Investigating small boat crime
This research considers the problem of small boat crime, the causes and possible prevention. Marine crime experts have explained the increase in small boat crime as being caused by boat owners' apathy in protecting their vessels. However this has never been substantiated. This investigation examines this explanation and attempts to comprehend the phenomenon of small boat crime and its prevention. Boat owners' apathy is considered in light of their levels of guardianship activities, an element of the Routine Activity theory which places the guardian in the crime event context. The research focuses on four key objectives; the lack of detailed small boat crime knowledge, the issue of apathy related to the crime prevention of boat owners, the un-orchestrated efforts of the boat community to tackle the problem and the wider provision of marine crime prevention. Through the achievement of these objectives a significant innovative work develops to identify recommendations for the boating community to prevent and control the problem. The validation of the explanation is undertaken by the examination of the boating community and environment, as well as the wider consideration of crime by society and by criminology. This is completed by the surveying of boat owners in relation to their crime prevention activities and attitudes in their environment. Through boating community collaboration and examination, this information is corroborated to endorse the research findings and the conclusions of the survey. The investigation provides a potential small boat crime prevention strategy of the boating community. It is significant that boat owners are only one part of the existing boat system. As yet however the issue of small boat crime being a 'boating community' problem has not yet fully been realised by its consi=tituent structure and elements, as no practical community encompassing strategy is in place to stem the growth of crime. The findings depict that the label of 'apathetic guardian' for boat owners is inappropriate. Evidence highlights a complex web of organisation, operation and legislation of the boating community and environment. Consideration of small boat crime and general crime in society are similar, yet society is not labelled apathetic in its prevention of crime. Latterly the Boat Owner Survey highlights the majority of boat owners appreciate this issue, not apathetic to the problem of small boat crime. The validation of the explanation assists in the comprehension of the phenomenon, initiating the possible control of small boat crime in the future.