Tonkin, Woodhams, Bull, Bond, & Palmer (2011).pdf (506.18 kB)
Linking different types of crime using geographical and temporal proximity
journal contributionposted on 2012-10-24, 09:11 authored by Matthew Tonkin, J. Woodhams, R. Bull, J. W.. Bond, Emma J. Palmer
In the absence of forensic evidence (such as DNA or fingerprints), offender behavior can be used to identify crimes that have been committed by the same person (referred to as behavioral case linkage). The current study presents the first empirical test of whether it is possible to link different types of crime using simple aspects of offender behavior. The discrimination accuracy of the kilometer distance between offense locations (the intercrime distance) and the number of days between offenses (temporal proximity) was examined across a range of crimes, including violent, sexual, and property-related offenses. Both the intercrime distance and temporal proximity were able to achieve statistically significant levels of discrimination accuracy that were comparable across and within crime types and categories. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations made for future research.