Qualitative Research Assignment: Assessing the Cause of Bike Thefts

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Qualitative research assignment: Assessing the cause of bike thefts Research idea Reliability and validity can be problematic with observational field research, given the difficulty of generalizing anecdotal qualitative findings to larger populations (Maxfield & Babbie 2011: 327). One possible 'observable' crime to track which might be of interest to the general population is that of bike thefts. As more and more people use bikes as an alternative to cars and public transportation, the question of what makes a bike likely to be stolen and under what conditions can give clues about how to prevent such thefts from transpiring in the future. "NYPD has seen a more than 25% increase in bike thefts across the city in 2012, with 1,694 of them reported stolen so far this year, up from 1,346 over the same period last year"¦." (Beja 2012). Bike thefts are up, while car thefts are down. Bike thefts are an important crime to study because of the rise of cycling in the United States. "In the United States, between 1992 and 2006, bicycle sales have increased from 15.3 million to 18.2 million per year (an increase of roughly 20 percent)" (Johnson, Sidebottom & Thorpe 2008: 3). This is seen as a positive thing because bicycling promotes better health and is also an emissions-free form of transportation. However, bike theft is one of the most frequent deterrents to people using a bike as a primary means of transportation. Statistics indicate that when people have a bike stolen,

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