ABSTRACT

One of the most noticeable developments in recent years has been the growing focus on the victims of crime. The rise of the victim’s movement, the growth of organisations such as Victim’s Support and other specialist agencies designed to assist the victims of crime have served increasingly to bring victims into the centre of criminological inquiry. Given these developments it is remarkable how little research and information is available on the victims of armed robbery, which is arguably one of the most serious and traumatic forms of criminal victimisation. Of the limited number of studies that have been conducted, very few are by independent researchers and most of the research on the victims of armed robbery has been carried out ‘in-house’ by the larger financial and commercial organisations who are generally unwilling to make their findings publicly available. There is some quantitative material that has been produced using British Crime Survey data on the distribution of commercial victimisation (Mirrlees-Black and Ross 1995), and a slightly more specialist overview of the victimisation of retail outlets (notably shops, garages, off-licences, convenience stores and the like) is provided in a series of reports published by the British Retail Consortium (Brooks and Cross 1996; BRS 1999). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a number of reports that examine the issue of violence at work more generally, as well as specific guidelines on the prevention of violence to staff working in banks and building societies (HSE 1993; Standing and Nicolini 1997; Poyner et al 2000).