Honour among thieves? How morality and rationality influence the decision-making processes of convicted domestic burglars
AbstractGaining the offender perspective is central to understanding domestic burglary, and is well documented. This article presents findings from 30 semi-structured interviews with convicted domestic burglars conducted in Greater Manchester, UK. The findings support the dominant supposition that domestic burglars operate within a bounded rationality, broadly calculating reward and risk in the commission of their offences. In addition, it was found that a sense of abstracted morality impacted on decision making. Burglars used cognitive 'codes of practice' which influenced target appraisal, shaped modus operandi, guided the search process and impacted on items stolen. The findings suggest that the role of neutralization techniques and morality should be (re)incorporated into the understanding of domestic burglars as rational offenders.