comprehensive study of five years of statistics by researchers at the Rutgers
University School of Criminal Justice (SCJ) in Newark found that residential
burglar alarm systems decrease crime. While other studies have concluded that
most burglars avoid alarm systems, this is the first study to focus on alarm
systems while scientifically ruling out other factors that could have impacted
the crime rate.
Researchers concentrated on
analyzing crime data provided by the Newark Police Department. "Data showed
that a steady decrease in burglaries in Newark between 2001 and 2005 coincided
with an increase in the number of registered home burglar alarms," said
study author Dr. Seungmug (a.k.a. Zech) Lee, who received his doctoral degree
from SCJ in 2008 and presently teaches at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.
"The study credits the alarms with the decrease in burglaries and the
city's overall crime rate."
In short, the study found that
an installed burglar alarm makes a dwelling less attractive to the would-be and
active intruders and protects the home without displacing burglaries to nearby
The study also concluded that
the deterrent effect of alarms is felt in the community at large.
Neighborhoods in which burglar alarms were densely installed have fewer
incidents of residential burglaries than the neighborhoods with fewer burglar
alarms," the study noted.
The study was conducted with the
cooperation of the Newark Police Department and reviewed five years of police
data. The more than 300-page study was conducted over a two-year period and
funded by the non-profit Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF).
SCJ Professors George L. Kelling, Marcus Felson and Ronald V. Clarke and
Professor Robert D. McCrie of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York
were members of the study's Faculty Advisory Committee. Dr. Clarke served as
"This type of study assists
police departments to effectively deploy their limited resources," said
Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy. "The School of Criminal Justice
provides valuable insight into the positive impact alarm systems can have in
preventing residential burglaries."
"This is the most
comprehensive study of its kind that has ever been conducted," said Dr.
Lee. "By using sophisticated in-depth research techniques, we were able to
eliminate the variables that impact crime rates and focus directly on the impact
alarm systems have on residential burglaries.
"The study noted that
"technology innovations" have increased the availability of home
security systems to middle-class homeowners and that technology has made the
systems more dependable. "Computers, printed circuits, digital
communicators, and microprocessors have refined monitoring and signaling
technology, and modern electronic sensors now include ultrasonic, infrared and
microwave devices which were formerly available only in more sophisticated
commercial and industrial applications," said Dr. Lee.
Researchers also pointed to an
earlier study based on interviews with burglars ("Burglars on the Job
1994," Northeastern University Press) to support their conclusions. That
study concluded, "Most offenders, though, wanted to avoid alarms altogether
and, upon encountering such devices, abandoned all thought of attacking the
"For more information about
"The Impact of Home Burglar Alarm Systems on Residential Burglaries"
study, please contact Dr. Lee at 419-772-2597, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF
Rutgers School of Criminal Justice (SCJ) is a major
national and international center for scholarly research on all aspects of
policing, delinquency, crime, and criminal justice administration. This provides
a basis for its educational programs that also fulfill public service
obligations by helping to address the needs of criminal justice agencies within
the city, state, nation, and world.
Based at Rutgers
University in Newark, New Jersey, SCJ's faculty includes some of the top
scholars in the field, and the Ph.D. program in criminology has been ranked
fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The doctoral program
continues to set the standard for doctoral training, and SCJ's graduating
students are highly sought after by universities recruiting new faculty. All of
the degree programs offered by SCJ provide classroom as well as research
opportunities that prepare students for positions in research, teaching, and
criminal justice system management and policymaking. For more information on the
school, please visit www.rutgers-newark.rutgers.edu/rscj.
SOURCE: Rutgers University in
Newark, Office of Communications