Violent street crime: Making sense of seemingly senseless acts

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    This paper explores the extent to which street crime can be explained by rational factors associated with the successful commission of the offence or social factors related to street culture. The study is based on qualitative interviews with 55 violent street offenders who were serving sentences for street robbery and assault in six prisons in the UK. The findings identified five main motives for street violence: (1) instrumental motives relating to the specific objectives of the offence (for example, obtaining cash or goods in the case of robbery or inflicting harm in the case of assault), (2) for the buzz and excitement, (3) to express anger, (4) to achieve status and honour, and (5) to inflict informal justice. The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to research and crime prevention.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171 - 180
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Review of Law, Computers and Technology
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2008


    • violence
    • rationality
    • culture


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