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Title: Property crime and urban poverty : a case study of Cali, Colombia
Author: Birkbeck, C. H.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1981
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This thesis examines the nature and significance of property crime as practised by some of the poor in Cali, Colombia. Given that such crime represents the illegal appropriation of income in the form of goods or money, it is of interest to investigate the extent to which the poor win back in the sphere of crime what they lose in the sphere of production. Property crime in Cali is shown to affect all income groups with a similar frequency, yet in terms of the monetary losses involved it arguably has a greater prejudicial effect among low income groups. In adducing the reasons for this, the discussion is developed within an analytical framework which relates the forms of protection of property, developed by the state or by private initiative, to the character, ideology and organization of property crime among the poor criminals studied. The property of the wealthy in Cali is the best protected, and, given his available resources, it therefore becomes easier for the poor criminal to steal in low income neighbourhoods. In addition, the ideology of property crime often stimulates just this pattern of activity. Property crime as practised by the poor is not therefore highly organized, striking only at the wealth of the rich, but an unstable and fluidly organized phenomenon, often practised intermittently or in combination with other activities. Just as such crime is shown to be a problem for poor communities, so the fact that it does not generally represent a means of accumulating a substantial income for the criminal also contributes to the negative role which it plays for the poor. In reaching this conclusion, the discussion points to the need to refine and improve current analyses relating both to the role of the state in relation to crime and criminal justice; and to the nature and organization of property crime among the urban poor.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available