Short courses


Hypothesis Testing Analysis: Crime and Intelligence

  • 7 hours
  • 1 day


This one-day masterclass looks at using a hypothesis testing methodology to improve the explanatory content of crime and intelligence analysis.

This approach will be illustrated with a wide range of examples: from street prostitution to drug dealing, from burglary to violent crime, from street drinking to youth-related anti-social behaviour (ASB). 

You'll follow a step-by-step guide to the hypothesis testing analysis approach and see how this can lead to:

  • producing analytical products that are more explanatory and interpretive, rather than providing only a descriptive presentation of the problem
  • improving commissioning dialogue
  • generating results that help identify more specifically how a crime problem can be tackled

The training is interactive, and will involve working on real crime issues in a classroom environment, but without the use of computers.

The course is run by UCL's Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for:

  • police
  • community safety partnership (CSP) analysts
  • researchers
  • information officers

Course content

We'll discuss the current good and bad things about analysis production (its content and commissioning) and examine how a hypothesis testing approach can improve the explanatory substance of analytical materials. 

You'll then be guided through the steps of the process using existing crime (or other community safety) problems.

The following will be covered during this short course:

The hypothesis testing analysis approach

We begin by discussing the current problems with analysis and the role it should play to inform intelligence-led decision-making. We then introduce the concept of hypothesis testing and illustrate it using examples from other fields of popular science. We also discuss how a hypothesis testing analysis process can fit into existing police/CSP National Intelligence Model (NIM) processes and the problem-solving SARA process, and suggest a structure for problem profiles that use a hypothesis testing approach.

The overview

We'll look at the production of an overview, which is the first stage in the process for constructing a problem profile following the hypothesis testing approach. This involves recording key features about the problem so that it can be clearly defined. The overview is then used by key stakeholders to help them determine the main reasons why the problem exists i.e. the hypotheses.

Determining hypotheses

We'll look at how to articulate hypotheses based on the many reasons provided by stakeholders to explain the problem. We also recommend a process that helps you qualify and shortlist the hypotheses that you'll then select for directing the analysis.

Testing hypotheses

In this session we demonstrate that no extra skills or training in new techniques are required to test hypotheses - as analysts you can use your existing knowledge. This session includes identifying the data that are required for testing hypotheses, the techniques you can use use and examples of how the results of the analyses can be presented.

Interpreting and critiquing the results

In this session you'll look at how the results from hypothesis testing can be interpreted and critiqued. You'll also be shown how the results from testing each hypothesis can be brought together to provide a richer array of intelligence and evidence that helps to explain why a crime problem exists.

Writing the problem profile and review

We finish by reviewing how a problem profile can be written by following the hypothesis testing approach. We'll also identify a number of resources that provide additional reference information to help you adopt this process in the workplace.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements. The course is suitable for all levels.

Cost and concessions

There's a 10% reduction for bookings of two or more people - all group delegates must be booked at the same time.

Course team

Spencer Chainey

Spencer Chainey

Spencer is the Principal Research Associate at the UCL Department of Security and Crime Science. His particular research interests are in developing geographical crime analysis and crime mapping. He carries out most of his day-to-day work on developing the use of data, information sharing and analysis to aid intelligence development and decision-making by police forces, community safety partnerships, and national crime reduction and policing agencies.

His work has influenced national (UK) policy, and has contributed to policing and crime reduction developments in the USA, Canada, Brazil, China, Germany, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. His work is also used in examples of good practice by the UK Cabinet Office (Social Exclusion Unit), Local Government Improvement and Development, The Home Office, the Audit Commission, The Housing Corporation and the United States National Institute of Justice.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 15:59