Scholars have been quick to document the demographics characteristics relating to the decision to commit criminal act of burglary. These characteristics indicate the group of people in the society who are prone to committing residential burglary. Key among the people identified for unauthorised breaking into people’s households includes poor young males. As much as these characteristics clearly identify common burglars, it is short of mentioning the actual causes of residential burglary. This is because studies indicate that majority of poor young males do not frequently engage in criminal offenses apart from the fact that they are not serious criminal offenders. The motivation for criminal acts of residential burglary is certainly an important area of assessments. For instance, the direct cause of residential burglary has been considered a perceptual process through which the offense comes to be seen as a means of meeting an immediate need. In most cases of residential burglary, the motivation to commit crime comes in the face of perceived urgent need for cash. In other words, the pressing need for liquid cash to meet urgent expenditure has been associated with vast cases of residential burglary.
Most research indicates that majority of offenders approximately 90% cited the need for money as the main reason from breaking into people households. The need for cash to cater for immediate problems rather than saving money to meet future monetary needs has turned out burglary to be an issue of day-to-day survival. This is a clear indication that the frequency of committing residential burglary solely based on the amount of cash in the pockets of the offenders. In other words an offender is not likely to break into someone’s dwelling if he has money to cater for his daily expenditure requirements. It is unfortunate that most offenders do not consider saving as a priority but rather spend it on one or more of the following needs: (i) To “keep the party going” (ii)To keep up appearances (iii) To keep themselves and their families fed, clothed and sheltered.
Keeping the party going
Despite the fact that most offenders often cite urgent need for cash to meet current expenses studies indicate that approximately 75% of offenders reveal spending their money on high living especially drugs to be in particular crack cocaine. This kind of habit has been labelled as “dialectical, self-controlled systems “since they exhibit a “false structure” or internal logic which makes individuals demonstrate little regard for law as they prioritize their need to meet their urge particularly drug use. This kind of events explains that offenders engage in criminal offence without significant calculation taking into consideration that offenders often engage in a particular activity-crack smoking voluntarily and they will continue to engage in residential burglary to sustain that high life. Apart from spending on controlled substances and alcohol consumption approximately 15% of sampled burglars revealed spending money from burglary to purchase sexual conquests. This is because sexual conquest is considered a prized symbol of happiness and high status among male peers.
Keeping up appearance
Research indicate that at least 45% of offenders reveals spending proceeds from burglary to purchase status items with the most popular one being clothing in order to portray an image of self to others on the street. Another major status item bought by burglars includes cars and car accessories.
Keeping things together
Approximately 50% of the sampled burglars indicate that they used proceeds from burglary to pay bills. However meeting bills has never been a priority to much of the offenders as most of them use their cash to buy drugs and other items of status. The lavish and irresponsible spending by most offenders (burglars) is considered the major reason for frequent commission of crime. Burglars have also indicated little regard for conscious spending patterns, as they do not hesitate to spend on anything a situation that leaves them with no alternative rather than commit crime.
Reasons for Burglary
Questions have been asked why most offenders choose burglary as a means of meeting urgent cash needs over legitimate sources of cash. The immediate desire for cash, which cannot be met through daily labour, has been partly associated with burglary. Most offenders have also cited that jobs available for them come with poor pay and as such cannot sustain high living. 18% of the sampled offenders were legitimately employed while 44% of the unemployed considered abandoning crime if they got a good job.
Seduction of residential burglary
Other criminal offenders have indicated that their engagement in residential burglary transcends the need to meet urgent cash requirements. For instance 6% of the sampled burglars indicate that they committed the offense not for cash but as much for psychic rewards. Majority of the offenders broke into people’s homes as a demonstration of personal competence as they try to avoid risk challenges inherent in the crime. Burglaries are not only a source of excitement to the offenders but a chance to prove your worth by completing a dangerous act. Additional it has also been found to provide an opportunity for individual offenders to demonstrate a sense of control and mastery over their lives.