A time for a crime

Why do offenders commit crimes where and when they do? Improving on extant theory and empirical research in the geography of crime, this PhD project investigates how offenders’ time-specific knowledge of their environment acquired during their daily routines and the time-varying attractiveness of target areas affect offenders’ crime location choices. Combining police register data on offenders and their offenses with unique data on the locations the offenders frequently visit and data on opening and closing hours of Dutch businesses and facilities, this cutting-edge research project not only advances scientific knowledge, but also contributes to better crime forecasting and urban planning.

Where offenders commit crimes

Why do crimes occur where they do? Answering this question requires an innovative project aimed at understanding offenders’ decisions on where to commit crime. Crime takes place where attractive opportunities for crime overlap with awareness spaces of individuals motivated to commit crime. While previous research has focused on attractive opportunities, offenders’ awareness of these opportunities has been grossly neglected. This project remedies this lack of knowledge. Building on prior research, I introduce two innovations.

Wildlife crime

Why do poachers commit crimes where and when they do? How can the vast areas of nature reserves most effectively be patrolled by ranger teams. Starting from an environmental criminology perspective, this PhD project investigates poaching problems in South Africa. It addresses questions regarding poacher behavior and ranger team effectiveness. The project analyzes ranger tracking data, geo-referenced poaching sites, and data from poaching detection experiments. It also uses agent-based modeling to understand how ranger team operations can most effectively be organized.