Routledge Handbook of Crime Science: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Crime Science

1st Edition

Edited by Richard Wortley, Aiden Sidebottom, Nick Tilley, Gloria Laycock


474 pages | 71 B/W Illus.

Book Content Available Open Access*
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*Open Access content has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license

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Crime science is precisely what it says it is: the application of science to the phenomenon of crime. This handbook, intended as a crime science manifesto, showcases the scope of the crime science field and provides the reader with an understanding of the assumptions, aspirations and methods of crime science, as well as the variety of topics that fall within its purview. Crime science provides a distinctive approach to understanding and dealing with crime: one that is outcome-oriented, evidence-based and that crosses boundaries between disciplines. The central mission of crime science is to find new ways to cut crime and increase security.

Beginning by setting out the case for crime science, the editors examine the roots of crime science in environmental criminology and describe its key features. The book is then divided into two sections. The first section comprises chapters by disciplinary specialists about the contributions their sciences can make or have already made to crime science.

Chapter 12 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license.


"Traditional criminology often eschews the problem of crime, preferring to worry about criminality. This leaves students and practitioners with nowhere to learn the theories and practical techniques to address the crime problems they face. Into this breach steps The Handbook of Crime Science, taking an impressively ‘broad spectrum’ approach to crime. The editors have done a sterling job of bringing together emergent, exciting scholars to explore the current and future state of crime science. This is a must-have book for crime researchers and practitioners."

Jerry Ratcliffe, Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Director of the Center for Security and Crime Science at Temple University, USA

"Richard Wortley, Aiden Sidebottom, Nick Tilley and Gloria Laycock have produced an outstanding contribution to the study and control of crime. Encompassing numerous disciplines, a wide range of crime forms, and a diversity of research methods the contributors to the comprehensive work show how we can make progress against crime. The Handbook of Crime Science should be read by anyone who is concerned about crime."

John Eck, Professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati, USA

"The walls around criminology have been breached. Diverse scientists are welcome to enter. Hooray for crime science!"

Ken Pease, Professor of Policing, Derby University, UK

"Finally, we have a book that clearly explains the breadth and depth of crime science, philosophically, theoretically and historically positions the discipline, and identifies its role as a unique but interconnected academic enterprise. I highly recommend this book to all practitioners, policy makers, inventors, academics and anyone who has an interest in preventing of crime and increasing security."

Anna Stewart, Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Australia

"This is not a book about criminology. Its more than that. Criminologists have for decades espoused the value of interdisciplinary approaches and the need for the field to inform and guide the reduction of crime and its pernicious effects on society. But, these pursuits have for the most part been unsuccessful because criminology has mistaken empiricism for science, statistics for solutions, and only paid lip service to interdisciplinarity through the repetitive use of a narrow range of social science theories. In boldly defining and presenting to its readers the notion of crime science the editors and uniquely curated selection of authors herein identify an expansive path forward for the field in a way that may save it from becoming moribund and irrelevant. It unabashedly draws from scientific topics and approaches of the 21st century -- engineering, genetics, architecture, forensics, cybersecurity, etc. -- to establish a truly interdisciplinary identity for criminology that respects its potential to enlighten researchers about the causes of crime while informing and guiding the policy and interventions that will be needed in the years to come. Researchers, students, and practitioners need this book, as does the field itself."

Volkan Topalli, Professor, Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology , The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, USA

Table of Contents

1 What is crime science? Richard Wortley, Aiden Sidebottom, Nick Tilley and Gloria Laycock

SECTION 1 Disciplinary contributions to crime science

2 Evolutionary psychology Aaron Sell

3 Genetics Jamie M. Gajos, Cashen M. Boccio and Kevin M. Beaver

4 Sociology Nick Tilley

5 Psychology Richard Wortley

6 Economics Matthew Manning

7 Epidemiology Paul Fine and Phil Edwards

8 Mathematics Toby Davies

9 Geography Martin A. Andresen and Kathryn Wuschke

10 Architecture Hervé Borrion and Daniel Koch

11 Engineering Hervé Borrion

12 Computer science Pieter Hartel and Marianne Junger

13 Forensic science Ruth M. Morgan

SECTION 2 Crime science in action

14 Social network analysis Gisela Bichler and Aili Malm

15 Analysis and prevention of organised crime Anita Lavorgna

16 Terrorists are just another type of criminal Zoe Marchment and Paul Gill

17 Evolution, crime science and terrorism: the case of Provisional IRA weaponry Paul Ekblom and Paul Gill

18 Fighting cybercrime once it switches from the online world to the real world Gianluca Stringhini

19 The limits of anonymity in Bitcoin Sarah Meiklejohn

20 Crime in the age of the Internet of Things Nilufer Tuptuk and Stephen Hailes

21 Transdisciplinary research in virtual space: can online warning messages reduce engagement with child exploitation material? Jeremy Prichard, Tony Krone, Caroline Spiranovic and Paul Watters

22 Those who do big bad things still do little bad things: re-stating the case for self-selection policing Jason Roach

23 Agent-based decision-support systems for crime scientists Daniel Birks and Michael Townsley

24 Economic efficiency and the detection of crime: a case study of Hong Kong policing Matthew Manning and Gabriel T. W. Wong

25 No need for X-ray specs: through-the-wall radar for operational policing Kevin Chetty

26 Electronic noses: the chemistry of smell and security William J. Peveler and Ivan P. Parkin

27 Understanding forensic trace evidence Ruth M. Morgan, James C. French and Georgina E. Meakin

28 Interpretation of forensic science evidence at every step of the forensic science process: decision-making under uncertainty Ruth M. Morgan, Helen Earwaker, Sherry Nakhaeizadeh, Adam J. L. Harris, Carolyn Rando, and Itiel E. Dror

29 Better preparation for the future – don’t leave it to chance Dick Lacey

30 Future crime Shane D. Johnson, Paul Ekblom, Gloria Laycock, Michael J. Frith, Nissy Sombatruang and Erwin Rosas Valdez

31 Future directions for crime science Richard Wortley, Aiden Sidebottom, Nick Tilley and Gloria Laycock

About the Editors

Richard Wortley is Director of the Jill Dando Institute and Head of the Department of Security and Crime Science at University College London.

Aiden Sidebottom is Associate Professor at the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science at University College London.

Nick Tilley is Principal Research Associate and Professor at the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science at University College London.

Gloria Laycock is Jill Dando Professor of Crime Science at the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science at University College London.

About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology