Australian Institute of Criminology

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The stolen property market in the Australian Capital Territory

Diana Nelson, Lisa Collins and Frances Gant

Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, October 2002

Abstract

One way of reducing the number of burglaries and thefts may be to make the disposal of stolen property more difficult. In order to intervene in this illegal trade, authorities need to know what burglars and thieves do with the property they steal. With this in mind, the A.C.T. Department of Justice and Community Safety commissioned the Australian Institute of Criminology to conduct research into the A.C.T.'s stolen property market. Based on interviews with community based property offenders and with second hand dealers, a public survey, analysis of insurance data and analysis of recorded crime data, this study aims to explain what happens to property in the A.C.T. after it has been stolen. The study focuses on the following key areas: sources of stolen property in the A.C.T. (that is, the types of locations from which goods are most frequently stolen); what time thefts occur; what goods are stolen (type of item and the amount received when sold); a profile of property offenders (including motives, frequency of stealing and methods employed); methods used to dispose of stolen goods (including those preferred by offenders); and the extent to which goods are recovered. The report also considers the effectiveness of deterrent measures and the costs of the stolen property market to the A.C.T. community, and discusses policy implications for reducing the amount of stolen goods and generally disrupting the market.