Australian Psychologist, November 2006; 41(3): 219 – 226

Analysing the offence locations and residential base of serial arsonists in New Zealand

MICHAEL J. EDWARDS & RANDOLPH C. GRACE
Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Abstract The purpose of the present paper was to test the applicability of the Canter and Larkin (1993) circle theory of environmental range for offending by serial arsonists in New Zealand. Police files for 45 serial arsonists convicted between 1988 and 2003 were obtained, and maps were produced for each offender indicating arson sites as well as the home address at the time of offending. Criminal range circles produced according to the Canter and Larkin method encompassed all offences in 84% of cases, consistent with prior research. Offenders were classified as marauders or commuters depending on whether the home base was contained within the criminal range circle. Contrary to previous research, a predominant marauder pattern was not found; the present sample was equally divided between marauders and commuters. Regressions of distance between home base and furthest offence on the distance between the two furthest offences yielded a slope of 0.93, indicating that for marauder offenders, the home base tended to be situated eccentrically near the circumference of the criminal range circle. No demographic or offence-related variables were found that reliably differentiated between marauders and commuters. Overall, these results suggest that the criminal range circle may provide only limited information for predicting the home base of serial arsonists in New Zealand.

Psychological profiling is an investigative strategy used by law enforcement authorities that attempts to generate a detailed description of an unknown offender (Bartol & Bartol, 1994; Egger, 1999). From a practical standpoint, one of the most important items to help identify an offender is their place of residence. For serial offenders, the locations of crimes can provide useful clues regarding the offender’s residence. As a result, geographical profiling (i.e., analysis of the spatial distribution of crime sites) has become a focus of research in forensic psychology (Rossmo, 1997). However, Australasian research on geographical profiling has been limited, and there have been no studies to date conducted within New Zealand. One of the most important assumptions in geographical profiling is that the selection of offence sites is related to the residential address or home base of the offender. Brantingham and Brantingham (1981) suggested that the everyday behaviour of offenders (and law-abiding citizens) defined an ‘‘activity space’’. Because individuals return to their

home base or domicile after moving through their activity space, it is reasonable to expect that mental representations (‘‘cognitive maps’’) of significant environmental features would be determined to a large extent by the location of their home. Thus, serial offending may reveal a ‘‘domocentric’’ pattern with respect to the offender’s residential base. An early pioneering study was conducted by White (1932, cited in Pyle, 1974), who examined 481 cases of crime against people and property in Indianapolis. White analysed distances from the offender’s residence to their offence locations. The study had two important findings. First, that crimes against people were committed extremely close to the offender’s home (mean distance of 0.84 miles [1.35 km]); and second, that crimes against property were committed at more considerable distances from the offender’s residence (mean distance of 1.72 miles [2.77 km]). White suggested that property offenders were more likely to move out of their neighbourhoods to commit their crimes, in contrast to those offending against persons. White’s results were consistent with

Correspondence: R. C. Grace, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. E-mail: Randolph.grace@canterbury.ac.nz ISSN 0005-0067 print/ISSN 1742-9544 online Ó The Australian Psychological Society Ltd Published by Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/00050060600637626

