For Hometown News
The Daytona Beach Police Department received an Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award at the International Association of Chiefs of Police's annual conference on Oct. 19 in Philadelphia.
The department was recognized for its collaboration with a University of Cambridge doctoral student whose research developed a new tool for law enforcement that addresses the problematic crime of burglary.
Bryanna Hahn Fox analyzed 405 randomly selected and solved burglaries that took place in Volusia County between 2008 and 2009. The offense and arrest records were collected for each burglary as well as a criminal history of each offender. She worked with Daytona detectives and crime analysts to create offender profiles based on different styles of burglaries.
Through her extensive research, Ms. Fox identified four styles of burglaries -- organized, disorganized, opportunistic and interpersonal offenses.
Her research showed there were definite patterns and each style of burglary is committed by burglars with a unique set of traits and criminal histories. Her research showed when police departments used the burglary profiles, they had nearly four times as many burglary arrests, compared to the police departments that did not use the profiles, despite having nearly identical arrest rates at the start of the experiment. Ms. Fox's research is valuable because burglary is one of the most common crimes in the U.S., but it has the lowest clearance rate of all major offenses.
In 2011, there were 2.1 million burglaries reported in the U.S., but only 277,877 or 12.7 percent were solved. The average burglary victim suffers more than $2,000 in property losses, and the total cost for law enforcement resources, insurance payouts and economic impact is estimated at $22,000 per burglary.
In Daytona Beach, the number of burglaries has steadily declined in recent years. Since 2004, burglaries have decreased nearly 50 percent. In 2004 there were 1,597 burglaries in the city; in 2012, there were 801. Burglary arrests have also increased 64 percent since 2008.
Ms. Fox graduated from the University of Cambridge in May with a doctorate in psychological criminology. She is an assistant professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa where she teaches forensic psychology.