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Understanding Theft of 'Hot Products'. Problem-Oriented Guides for Police, COPS, US Department of Justice

The Problem-Oriented Guides for Police summarize knowledge about how police can reduce the harm caused by specific crime and disorder problems. They are guides to preventing problems and improving overall incident response, not to investigating offenses or handling specific incidents. More...

Copper Cable Theft - Revisting the Price- Theft Hypothesis

To test the commonly espoused but little examined hypothesis that fluctuations in the price of metal are associated with changes in the volume of metal theft.

Consistency and specificity in burglars who commit prolific residential burglary: Testing the core assumptions underpinning behavioural crime linkage

Behavioural crime linkage is underpinned by two assumptions: (a) that offenders exhibit some degree of consistency in the way they commit offences (their modus operandi [MO]); and, (b) that offenders can be differentiated on the basis of their offence behaviour. The majority of existing studies sample at most three crimes from an offender's series of detected crimes and do not examine whether patterns differ across offenders. Here, we examine patterns observed across the entire detected series of each sampled offender, and assess how homogeneous patterns are across offenders. More...

Human trafficking for labour exploitation: Innovative approaches to prevention, prediction and protection

Dr Ella Cockbain has recently been awarded a prestigious Economic and Social Research Council Future Research Leaders Fellowship. The award is for a three-year study into trafficking for labour exploitation, under the mentorship of Professor Kate Bowers. The project is designed to improve understanding of and responses to labour trafficking, which is a recognised priority in the Home Office’s counter-organised crime strategy and research agendum. Key foci include assessing the scope, nature and impacts of labour trafficking and developing predictive models of risk, using empirically-substantiated individual- and area-level risk factors. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods will support a nuanced, multi-faceted assessment of this complex issue. The study will include a three-month international placement at the Netherlands Centre for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement. The project has the support of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, the National Crime Agency and the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings. More...

An exploratory study of the sexual exploitation of boys and young men in the UK

We are pleased to announce UCL’s participation in a Nuffield-funded study into the sexual exploitation of boys and young men. UCL is working with Barnardo’s and NatCen Social Research on this collaborative project, designed to find out more about the characteristics of male victims, their exploitation and support needs. This scoping study is the first of its kind in the UK to focus specifically on male victims. UCL researchers are conducting a large-scale analysis of over 9,000 suspected CSE cases (led by UCL’s principal investigator Dr Ella Cockbain) and an evidence assessment (led by Dr Helen Brayley). Our partners at NatCen (the consortium lead) are conducting in-depth interviews with professionals. We are working with young people and practitioners to receive feedback on our findings. The study is expected to inform responses to male victims, who have often been overlooked in research, policy and practice. More...

Lisa Tompson

Research Student

Address: UCL Department of Security and Crime Science, 35 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9EZ
Phone No: +44(0)20 3108 3126
Fax No: +44(0)20 3108 3088
Extension: 53126
people holding image

Lisa graduated from Keele University in 2002 with a BA(Hons) in Sociology and Criminology before becoming a police Crime Analyst. She then went on to complete an MSc in Crime Science, with her dissertation focussing on the predictive nature of spatio-temporal hotspots.

Since becoming a Research Fellow she has been involved in work on copper cable theft on the British railway network; victimisation risk on London's public transport; and has evaluated effective partnership working within Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships. Lisa has worked with Spencer Chainey to produce Strategic Assessments for the Environment Agency and Government Office North East. She is currently involved in research for the Environment Agency to devise a methodology to map priority waste streams from cradle to grave, exposing where waste escapes from the legal control system.  Lisa is also a PhD candidate at the JDI and her research is aimed at advancing theory and practical analytical tools to better understand the temporality of crime.

Edited Collections

Townsley, M., Tompson, L. and Sidebottom, A. (2008). Special Issue: New directions in Environmental Criminology. Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal, vol. 10, no. 2. (Guest Editors). 0610-007-9041-8

Peer-Review Journal Articles

Sidebottom, A., Belur, J., Bowers, K., Tompson, L. and Johnson, S. D. (in press). Theft in price-volatile markets: On the relationship between copper price and copper theft. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

Tompson, L. & Townsley, M. (2010). (Looking) Back to the Future: using space-time patterns to better predict the location of street crime. International Journal of Police Science and Management, Vol 12(1), pp 23-40.

Tompson, L., Partridge, H. And Shepherd, N. (2009). Hot Routes: Developing a New Technique for the Spatial Analysis of Crime. Crime Mapping: A Journal of Research and Practice. 1, pp. 77-96.

Chainey, S. P., Tompson, L.. and Uhlig, S. (2008). Responses to Pezzuchi and Levine. Security Journal, Vol 21(4).

Chainey, S. P., Tompson, L.. and Uhlig, S. (2008). The utility of hotspot mapping for predicting spatial patterns of crime. Security Journal, Vol 21(1-2), pp 4-28.

Invited Talks

Tompson, L. (2009). Defining and responding to illegal waste activity. Presented at the 'Tackling Environmental Crime: Creating Cleaner, Safer and Greener Neighbourhoods'.  London, 12th November.

Tompson, L. (2009). Space-time hotspots and their prediction accuracy. Presented at the US Crime Mapping Research Conference. New Orleans, August 21st

Tompson, L. (2009). Theft in Price Volatile Markets: Copper Cable Theft. Presented at the 3rd International Crime Science Conference. London, July 15th

Tompson, L. (2008). Evaluating the predictive accuracy of crime hotspots. Presented at the ESRI EMEA User Conference. London, 28th - 30th October.

Tompson, L. (2008). Predicting street crime with temporally-sensitive hotspots. Presented at the 6th UK Crime Mapping Conference. Manchester, 30th July.

Tompson, L. (2008). Predicting street crime with temporally-sensitive hotspots. Presented at the 15th World Congress of the International Society for Criminology. Barcelona, 23rd July.

Tompson, L. (2008). Partnership Strategic Assessments: Qualities and data considerations.  Presented at the Thames Valley Police analysts meeting. Oxford, 25th June.

Tompson, L. (2008). Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships: synergy or shambles?. Presented at the 16th Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis Conference. Izmir, Turkey, 18th March.

Tompson, L. (2007). (Looking) Back to the Future; Timeliness of crime patterns for predicting the future. Presented at the 15th Environmental Criminology and Crime Analysis Conference. London, University College London, July 19th.

Tompson, L. and Sidebottom, A. (2007). 55 steps in 55 minutes. Presented at the 5th National Crime Mapping Conference. London, May 9th.

The temporality of crime: advancing analytical techniques to reveal patterns in time

Duration: September 2009 - August 2014

Project Overview

Environmental criminology (Brantingham and Brantingham, 1984) has accumulated substantive insight into the distribution of crime opportunities, both in space and time.  A number of authors (Rengert, 1997; Felson and Poulson, 2003; Ratcliffe, 2006; Townsley, 2008) have noted the disproportionate attention given to spatial concentrations of crime compared to time patterns. This is surprising given that the prevention of crime almost always begins with a prediction of crime patterns. Furthermore, theory and empirical evidence would suggest that spatial crime patterns should be sensitive to temporal features, possibly at the day, week and month level. 

The main aims of this research are:

1.      To develop contemporary analytical techniques that identify where crime clusters in time with regards to:

        a.      Statistical approaches

        b.      Visualisation methods

2.      To explore the effects of aggregation on temporal data, at the yearly, monthly, weekly and daily resolution.

3.      To devise and disseminate a range of new analytical tools to practitioners and academia

Page last modified on 16 aug 11 14:27