Canter and Larkin (1993) proposed an influential model that is relevant for geographical profiling: the circle theory of environmental range. but rather that ‘‘it is an appreciable distance from the area in which he [sic] habitually operates as a non-offender’’ (Canter & Larkin. there is no overlap between the location of the criminal range and the offender’s home base. Thus. the offender moves out from his or her home base to commit crimes and then returns once the offence is completed. Thus. Canter and Larkin (1993) provided support for their theory based on a study of 45 serial rapists in London. This suggests that serial rapists may operate in a limited geographic area. Note that in terms of distinguishing between the commuter and marauder models the home range circle does not need to be specified. and there is significant overlap between the home range and criminal range. p. which. Figure 2. Canter and Larkin suggested a simple procedure: The criminal range was the circle whose diameter was a line drawn between the two offence sites furthest apart. The procedure developed for the home range hypothesis concerns the relationships between two variables: the distance between the two furthest a later study by Amir (1971). . who had committed an average of 5. 1993). is an area familiar to the offender in which they operate in all noncriminal activities. Note that this hypothesis does not imply that the criminal range is unfamiliar to the offender. The offence sites tend to be distributed systematically around the home base. the home-range hypothesis applies only to those offenders whose criminal behaviour is consistent with the marauder model. which differ in terms of whether or not the home base is located within the criminal range. The commuter model of spatial behaviour (Adapted from Canter & Larkin. and suggests that the geographical distribution of crimes may provide information about the home base. Figure 1. 1993. and Canter and Larkin did not propose a method for doing so. who found that crime locations of serial rapists in Philadelphia tended to radiate outward from a fixed point. similar to the Brantingham and Brantingham (1981) activity space. They further proposed two possible models of the spatial distribution of offending: the commuter and marauder models. 1993). Edwards & R. As shown in Figure 1. 65). Canter and Larkin assumed that both the criminal range and home range could be adequately described as circles. They also found that 39 (87%) of these offenders lived within the proposed circle. They found that for 91% of the offenders. Although there is a variety of ways in which the criminal range could be specified. They proposed that if criminals are offending within a circular criminal range. in accord with the circle theory of environmental range. They distinguished between the ‘‘criminal range’’.220 M. Grace According to this model. and the ‘‘home range’’. all the crime sites were contained within the criminal range circle constructed as described above. The second model of the circle theory proposed by Canter and Larkin (1993) is the marauder model. which is a region that includes all offence sites of the offender. and that their home base is within this proposed area. Canter and Larkin (1993) formulated an additional extension of the circle theory: the home range hypothesis. consistent with the marauder model. J. the commuter model describes the geographical distribution of crime sites by an offender who travels away from their home base into another area to commit their offences.6 offences each. as shown in Figure 2. C. it might be possible to make some further generalisations about the relative location of their home base within the criminal range. the marauder model implies a relationship between the offence locations and the offender’s home. Thus. The marauder model of spatial behaviour (Adapted from Canter & Larkin.

then the distance from the home base to the furthest offence location would be half of the maximum distance of those two furthest offences. Burgess. Because this result was based on a relatively small 221 sample size. and 80% of each sample. and so the utility of the circle theory may be limited. If the home base is situated at the centre of the criminal range. each offender must have committed a minimum of three arson offences. The home base was located inside the criminal range for 71%. respectively. Moreover. arsonists. were equally likely to be marauders or commuters. Burgess. Canter and Larkin’s work is important because it suggests that serial offending for a presumably impulsive crime such as rape may be described in terms of systematic geographic relationships. Lundrigan and Canter (2001) analysed the body disposal sites selected by 126 U. respectively.S.0 would imply that the home base is eccentrically placed near the circumference of the proposed circle. Kocsis & Irwin. and 29 British serial killers convicted since 1960. and murder. 2002) areas.Serial arsonists offence sites (X ) and the distance between the furthest offence site and the offender’s home base (Y ). 1992). indicating that the marauder model described the majority of serial rapists and arsonists.001. in addition to testing the predictions of the circle theory of environmental range and the marauder model. we were also interested to determine whether there were any reliable correlates with marauder versus commuter offending patterns.84x þ 0. Method Data sample Official records of all arsonists convicted between January 1988 and June 2003 were obtained from the New Zealand Police and Fire Service. Similar to the Kocsis and Irwin (1997) results. A limited number of follow-up studies have found additional support for the circle theory of environmental range with other types of offenders. prior research suggests that the circle theory of environmental range and the marauder model in particular may apply to different types of serial crime. Canter and Larkin noted that the average minimum distance travelled per offender was 1. ethnicity). gender. respectively). The offenders had to reside at a fixed home base for at least a minimum of two arson offences. and 48% of cases. Canter and Larkin (1993) found that the distance between the two furthest locations and maximum distance from the home base to an offence site produced a strong positive correlation. the present study examined the geographical patterning of fires set by serial arsonists in New Zealand.46 km). 1993. They also examined a number of potential demographic correlates (e. Irwin. A slope near 0. Participants were required to be 14 years or older at the time of their first arson offence. for a sample of marauder offenders.61 miles. including rape. the number of studies examining the predictions of the Canter and Larkin (1993) model is still relatively small and so its generality may be limited. Parks and nature reserves are relatively common within even urban environments in New Zealand. 82%. Kocsis. the present sample was nationwide and thus more heterogeneous in terms of a mixture of urban and rural environments. and had no regular prior contact with the targets before committing the offence. 0. Overall. perhaps because it is a crime for which the motivation is generally instrumental (Douglas.50 and 1. and that the majority of offenders are adequately characterised by the marauder model. This country likely represents a different profile in terms of environmental and geographic factors that impinge on offending behaviour compared to prior research. and Allen (2002) examined the offences committed by a larger sample of burglars (N ¼ 58) in four rural Australian towns. only 50% of offence distributions were consistent with the marauder model. Overall. This suggests that geographical patterning might not be the same for all types of offenders.53 miles (2. The regression equation was y ¼ 0.g.. Thus. which has studied offenders in primarily urban (Canter & Larkin. Eight offenders who were identified as having no fixed home base were excluded from the . however. We selected the 45 most recent serial arson offenders for inclusion in the study. Kocsis and Irwin (1997) studied serial rapists. 82%.61. Nevertheless.93. r ¼ 0. 1997) or rural (Kocsis et al. offering many potential targets for arsonists. whereas a slope close to 1. Burglary appears to be different. This suggests that offenders may have a buffer zone or a minimum distance that they are willing to travel to commit an offence. and 27. In addition. suggesting that the home base was eccentrically placed near the circumference and unlikely to be close to the centre. They found that the offenders lived within the criminal range circle in 89% and 86% of the American and British cases. Cooksey. Finally. and burglars in Australia (N ¼ 24. Moreover. Most offenders in each group lived in city or metropolitan areas.98 km). Burglars. but found that none was reliably associated with marauder versus commuter offence patterns.50 would imply that the home base is typically situated in the center of the circle. p 5 0. which is greater than the constant term in the regression (0.. & Ressler. a regression of maximum distance between offence sites (X ) on a maximum distance from the offender’s home (Y ) will have a slope between 0. Thus. 22. They found that the criminal range circle encompassed all offending for 79%.00. arson.

