Crime Location Choice: State of the art and Avenues for Future Research


Crime is unevenly distributed in space. This chapter discusses the uneven spatial patterns in crime from an offender decision-making perspective. It describes the main theoretical perspectives in environmental criminology (the rational choice perspective, routine activity approach, and crime pattern theory) and reviews the empirical research with an emphasis on studies that have used a discrete spatial choice framework for analyzing individual crime location choices. The strength of the discrete spatial choice framework, several of its assumptions, and its link with random utility maximization theory are discussed. The chapter concludes with several challenges for future crime location choice research, including challenges regarding temporal aspects of criminal decision making, planned versus opportunistic crimes, and solved versus unsolved crimes.

In: Wim Bernasco, Henk Elffers & Jean-Louis van Gelder (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook on Offender Decision Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press