1st Edition

Crime, Science and Policing

By Gloria Laycock Copyright 2024
    212 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    212 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers an introduction to crime science; it is specifically for police and security professionals. Written by one of the founders of crime science and an expert in crime reduction, it considers the unique characteristics of the approach, its applicability to the control of crime, disorder and terrorism, and the importance of experimentation and the testing of new ideas to build a knowledge base for ethical

    policing. Core content includes:

    • The basics of crime science in concept, theory and practice;
    • Methods of research and assessment used by crime scientists;
    • Crime science and policing, including its application to volume crimes, serious crimes and investigation;
    • Legitimacy and public compliance;
    • Policing, science, and future crimes.

    This book is essential reading for all students of professional policing, as well as those interested in crime and its control, reduction, and prevention.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors



    PART 1: The basics of crime science

    1 Defining crime science

    2 Useful concepts and ideas

    3 Problem-solving and problem-oriented policing

    4 Legitimacy and public compliance


    PART 2: Methods of investigation used by crime scientists

    5 Finding patterns

    6 Assessment and learning

    PART 3: Crime control in practice

    7 Dealing with volume crimes

    8 Dealing with serious and organised crime


    9 Demand management

    10 Solving crimes using science


    11 Futures



    Gloria Laycock is Professor Emeritus of Crime Science at University College London, UK. She worked in the Home Office for over thirty years on research and development in prisons, policing, and crime prevention fields. She has acted as a consultant and trainer on policing matters in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, India, South Africa, and the Middle East. She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2008 for services to crime policy.

    This book condenses policing wisdom into a must-read for police students, practitioners, and leaders. After 40 years in policing, I agree with Gloria Laycock's summary of issues and the failure of police leadership to champion crime prevention. This is a welcome take on what works, or could work, in policing rather than the political rhetoric that seems to define policing policy.

    Mike Barton, Former Chief Constable, Durham Constabulary

    This book is for practitioners. It explains clearly what Crime Science is, and how it fits into effective problem solving. Every chapter ends with a concise summary.  Just don’t be tempted to skip the text and jump straight to it! It is a book from which can everyone learn, whether a new recruit, or an experienced officer. The world of policing is forever changing, and policing needs to be constantly adapting in response, this book suggests a direction for that change.

    Sylvia Chenery, Applied Criminology Associates

    With policing around the world under increased scrutiny, this book addresses the importance of science as a critical enabler of ethical crime reduction. Packed with insights and examples about how to test ideas, improve problem-solving, manage demand, and drive crime prevention, and with a final section focused on new trends and risks, Professor Laycock is required reading for all practitioners with an interest in future policing.

    Mark Evans, New Zealand Police Executive and Visiting Professor at UCL

    This invaluable book should be required reading for all those about to embark on a policing degree, while they can still discern the policing wood from the procedural trees.

    Professor Ken Pease, Department of Security and Crime Science, UCL, London

    Gloria Laycock has done more than anyone else in the UK to lead and to conduct research orientated to improving policing. This book is the culmination of that work. It is wise, readable, and relevant to the work of all those involved in or responsible for our police services.

    Professor Nick Tilley, Department of Security and Crime Science, UCL, London

    In this book Prof Laycock does what she does so well - she explains academic concepts and research in plain English, in an engaging manner, and with the practical application hammered home. The book is at the same time authoritative and accessible, reflecting Professor Laycock’s impressive research career and her vast experience of working directly with police and crime prevention practitioners.

    Professor Richard Wortley, Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science, UCL and Waikato University, New Zealand