and Southern (Dunedin. multiple fires. Bay of Plenty. 1992).86 offences (range: 3 – 14. a map was printed on an A3-sized sheet. same location. three in North Shore (Waitakere). The criminal range was then determined according to . within a 24-hr time frame) or mass (i. then the first phase of serial offences was used for that offender. First. The first wave of serial offences at their first home base was used for the study. and no more than 52 weeks apart. Gisborne). we assessed how many offence sites for each offender were contained within the proposed criminal range circle. Once the sample had been identified.e.91). home base and offence sites were located in terms of gridpoint coordinates. SD ¼ 9. Invercargill). we discovered that one offender had been acting as a ‘‘hired torch’’ for another person who had selected the targets. The Canter and Larkin (1993) home range hypothesis was tested using the group of offenders classified as marauders.10). as well as each offence site. The average age at the time of apprehension was 25 years (range: 14 – 52 years. Cases where the home base or offence sites fell on the circumference of the criminal range were counted as being within the circle. Distances were measured as straight lines in millimetres and converted to kilometres. the offender must have committed at least three arsons. Twelve arsonists committed their offences in Wellington. we tested the circle theory of environmental range by determining the number of offenders for which all offence sites were contained in the criminal range. with home base and offence site locations marked. otherwise they were designated a commuter. with the mean arson series analysed comprising 4. When the home base and all offence locations had been identified by street address for the sample.. two in Counties Manukau. police districts where the serial arsons had been committed. occupation. Next. Eastern (Hastings. All participants were required to have committed their multiple arson offences within the specified international criteria that define serial offences (Douglas et al. successive offences had to have been committed on separate days (24-hr time frame). the New Zealand Fire Service’s computerised geographic information system was used to construct the maps. within a 24-hr time frame) offences on a particular day. marital status. the first offence was identified and used for the study. This required obtaining the distance between the two furthest offence sites (X ) and the distance between the home base and the offence site furthest from the home base (Y ) for each marauder. multiple fires. If the home base fell within the circle the offender was classified as a marauder. If the offender had committed spree (i. New Plymouth. The majority of the offenders in this sample (72%) were serialonly offenders. age. That is. C. different locations. and the type of arsons committed. Results Of the 44 arsonists in the sample. Edwards & R.05 significance level. ethnicity. All statistical tests used the . with the remaining offences excluded from the study. Serial offending was determined by the offence dates and times as identified on offenders’ records. SD ¼ 2. If an offender committed multiple offences before and after 2 years in prison. Offences were committed in police districts across New Zealand.222 M. A circle was drawn using this distance as the diameter. and whether the home base was located within the circle.e. The offender’s address at the time of the arsons was recorded. Procedure For each offender. The district with the most offenders was Wellington (n ¼12). The home base to furthest offence site distances were then regressed on the distances between the two furthest offence sites. 39 (89%) were male and five (11%) were female. Auckland City. straightline distances from the home base to each offence were computed and later converted into travelling kilometres. The 44 arsonists committed a cumulative total of 214 arson offences. total number of arsons. and one each in Northern (Whangarei). After the maps had been constructed. Palmerston North). For each offender. This percentage (84%) is similar to that obtained in previous studies and provides additional evidence that the Canter and Larkin (1993) assumption that criminal range can be described in terms of a circle is valid. previous criminal convictions. Grace the Canter and Larkin (1993) method by measuring the distance in millimetres between the two furthest offence sites using a standard ruler. This offender was excluded from the study. other offences.. study.. contact was made with various police stations in order to access file information for the offenders. The police files supplied information such as the gender. In some cases (such as walkways in wildlife reserves) the site locations were plotted at the midpoint of the target pathway or street. sentences imposed. five in Central (Taumarunui. Once the point coordinates were encoded. accomplices involved. Blenheim). arson charges. The criminal range encompassed all offence sites in 37 of 44 cases. 10 in Christchurch. Thirty-eight (86%) were Caucasian ethnicity and six (14%) were Maori. leaving a final sample size of 44. Waikato. One offender committed arsons in the police districts of both Auckland City and Waikato. Tasman (Nelson. J.

