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Poor local economic and social conditions can lead to increased concentrations of anti-social behaviour and crime. This can reinforce the negative spiral of worsening wellbeing and undermine economic regeneration. Our crime research uses newly-available detailed police and crime data. By linking this to employment and education data, we can determine the individual, social and economic drivers of crime, as well as policies to treat and deter it.

Our research investigates a range of crime types and their causes. These include property crime where patterns are often influenced by shifts in market values of the stolen goods, hate crime following economic and social shocks (e.g. terrorist incidents, public discussions surrounding policies on immigration, Brexit etc); and changes in drug crime prompted by criminal gangs, serious organised crime and hard-drug auctions on the Dark Net.

If we are to prevent individuals from embarking on criminal careers we also need to investigate the push and pull factors influencing their decision to undertake or avoid crime. A range of causes is explored, from external factors – local and national economic and social shocks, unemployment, austerity cutbacks, neighbourhood effects – to incentives to become involved in crime based on individuals’ evaluation of risk, life chances and employment opportunities.

Crime publications

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