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Co-offending in Canada, England and the United States: a cross-national comparison


  • Peter Carrington
  • Sarah van Mastrigt


This article compares the characteristics of police-reported co-offending groups and solo offenders in Canada, England and the United States. Comparative analysis of crime in these three countries is fostered by the relative similarity of their substantive criminal codes (all originating in English common law), their approaches to law enforcement, and their crime recording procedures. The data include over 100,000 incidents cleared by a large UK police force, 2.5 million incidents in Canada, and 1.3 million incidents in 36 states in the United States, in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Comparative analyses include the prevalence of co-offending, the size and composition of co-offending groups, and key correlates of group crime, such as offence type and the age and sex of participants. Substantial similarities are observed across the three data sets, although there are also intriguing differences. These findings are discussed in relation to ongoing attempts to draw general conclusions regarding the nature and extent of group crime and co-offending networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Carrington & Sarah van Mastrigt, 2013. "Co-offending in Canada, England and the United States: a cross-national comparison," Global Crime, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2-3), pages 123-140.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:fglcxx:v:14:y:2013:i:2-3:p:123-140
    DOI: 10.1080/17440572.2013.787926

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