Domestic extremist criminal damage events: behaving like criminals or terrorists?
Property damage is a ubiquitous criminal direct action tactic perpetrated by left-wing extremists in Bristol to advance a variety of causes, yet it remains understudied. This study uniquely contributes to the field by analysing the selection of targets for property damage by left-wing extremists in the British town of Bristol. Using police data and online claims of responsibility, this study analyses a number of situational factors providing guardianship at the target locations of 95 Domestic Extremism incidents and compares them with 95 conventional property damage incidents. The results suggest that left-wing extremists do not behave in the same manner as conventional criminals as they fail to conform to theoretical expectations regarding the effect of guardianship on target selection decisions. Instead, Domestic Extremists appear to adhere to decision-making schemas more commonly associated with terrorists. This raises important questions about the relevance and usefulness of these theoretical frameworks for understanding Domestic Extremism.
KeywordsDirect action Property damage Left-wing extremism Domestic extremism Situational crime prevention
This project has received funding from The European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 758834).
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