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Linking solved and unsolved crimes using offender behaviour

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-11-07, 15:29 authored by Matthew Tonkin, J. Woodhams, Ray Bull, John W. Bond
Offender behaviour is used to distinguish between crimes committed by the same person (linked crimes) and crimes committed by different people (unlinked crimes) through behavioural case linkage. There is growing evidence to support the use of behavioural case linkage by investigative organisations such as the police, but this research is typically limited to samples of solved crime that do not reflect how this procedure is used in real life. The current paper extends previous research by testing the potential for behavioural case linkage in a sample containing both solved and unsolved crimes. Discrimination accuracy is examined across crime categories (e.g. a crime pair containing a car theft and a residential burglary), across crime types (e.g. a crime pair containing a residential burglary and a commercial burglary), and within crime types (e.g. a crime pair containing two residential burglaries) using the number of kilometres (intercrime distance) and the number of days (temporal proximity) between offences to distinguish between linked and unlinked crimes. The intercrime distance and/or the temporal proximity were able to achieve statistically significant levels of discrimination accuracy across crime categories, across crime types, and within crime types as measured by Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis. This suggests that behavioural case linkage can be used to assist the investigation, detection and prosecution of prolific and versatile serial offenders.

History

Citation

Forensic Science International, 2012, 222 (1-3), pp. 146-153

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/MBSP Non-Medical Departments/Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Forensic Science International

Publisher

Elsevier

issn

0379-0738

eissn

1872-6283

Available date

2016-11-07

Publisher version

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0379073812002654

Language

en

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