Acquisitive Crime

Helen Gavin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Acquisitive crime is a wide-ranging category in which the offender derives material gain by illegal means, usually from another person or organisation. This includes shoplifting, burglary, robbery, larceny, piracy, and fraud. Some of the motivations underpinning these crimes are similar of course, but it is the differences that are interesting, and how those differences manifest in the investigative processes of detection and prevention. As with many other types of crime, there is no simple underlying theoretical position that leads to an explanation for acquisitive, there is no one personality type associated with theft or armed robbery or piracy. This chapter examines some of the complex psychological explanations for people acquiring property and goods that do not belong to them, including evolutionary models, mental disorder, psychopathy, gender effects, cyberpsychology and individual vs social factors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Forensic Psychology
EditorsJennifer M. Brown, Miranda A. H. Horvath
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781108848916
ISBN (Print)9781108816748
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameCambridge Handbooks in Psychology
PublisherCambridge University Press


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