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Explores how different visualisations can affect interpretation of crime data. Advocates extreme caution in public release of vandalism data

Explores how different visualisations can affect interpretation of crime data. Advocates extreme caution in public release of vandalism data

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  • SIMD Vandalism – by total population for each zone. Scottish Index of multiple deprivation - standardised by population per zone.(20% most deprived), neutral, 20% least deprived SIMD; made up of Crime, income, housing, employment, health, education, access to services. ..with crime made up of house breaking, vandalism, drugs, assault. Remember this map we will come back to it later...data is police recorded crimes of the category Vandalism etc (Primarily Vandalism, malicious mischief and fire-raising with a very small number of other crimes) as used to produce the SIMD crime domain for the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) made available on the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website at Intermediate Geography level overlaid over SIMD 2009 (based on data form 2007, 2007/8) made available on the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website at Data Zone level. The SIMD is a composite index made up of 7 domains Current Income, Employment, Health, Education, Skills and Training, Geographic Access to Services, Housing, and Crime. The SIMD crime measures is not a measure of all crimes, but is made up of selected police recorded crimes felt relevant to a deprivation indices: recorded crimes of violence, domestic housebreaking, vandalism, drugs offences and minor assault, crimes within 50m of a police station are excluded. The crime data used to make up the SIMD crime domain is made available at Intermediate geography level on the SNS website. This includes the SIMD Vandalism data which is equivalent to the Group 4 code in the Scottish Crime recording standard, SIMD Vandalism is broadly vandalism, fire-raising (i.e. Arson), malicious mischief and various other reckless conduct offences. Whilst no breakdown of data for offences making up the category is given, Lothian and Borders performance police reports, and Scottish Government police recorded crime reports suggest the majority of offences are related to vandalism, malicious mischief or fire-raising. SIMD Vandalism offences and codes:- 32/001, Fire-raising excluding muirburn; 32/003, Muirburn; 33/001, Vandalism, reckless damage and malicious mischief; 33/002, Reckless conduct with firearms; 33/003, Flying aircraft to the danger of life or property; 33/004, Endangering rail passengers; 33/005, Reckless driving at common law; 33/006, Culpable neglect of duty; 33/007, Endangering ship by breach of duty, obtain ship by misrepresentation; 33/010, Computer Misuse Act 1990; 33/011, Culpable and reckless conduct (not with firearms); 33/012 Vandalism, 33/013, Reckless damage, 33/014, Malicious mischief.
  • Vandalism –graffiti, malicious mischief, fire raising. (Youth Crime and Justice Service Building in Edinburgh)
  • At least 4 theories – place is common to them all Social disorganisation / collective efficacy - Robert Samson (and others) Social disorganisation theory was developed by Shaw and Mackay and the Chicago school and later further developed by Robert Sampson and others into a theory of collective efficacy (1997 – latest paper ~2009)– The perceived capacity of a community to work together to solve problems can influence levels of crime & disorder 1 Routine Activities – Marcus Felson Originally developed by Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson in 1979, and subsequently developed by Marcus Felson – his latest clarification of the approach is recent book 4 th ed. published 2010. Simply put presence of a ‘likely offender’ a ‘suitable target’ and ‘absence of a capable guardian’ at a given place and time can lead to crime 2 Situational Action Theory A theory currently being developed by Per Olof Wikström which aims to provide a complete theory of crime. It argues that crime occurs because people make a moral choice to act to commit (or not commit) a crime based on their propensity to commit a crime and their exposure both to various factors as they grow up and the situation they find themselves in at a given time – the theory is summarised as P ropensity x E xposure = C hoice. Place is important to the theory as a key part of the exposure part of the theory is that e xposure to a ‘criminogenic setting’ can influence crime involvement based on a person’s ‘crime propensity’ 3 Cultural Criminology – Jeff Ferrell, Keith Hayward and Jock Young This approach to criminology emphasises the important of cultural context and as part of this approach understanding the cultural meanings and contexts of places is important for understanding crime 4. Theory / approach and its link to place Cultural Criminology Understanding the cultural meanings and contexts of places is important for understanding crime 4 Situational Action Theory Exposure to a ‘criminogenic setting’ can influence crime involvement based on a person’s ‘crime propensity’3 Routine Activities Presence of a ‘likely offender’ & a ‘suitable target’ with the ‘absence of a capable guardian’ at a given place and time can lead to crime 2 Social Disorganisation/ Collective Efficacy The perceived capacity of a community to work together to solve problems can influence levels of crime & disorder 1
  • ....and historically maps have helped us explore the relationship between crime and place...and been visualised in innovative ways... Source: Friendly, M. & Denis, D. J. (2001). Milestones in the history of thematic cartography, statistical graphics, and data visualization. Web document, http://www.math.yorku.ca/SCS/Gallery/milestone/. Accessed: 6 April 2010 see also http://datavis.ca/milestones/index.php?group=1800%2B
