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Article

A National Examination of the Spatial Extent and Similarity of Offenders’ Activity Spaces Using Police Data

1
Te Puna Haumaru NZ Institute of Security and Crime Science, Te Kura Whatu Oho Mauri School of Psychology, Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
2
Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Department of Spatial Economics, School of Business and Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Marco Helbich and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(2), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10020047
Received: 4 December 2020 / Revised: 16 January 2021 / Accepted: 18 January 2021 / Published: 23 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geographic Crime Analysis)
It is well established that offenders’ routine activity locations (nodes) shape their crime locations, but research examining the geography of offenders’ routine activity spaces has to date largely been limited to a few core nodes such as homes and prior offense locations, and to small study areas. This paper explores the utility of police data to provide novel insights into the spatial extent of, and overlap between, individual offenders’ activity spaces. It includes a wider set of activity nodes (including relatives’ homes, schools, and non-crime incidents) and broadens the geographical scale to a national level, by comparison to previous studies. Using a police dataset including n = 60,229 burglary, robbery, and extra-familial sex offenders in New Zealand, a wide range of activity nodes were present for most burglary and robbery offenders, but fewer for sex offenders, reflecting sparser histories of police contact. In a novel test of the criminal profiling assumptions of homology and differentiation in a spatial context, we find that those who offend in nearby locations tend to share more activity space than those who offend further apart. However, in finding many offenders’ activity spaces span wide geographic distances, we highlight challenges for crime location choice research and geographic profiling practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: homology assumption; geographic offender profiling; offender activity space; police data; routine activity nodes homology assumption; geographic offender profiling; offender activity space; police data; routine activity nodes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Curtis-Ham, S.; Bernasco, W.; Medvedev, O.N.; Polaschek, D.L.L. A National Examination of the Spatial Extent and Similarity of Offenders’ Activity Spaces Using Police Data. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10, 47. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10020047

AMA Style

Curtis-Ham S, Bernasco W, Medvedev ON, Polaschek DLL. A National Examination of the Spatial Extent and Similarity of Offenders’ Activity Spaces Using Police Data. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2021; 10(2):47. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10020047

Chicago/Turabian Style

Curtis-Ham, Sophie, Wim Bernasco, Oleg N. Medvedev, and Devon L.L. Polaschek 2021. "A National Examination of the Spatial Extent and Similarity of Offenders’ Activity Spaces Using Police Data" ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 10, no. 2: 47. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijgi10020047

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