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Burglary reduction and the myth of displacement

Media Release

01 August 2002

There is a common view that targeted anti-burglary initiatives move burglary from the targeted area to other areas. A Canberra police operation Operation Anchorage shows that this is not so.

Burglary Reduction and the Myth of Displacement, by Dr Jerry Ratcliffe uses statistical evaluation to find that the Australian Federal Police were successful in significantly reducing the level of burglary in Canberra, and, that their activities did not appear to significantly displace burglary to other areas.

The research found that offenders may have believed police efforts were city-wide rather than geographically focussed, prolific offenders were removed early in the initiative, and, the opportunity structures in non-targeted areas did not change. The lack of displacement in the findings can be attributed to these interacting factors.

"The implications for broader policy are that crime reduction initiatives can be successful without merely moving crime into another place", said Dr Adam Graycar when releasing the report.