  • Early attempt to understand the layout of the city and its influence on pattern of crime – and how we might visualise crime – crime and urban morphology The Chicago schools’ work concentrated on where offenders lived. In the visualisation above ‘probably the most famous map in the history of sociology’ (Dario Melossi, 2008,113) the solid line is Lake Michigan shore with Chicago to the left, the dotted lines are extended to show the zones of the city. Shaw and Mackay came up with a “theory of gradient” , as you move out from the centre, socio economic status increases and crime decreases. But over time although the composition of those living in the zone in transition and loop changes, the crime rate remains high leading the Chicago School to conclude “deviant characteristics are a property of the environment and not of given groups or individuals” (Melossi, 2008, 114) Social disorganisation could be remedied by repairing, restoring or re-organizing social relationships in an area. Later work in Sheffield amongst other areas suggested concentric zones were not a good model for UK cities, but the ideas from the early Chicago school have gone on to influence work by Robert Sampson and other’s which show crime is often higher in disadvantaged or deprived communities and in areas with low collective efficacy or community capital. Put very simply where the ability of the whole community to work together and support each other is poor there seems to be higher concentrations of crime. Poverty or relative deprivation may be part of the problem – but not the only part
  • Index of multiple deprivation
  • With growing levels of freely available data, web mapping and Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) tools now anyone can make a crime map... but how should we visualise this...what are the challenges of exploring a specific crime problem Point, surfaces, or zones, - how do we categorise or standardise crime data? How do we best visualise this information? Ok so most of us accept that just points are not helpful, but whichever way we choose to visualise data we need to think about wider issues rather than just the technical aspects of how to best produce a Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) map or suitable polygon based map (e.g. a chloropleth based Excess Risk Map). The rest of this paper considers what some of those wider issues might be for vandalism. Excess risk shows regions either below or above the average for that area as a whole.
  • Under – reporting of the problem cos its not serious enough/ people’s tolerance varies Vandalism is not mindless Broad categorisation as or within property crime (‘left overs’ Who or what is the population at risk? ‘the denominator dilemma’ (Ratcliffe, 2010)5 Is it ‘the community’, or business – people are not static – daysmetric mapping, or is it the criminals themselves? How clear is the picture, how truthful are the data? Dasymetric mapping refers to a process of disaggregating spatial data to a finer unit of analysis, using additional (or "ancillary") data to help refine locations of population or other phenomena (Mennis 2003). This disaggregation process will result in areas of homogeneity that take into account (and more closely resemble) the actual phenomena being modeled, rather than areal units based on administrative or other arbitrary boundaries. Although it is generally used to get better results for actual locations of population, dasymetric mapping theoretically can be used to disaggregate any quantitative variable that is aggregated by geographic units, such as administrative divisions including census enumeration units, ZIP codes, counties, and police precincts; or environmental districts, including watersheds, wetlands, or flood plains Typically vandalism has low reporting rates, for example the latest Scottish Crime and Justice Survey found only 40% of private individuals (the survey does not cover business or commercial victims) reported vandalism to the police.
  • Err no.. it’s not... it’s rather more complicated than that – this is one of the most quoted typologies of vandalism motivations Ideological vandalism – political protest Acquisitive – associated with theft
  • Under – reporting of the problem cos its not serious enough/ people’s tolerance varies Vandalism is not mindless Broad categorisation as or within property crime (‘left overs’ Who or what is the population at risk? ‘the denominator dilemma’ (Ratcliffe, 2010)5 Is it ‘the community’, or business – people are not static – daysmetric mapping, or is it the criminals themselves? How clear is the picture, how truthful are the data? Dasymetric mapping refers to a process of disaggregating spatial data to a finer unit of analysis, using additional (or "ancillary") data to help refine locations of population or other phenomena (Mennis 2003). This disaggregation process will result in areas of homogeneity that take into account (and more closely resemble) the actual phenomena being modeled, rather than areal units based on administrative or other arbitrary boundaries. Although it is generally used to get better results for actual locations of population, dasymetric mapping theoretically can be used to disaggregate any quantitative variable that is aggregated by geographic units, such as administrative divisions including census enumeration units, ZIP codes, counties, and police precincts; or environmental districts, including watersheds, wetlands, or flood plains Typically vandalism has low reporting rates, for example the latest Scottish Crime and Justice Survey found only 40% of private individuals (the survey does not cover business or commercial victims) reported vandalism to the police.
