in criminal activity (1) the professional views criminal activities as work/trade, belongs to a gang, and carefully plans their crimes (2) the opportunists or amateur- either a juvenile or young adult- selects the most vulnerable targets (3) the drug addict is marginally involved in robbery but will commit a holdup to support his/her drug habit and (4) the alcoholic steals to continue drinking TYPOLOGIES AND THE REAL WORLD- CRIME SPECIALIZATION ­ few criminals concentrate on a single kind of criminality therefore it is hard to classify criminals into career types since most exhibit diversity rather than specialization in their offences ­ critics argue that typologies oversimplify reality and attempt to abstract types that do not exist by assuming an unrealistic degree of offender specialization ­ most subjects began their careers in crime by committing burglaries, auto thefts and drug trafficking before moving into armed robbery CRIMINAL RECIDIVISTS ­ terms used to describe tem “intensive” “repeat” offenders, “professionals” “violent predators”, “heavies”, “habitual criminals” and “career criminals” ­ bank robbers tends to be career crimianls ­ they are committed to crime as a way of life and who are responsible for a disproportionate number of the most serious crimes ­ “heavy criminals” are those who use violence and threats of violence in commission of their offences ­ two provocative Rand Corporation used an occupational perspective to classify offender types o the first one was based on self reports and official records of 49 “habitual” armed robbers serving time in California prisons  average 39 years of age, had lengthy criminal records, and admitted to committing an average of 214 offense in nine categories of crime  were not specialists in armed robbery and committed a variety of offences o the second one surveyed over 2, 200 prison inmates  the majority of offenders were occasional criminals who dabbled in crime and had ben employed prior to being imprisoned  the “violent predator” was found to begin his criminal career before age 16, frequently committed violent and property crimes before age 18, and was involved in robbery, drug dealing, and assault 6 Wright and Rossi’s questionnaire survey identified a small group of intensive offenders whom they dubbed “handgun predators” and who committed more than a few drug deals, robberies and assaults o not criminal specialists but they are “omnibus felons”- criminal opportunists prone to commit virtually ay kind of crime o serious criminals commonly begin their careers from age 14-17 ­ the criminal career does not appear to be a career of increasing skill and sophistication but the reverse, a career that starts with little of either and goes downhill from there GARDEN-VARIETY OFFENDERS ­ garden variety or cafeteria style offender is meant to reflect the fact that most criminals have committed a variety of offences ­ they engage frequently in property crimes ­ “occasional”, “compulsive”, “casual” “opportunists”, “amateurs”, “addicts/alcoholics” and “Semi- professionals” ­ their crimes are usually crude, lack planning and result in small profits ­ have average intelligence, come from socially and economically deprived neighborhoods, and numerous contacts with police, etc ­ all predatory crime is committed by full or part-time criminals who are recidivists o it’s common in north America o many predatory crimes are one-time acts by individuals who lead law-aiding lives CRIMINAL CAREERS AND CAREER CRIMINALS THE CRIMINAL CAREERS CONTROVERSY ­ criminal careers used to describe a course or progress through life, whereas the concept focuses on serious offenders who are committed to crime as a way of life ­ criminal careers are characterized during a lifetime by a beginning (onset or initiation), a duration (career length) and an end (dropout or termination) ­ career criminals persons who commit serious offences at high rates and over extended periods ­ a defining feature for most offenders is a short-term orientation- a tendency to pursue immediate pleasure despite the consequences o another is social disability- a tendency to experience difficulty in managing the ordinary tasks in life CHAPTER 3- The Motivation to Robbery RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY AND CRIME ­ robbery is an irrational act when small potential rewards are weighed against risks ­ rational choice theory suggests that criminal decision-making is characterized by a very rudimentary cost-benefit analysis ­ choice theory analyzes decisions of a more tactical nature relating to the criminal event itself, including th
More Less

Related notes for SOC 229

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.