The constant terms of 0. and indicates that offenders’ choice of arson locations were equally likely to be described in terms of the marauder and the commuter models. whereas slopes near 1. The regression equation was Y ¼ 0. The Canter and Larkin (1993) home range hypothesis was tested using results from those offenders who were classified as marauders.35 þ 0.93X. . but suggests that it is not close to the centre but tends to be eccentrically placed near the circumference of the circle.51 km. Scatterplot of the relationship between distance of the two furthest offence sites and distance between the offender’s home and furthest offence site. Examination of New Zealand Police records established that the offenders in the study did have a home base at the time of their offences. we repeated the analysis with these points removed. and the distance between the two furthest offences.5% of offences (pooled across offenders) occurred within 5 km of the home. We also examined whether there was evidence for a safety area or buffer zone around the home base. A slope near 0. 223 Visual inspection of Figure 3 indicates that there are three outliers that might have an undue influence on the regression parameters. Existence of a safety area would be suggested by a constant term in the regression that is positive but less than the average minimum distance of offence sites from the home base. This percentage is smaller than those previously reported by Canter and Larkin (1993) and Kocsis and Irwin (1997). it still indicates that the home base tended to be nearer the circumference than the centre of the circle.35 km and 0. The average minimum distance of offences from the home base for these offenders was 0. The second prediction was that the regression equation for X and Y will have a slope between 0.00. Using straight-line distances it was found that 82% of the offenders set fires within 5 km of their home address.001. The first prediction of the home range hypothesis is that the distance between the offender’s home base and the furthest offence (Y ) has a strong positive correlation with the distance between the two furthest offences (X ).93X. The line is the best-fitting regression equation.35 þ 0. consistent with the home range hypothesis. This is evidence for a minimum distance that an arsonist is willing to travel to commit their offences from their home base. Figure 3 shows a scatterplot of the distances between the home base and the furthest offence. The correlation was r ¼ 0. The resulting regression equation was Y ¼ 0. p 5 . The mean travelling distances from the Figure 3. and 68. and in every serial episode except one (an offender who committed arsons in two police districts) their home address was in the same police district as their offence locations. Thus.99.50 and 1.79 X.0 mean that the home base tends to be close to the circumference.04 þ 0. Visual inspection of the maps indicated that the offender’s home base fell within the criminal range in 22 out of 44 cases (50%).50 indicates that the home base tends to lie near the centre of the criminal range.Serial arsonists Next we determined the number of cases for which the home base fell within the criminal range. similar to the Canter and Larkin (1993) results. Although there was some decrease in the slope. These results are consistent with the Brantingham and Brantingham (1981) proposed buffer zone around the marauding offender’s residential base. This indicates that the home range generally lies within the criminal range circle. Y ¼ 0.04 km in the regressions reported above are less than the average minimum offence distance.

