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Suburb boundaries and residential burglars


The paper "Suburb Boundaries and Residential Burglars" released by the Australian Institute of Criminology reveals that, during the study period, over three-quarters (77 per cent) of residential burglary offenders in the ACT committed offences in suburbs other than their home neighbourhood. Additionally, 58 per cent of residential burglary offenders travelled across more than one suburb boundary to commit their offence. Analysis of data showed that in some cases (see figure below), the presence of more potential targets in the offender's home suburb increased the likelihood that the offender targeted residents in that neighbourhood. However, even when most targets within an offender's criminal range were in the offender's home suburb, many offenders still chose to travel further afield beyond the suburb boundary, suggesting that suburb boundaries are not influential in offender decision-making.

Distribution of burglaries by potential targets in offenders home suburb



  • Ratcliffe, J.H. 2003, "Suburb Boundaries and Residential Burglars", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 246, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

Cite article

2003. Suburb boundaries and residential burglars. Crime facts info no. 49. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. https://aic.gov.au/publications/cfi/cfi049