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This good practice guide is designed for Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to help them minimise the risk of people becoming offenders.

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This guide, which was commissioned by the National Audit Office following its report on Reducing Vehicle Crime, provides an analysis of the characteristics of offenders who engage in thefts from motor vehicles. It suggests a number of strategies for identifying potential offenders and helping to prevent them becoming offenders. The strategies focus on generic social crime prevention measures for non-offenders who might be at risk in future, through to specific, targeted interventions for known offenders.

The report examines ways of addressing thefts from vehicles by focusing on the offender. This should be viewed in the wider context of problem solving in which the solution to this particular problem may take into account the targets of theft (the vehicles and their contents), the locations in which vehicles are parked, and the potential victims of theft, as well as the offender. The location / victim / offender approach is often known as the Problem Analysis Triangle. This paper focuses on the offender because it is the least understood side of the problem analysis triangle for tackling thefts from motor vehicles.

The key to minimising the risk of people becoming offenders is to understand the nature of the offenders and to develop interventions that help to influence the likelihood of those people becoming involved in this type of crime.

The guide is divided into seven main sections:

  • The nature and extent of thefts from motor vehicles
  • The characteristics of theft from motor vehicle offenders
  • Identifying ways to target offenders
  • Preventing individuals from starting theft from motor vehicles
  • Preventing offenders from continuing to commit theft from motor vehicles
  • Combining interventions
  • Possible interventions