A crisis can happen at any part of the day and it can range from an attack or even whether or not you make it to work on time. Burglaries are the crisis that I choose to explore. I will explore the certain parts that take place in a burglary by taking you through the actually crime, what happens when the police get there, and how the victims deal with this type of crisis. First of all the definition of a burglary is the unlawful entering of a building or premises with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Just because the entry is unlawful does not mean that there was a use of force.
According to the FBI there are three types of burglaries: forcible entry, unlawful entry without force and attempted forced entry (FBI). According to the NCJRS most burglaries are committed during the daytime and are normally forcible entry (NCJRS). Although based on the NCVS report the amount of burglaries that have occurred went from around six million in 1993 to in 2011 the new number was almost four million (BJS). So it has dropped over the years Based on the rising technology and it being harder to get away with crimes.
What normally occurs when a burglary happens is either a neighbor notices and calls it in, a family member maybe in the house, or the family finds the mess when they come home and call it in. The second one is the less common of those three incidences. After the police arrive on the scene they try to determine what type of entry it was if there is any evidence left behind and what was stolen. During this time they will have to interact with the victim of the crime to determine the time the burglary took place, what damage has occurred, and what is missing.
The police then are in charge of catching the person that committed the crime and hopefully soon so the victims can sleep better at night. The penalty for burglary depends on the charge and varies from one jurisdiction to another. Burglaries can be classified as misdemeanors and even sometimes felonies, based on intent and jurisdiction. A misdemeanor is a lesser offense and can be punishable with a fine, rehabilitative program, a probationary period, and jail time. The jail time normally assigned for a misdemeanor is a year or less and it is normally served in a county or local jail.
Misdemeanors are typically tried in low local courts within the city. A felony can also be referred to as a high crime and is defined as a more serious crime. These crimes are usually punishable with a fine, a rehabilitative program, a probationary period and jail time. Usually jail time for a felony is over one year and is served in a state prison or federal prison. Some jurisdictions require a grand jury indictment to bring felony charges against an individual (FBI). When a burglary occurs it can have a significant impact on the victims and the environment in which they live.
Some of the consequences to the victim of the crime is the property they lost, damage to there property, psychological, financial injury and also if they were there maybe even a physical injury. All the victims did was to live in a house and to leave there house. All of these consequences take a toll on the victims. Victims feel distraught if they are burglarized because it is an invasion of their homes by strangers with no respect for property (CVS). Two of the consequences for the victims are the loss of property and the damage that has been done. These two can normally be helped the victims insurance.
If you have insurance on your house normally the insurance company will compensate you for the items and damage done to your house. Not all people have insurance and so when the victim is caught he will be asked to pay for the damages. The psychological consequences can affect someone so severely that they barricade themselves in their property. It can also be very upsetting, and especially in the case of elderly people, paranoia can set in. The victims are so scared and fear they will never be safe in their homes again and that it could happen again.
Victims of burglaries have died in house fires because their homes were so tightly secured that the fire services could not reach them and they couldn’t escape in time. For example in Kent, May 2000, a case was reported in which 2 elderly people were overcome by fumes when trapped by a fire in their bungalow. The police reported that they had 3 locks on each door and another 3 locks on each internal door (CVS). Another part of psychological is that burglary also stops people from trusting one another so there is no solidarity.
Some victims think why did this happen to my house and not there’s? Did someone in my neighborhood do it? How did the person now I wasn’t going to be home? It has to be someone I know. It raises those types of questions to the victims. Another consequence is financial injury when a burglary happens maybe the victim had a safe and all there money was stolen out of it or they didn’t have insurance. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck and when a crisis like this occurs some can’t financially deal with.
Even if they do have insurance they could have to pay a deductible which normally ranges between one hundred to five hundred dollars. This may cause the victim to not be able to pay one of their bills or maybe even a few. An example of this Mr. and Mrs. Travis home and furniture was vandalized so bad they ended up having to leave there house and go live in a apartment because they couldn’t pay for the damage. In turn they not only lost there house but lost there friends because they had to move so far away. Another example of this is Ms.
Ladd she had money within her apartment that was stolen and she didn’t have any insurance so she ended up not being able to pay her heat and electric for the month. Since she didn’t pay it there were late charges and a charge to turn them back on which she could not afford so she went without for several months until she could afford to turn it back on (CVS). It’s so sad to hear these stories and not be able to do something. Another issue that can arise from burglaries occur often in the same area is the diminishment of property.
If an area is a hotspot for burglaries, it will suffer visually, with broken windows and rubbish outside the houses. These negative images tend to turnoff potential buyers into the area. Existing locals may choose to move away from the area, causing abandoned buildings to add to the feel of poverty in the area. This in turn will have an effect on the local economy. If the amount of money being projected into the local area is decreasing, then as poverty increases, so will crime, as crime and poverty tend to go hand in hand.
The danger of all these initiatives is that they may simply displace crime to another crime to another area. Burglary may be reduced in the particular area where schemes are in place, but overall level of burglary remains the same. How can victims react in order to make them feel safe? The victims can either work individually or collectively to protect their property. Individually they can install alarms, walls, fences, window locks, security lighting and guard dogs to protect their property. If they didn’t have it before they can take out adequate insurance to cover their losses.
If the victims don’t have the money they could always install a “fake alarm”. It looks like a real burglar alarm and is placed outside the house to deceive anyone thinking of burgling the house. These tend to be fairly effective, as the burglar can’t tell the difference between the fake and the real thing. They are usually used by those who cannot afford to get a proper alarm, or those who have a hectic lifestyle, with people constantly going in and out of the house, meaning they’re not practical.
Those were ideas of what an individual victim can do. A neighborhood as a whole could help out and try to prevent another burglary from happening in the neighborhood. Things they could do is form a neighborhood watch and watch form inside their homes. They could also try to organize a patrol by having neighborhood meetings and setting up certain times that each person would patrol. They could make sure that someone is always home in the neighborhood to make sure the offender is caught and so that it doesn’t occur again.
The police and government agencies have taken certain precautions to try and bring down the burglary rate. Such as community policing, the use of cameras, larger penalties imposed by courts, free or low cost security devices, and advertisement on the television or in newspapers. They also offer victim support which helps victims affected by crime such as burglary. This includes support such as counseling, advice on how to deal with insurance companies, emergency repairs, and loss of documents and how to obtain compensation.
It seems that these ideas are very successful, and hopefully these ideas can influence and inspire other areas to deal with burglary effectively. Burglaries are still occurring everyday so we as a community need to still be active and try to prevent them from happening. Before I did research on this topic I didn’t really realize how much a victim could be affected and all of the circumstances surrounding the crime. I’m happy to know that the police have set up certain measures to help out the victims after the crime has taken place.
Courtney from Study Moose
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