w2 ¼ 1. w2 ¼ 0.65 by Kocsis & Irwin for rapists. respectively. Offenders were classified as marauders or commuters depending on whether the home base fell within the criminal circle.. with a standard deviation of 10.36 and 4.).. 32%. 0. n.15. 2001).95 and 43. the average age (in years) was 26. Whether or not these outliers are included. Discussion The present study tested whether the circle theory of environmental range proposed by Canter and Larkin (1993) was applicable to serial arsonists in New Zealand.68. Spearman’s r ¼ 0. the minimum distance travelled was 0. Kocsis & Irwin. the results suggest that for those offenders consistent with the marauder pattern.s.32 and 23.s.s. 59%. 0. 2002.89. This is comparable to the percentages reported previously (91% for rapists.60. t(42) ¼ 1. t(42) ¼ 0. the two offender groups did not differ significantly on any of the variables. Given that our sample was equally divided between marauders and commuters to begin with.s. 1997).45.. C.77. and 0.14.224 M.versus commuter-type offenders. 79%. n.10. Population data were obtained from the 2001 census (Statistics New Zealand. 2001). offenders were equally likely to fit the marauder and the commuter patterns.21. 77%. This value is higher than that obtained in previous studies (0.00. and it is possible that the failure to find a predominant marauder pattern might depend on this variation. One difference between the current study and prior research is that our sample was obtained across a wider geographical range (from Whangarei in the far north of New Zealand to Invercargill in the deep south) and there was greater variability in terms of home base to the offence sites was 6. Grace Canter. we could find no demographic or offence-related variable that was correlated with the marauder versus commuter pattern. houses. including crimes other than arson) was 25. we examined whether the population of the community in which the offender lived.).91. Finally. Marauders and commuters were equally likely to be male (91% vs. 1993. and burglars. Contrary to previous research (Kocsis & Irwin. rubbish bins. arsonists. 1993. to be Caucasian rather than Maori ethnicity (82% vs. In particular. respectively. n.23.84 for Canter & Larkin. although when three potential outliers were removed the slope decreased to 0. n. according to which offenders move away from a fixed home base to commit their crimes.79. Canter & Larkin.s.96. differed for marauder. adequately characterised the majority of crime sites of arsonists. 2002). Edwards & R..s.).. Their approach involves regressing the distance between the home base and the furthest offence on the distance between the two furthest offences. etc.s.s. w2 ¼ 0.50 indicating a home base near the centre and values approaching 1. and 0. 91%.01 km. the predictive power of the Canter and Larkin (1993) model for the present data is clearly limited. w2 ¼ 0. the correlation between marauder versus commuter and population was not significant. we were interested to determine whether the marauder model. Thus.s.77. the criminal range circle provides relatively little information in terms of predicting the location of the home base. the average number of arsons committed in the serial episode was 5. We investigated whether there were any demographic or offence-related variables that might be correlated with the commuter versus marauder offending pattern. Thus. J.g. and 70% for rapists. 2002). Our slope was 0.03. knowing the criminal range provided no additional information in terms of predicting the offenders’ home base. Canter and Larkin (1993) further specified a home range hypothesis for those offenders whose crime sites were consistent with the marauder model. Across the sample. n. to have committed their offences alone rather than with an accomplice (41% vs. t(42) ¼ – 1. to be single rather than married or in a de facto relationship (91% vs.93. arsonists.s. the average sentence imposed (months of imprisonment) was 20.e. n. which suggests that the home base was usually near the circumference.. 36% vs. and 71% for burglars. n. 1997. In our study. and burglars. schools. The slope is interpreted as where the home base is typically situated relative to the circle. Kocsis & Irwin.). Kocsis et al. and the average number of total convictions in their criminal history (i. 1993. This result represents the first failure to find a dominant marauder pattern with serial offenders other than burglars.00 km and the maximum was 66. Kocsis et al. For marauders and commuters.. as it has for every type of serial offender except burglars in prior studies (Canter & Larkin.23 and 20.85 by Kocsis et al. w2 ¼ 0. n. respectively. The home bases represented a wider range of urban and rural locations than previous studies. However. vacant buildings.. n.). 82%. It suggests that the utility of the Canter and Larkin (1993) circle theory and marauder model for geographical profiling may be limited.0 suggesting that the home base is eccentrically placed near the circumference. 86%. with values near 0. Lundrigan & . and to have set fires to vegetation and bush rather than to man-made structures and objects (e.36. our data provide further support for the generality of the circle theory and its assumption that serial offenders tend to commit crimes within a well-defined geographic area. 1997. n. t(42) ¼ 0.71 km. However.63 km. We found that circles with a diameter determined by a straight line between the two furthest offence sites contained all offences in 84% of cases.

