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International Crime and Intelligence Analysis Conference 26-27 February 2015, Manchester: Call for abstracts


SCS News

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...

Lucia Summers

Research Student

Address: UCL Department of Security and Crime Science, 35 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9EZ
Phone No: +44(0)20 3108 3049
Fax No: +44(0)20 3108 3088
Extension: 53049
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Lucía graduated in 1999 from the University of Sussex with a BSc (Hons) degree in Experimental Psychology. After this, she completed an MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology (2002, University of Leicester), an MSc in Research Methods for Psychology (2003, University College London) and a PG Cert in Learning and Teaching at Higher Education (2006, University of East London).
Since joining the Jill Dando Institute in 2003, Lucía has carried out research on a range of areas but her main interests lie in the prevention and improved detection of serious violence, which is the topic of her PhD (currently being completed). She is also interested in the study of offender decision making (in relation to both violence and property crime), especially in relation to the spatial and temporal aspects of criminal activity.  

Recent Publications

Summers, L. (2010). Virtual repeats and near repeats. In B. S. Fisher and S.P. Lab (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention. London: Sage.

Summers, L.; Johnson, S.D. & Rengert, G.F. (2010). The use of maps in offender interviewing. In W. Bernasco (Ed.), Offenders on Offending: Learning about crime from criminals. Cullompton, Devon: Willan.

Summers, L. (2009). Las técnicas de prevención situacional del delito aplicadas a la delincuencia juvenil. [Situational prevention techniques applied to the problem of youth crime.] Revista de Derecho Penal y Criminología, 1, 395-409. [Spanish]

Johnson, S.D.; Summers, L. & Pease, K. (2009). Offender as forager? A direct test of the boost account of victimization. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25(2), 181-200.

Summers, L. (2007). La medición estadística de las pautas espacio-temporales del delito. [The statistical measurement of spatio-temporal crime patterns.] Boletín Criminológico, 100. Available online. [Spanish]

Summers, L.; Johnson, S.D. & Pease, K. (2007). El contagio de robos de vehículos y sustracciones de objetos en vehículos: Aplicaciones de técnicas epidemiológicas. [The contagion of theft of and theft from motor vehicles: Applications of epidemiological techniques.] Revista Española de Investigación Criminológica, 5, artículo 1. Available online. [Spanish]

Improving the Prevention and Detection of Homicide in Public Spaces: A situational crime prevention approach.

Duration: January 2005 - December 2010

Project Overview
The main aims of this project are to:

  1. To develop a typology for homicides occurring in public spaces, based on situational and environmental factors.
  2. To identify the situational and environmental factors that are associated with the occurrence of these offences, the outcome of the offence (i.e. homicide vs. attempted murder) and the offence detection status (i.e. detected vs. undetected).
  3. To determine the level of awareness of these factors by police staff and the general public.

The research will be divided into three distinct parts, as follows:

  1. secondary data analysis on computerised and paper file police data of homicide and attempted murder cases;
  2. semi-structured interviews with a sample of offenders convicted of homicide or attempted murder; and
  3. a survey intended to measure perceptions of victimisation risk in different geographic and situational circumstances. This survey will be administered to a sample drawn from the general public and also to criminal justice staff.

The theoretical framework of the present study will be situated within environmental theories of crime prevention. These include defensible space (Newman, 1973, 1996), crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED; Crowe, 2000), place theories (Eck, 1997; Eck & Weisburd, 1995) and situational crime prevention approaches (Clarke, 1997). These theories are all largely based on opportunity theories, such as rational choice perspectives (see Felson & Clarke, 1998) and crime pattern theory (Brantingham & Brantingham, 1993).

Public spaces are defined as areas to which the general public have right of access. Relevant CRIS categories for venue location codes include: Alleyway, Footpath; Footbridge/Walkway; Gravel Pit/Quarry; Motorway; Pedestrian Precinct; River/Lake/Canal etc.; Riverside vicinity; Road/Rail Bridge; Street; Subway; and Telephone Kiosk.

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