the circle provided little information in terms of predicting the offender’s home base. urban structures. (1993). Thus. A study of arsonists in England by Fritzon (2001) found that the mean distance travelled from home to an offence site was 2. which are used to develop the criminal range of a serial 225 offender. (1994).. Thus.5% of all the offences occurred within 5 km of the offender’s home base. K. (1992).).63 km. previous research on criminal mobility has shown that criminals do not travel very far (e. because the available police files would have dated back to only 1999. C. Acknowledgements We thank Dave Haslett and Mark Chubb for their help with this study. bus stops. the circle theory remains a useful framework for spatial analysis of offending patterns and additional research should improve its utility for investigators in Australasia. Douglas. E. W.. files are stored in archives.. & Ressler. The Canter and Larkin (1993) circle theory is based on the two furthest offence sites. one would expect that increased variability across a sample in terms of population density and features of the natural and man-made landscape would increase the variability of behaviour. Patterns in forcible rape. including whether factors such as expressive and instrumental motivations might play a role in determining choice of offence locations and travelling distances to offend (Fritzon. Although the criminal range circle encompassed all offences in the large majority of cases.06 km. A. and natural barriers such as coastlines may all be useful when determining the offence region of the serial arsonist. Brantingham (Eds. we found that the average minimum distance travelled by the marauder-type offenders was larger than the intercept in the regression analysis to test the homerange hypothesis. Notes on the geometry of crime. However. Our sample was equally divided between marauder and commuter patterns. L. R. R. A. Of course.000. & Larkin. & Bartol. 68. Thus. However. For example. Canter. J. M. no single profiling tool such as the circle theory will prove decisive in all investigations. The practice in New Zealand for arson files held by police is that they are destroyed after 5 years if the damage to property or target were less then $20. One limitation of the study should be acknowledged. Brantingham. Despite our failure to find evidence that serial arsonists in New Zealand could be described as predominantly marauders or commuters. D. Beverley Hill: CA Sage.. Burgess.. crime scene analysis. For a successful profiling strategy we must also use other tools such as pattern analysis of temporal and target selection. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. The effectiveness of the circle theory to establish the offence region might be improved if other pertinent features are taken into account.Serial arsonists offenders residing in urban versus rural areas.. L. Similar to previous studies. For example. In P. highways. Psychology and law: Research and application (2nd ed. physical and psychological boundaries. & P. M. 13. CA: Brooks. and method of operation. This suggests that arsonists prefer to move away from their home base before setting a fire. From the perspective of environmental psychology (Stokols. land use and rapid transit stations.). J. that is. Thus our results may be applicable only to arsonists who commit relatively serious offences. Belmont. . We found that the average distance travelled was 6. zoning. & Brantingham. Brantingham and Brantingham (1981) proposed the existence of a safety zone around the offender’s home base. 1995). However. for arsons in which the targeted property was valued at more than $20. arterial roads. P. it is possible that the failure to find any significant correlates of geographical patterning may have been due to a lack of statistical power. (1981). Features such as topographical and geographical characteristics could be beneficial when constructing the criminal range. Burgess. New York: Lexington Books. 63 – 69. Journal of Environmental Psychology. a minimum distance that he or she was willing to travel before committing an offence.000. one possible reason for our failure to find a consistent geographical pattern in offence site locations was the hetereogeneity of the New Zealand environment. Overall. P. (1971). L. The environmental range of serial rapists. Environmental criminology (pp. G. References Amir. 27 – 54). Yet we could find no demographic or offence-related variable that reliably differentiated between marauders and commuters in our study. the majority of fires were still started near the offender’s home base. small-time arsonists could have been underrepresented in this study. Bartol. suggesting that arsonists in New Zealand travelled relatively longer distances when offending. our results suggest that the applicability of the Canter and Larkin circle theory of environmental range to offending by serial arsonists in New Zealand may be limited. P. just a few kilometres) from their home base to commit their offences. Presumably there are some factors that influence whether a serial offender’s choice of crime locations is consistent with a marauder or commuter pattern. Crime classification manual. A.g. 2001). future studies could explore potential correlates of spatial patterning in serial arsonists.. Brantingham. Although we found evidence for a safety zone.

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