  • Top two lines are broad groupings (’35% of 14-15 years olds committed anti social behaviour. Lower two lines – separate out graffiti and criminal damage. Like many received opinions this one has a lot of truth - Vandalism is more likely to be committed young people, however some of those young people are not kids but young adults. Peak age is in the early teens around 14 to 15, the OCJS 2006 found 32% of all 14-15 years olds reported they had committed a core offence, 36% of 14-15 year olds had committed an act of Anti-Social Behaviour; 9% of 14-15 year olds had committed an act of criminal damage (a core offence in the survey); 12% of 14-15% said they had done graffiti (and act classified as ASB). Figures are from tables in a recent report (Roe & Ash, 2008) on the Offending Crime and Justice Survey (OCJS) 2006, a survey of around 5,350 respondents (5,353) of whom around 4,950 (4,951) were aged between 10 and 25. These charts represent the proportion in each age group who say they had offended - for core offences (1) the total respondents answering the question is 4,816, for ASB (2) the total respondents 4,815. Actually all crime is far more likely to be done by a younger person, the age crime curve is universally accepted (and you always tend find it) although peak ages vary between different crime types and genders and criminologists remain divided as to why it looks like it does. Sometimes rather than prevalence as shown here, criminologists might produce charts showing frequency – i.e. the total number of offences committed by those who are offending at a given age – these charts are a very similar shape to those of prevalence – so those aged from around 14 to their early 20s are more likely to offend than those of other ages and do more crime – they are also more likely to be victims - see more generally (Smith, 2007) (McVie, 2006, McVie, 2009).
  • (Pearsons done because distribution is not normal) Pearsons is a measure of the correlation between two variables Cramer's V is a way of calculating correlation in tables which have more than 2x2 rows and columns. It is used as post-test to determine strengths of association after chi-square has determined significance.  Cramers indicates the strength of the relationship between these different crime types.
  • Excess risk shows regions either below or above the average for that area as a whole. One is vandalism, the other is graffiti – standardised by area. Strong correlation. ‘ the number of resident vandals per unit area’ ‘ serious problem in THESE areas’. There is no obvious denominator for standardising vandalism. It has been suggested that vandalism per hectare is one appropriate standardisation. This map shows offenders who say yes they have done graffiti [Graffiti question - “During the last year, did you write or spray paint on property that did not belong to you (e.g. a phone box, car, building or bus shelter)?”] or vandalism [Vandalism question: During the last year, did you damage or destroy property that did not belong to you on purpose (e.g. windows, cars or street lights)? ]
  • For the total number of respondents by area - for the young people living in this area, what % of them do graffiti. If we know where the excess lives, then lets target these areas… In other words, for most of these areas, the level is not unusual, - taking into account where young people live.
  • Where should the resources go? Image on left – things look bleak Dot on right is where disproportionately higher number of children are vandals. This is where your resources must go.
  • top left: vandalism by area: indicates community affected - youth are stigmatised by community cos community sees a lot of vandalism. top right: vandalism by population: indicates which community is actually affected by crime (victim) bottom: vandalism by youth: disproportionately higher numbers of vandals within population of that area - worth investing resources in these areas - tageting the perpetrator. What problem are you trying to solve here? top left: vandalism by area: indicates community affected - youth are stigmatised by community cos community sees a lot of vandalism. Yes this could be the case, and community themselves may have generally a greater concern about crime. Vandalism is a signal crime (Innes, 2004) i.e. if people see evidence of it they may perceive there are wider crime problems in the area (even though this may not be true) top right: vandalism by population: indicates which community is actually affected by crime (victim) Yes (plus comments as above) bottom: vandalism by youth: disproportionately higher numbers of vandals within population of that area - worth investing resources in these areas - tageting the perpetrator. Certianly these areas worthy of further investigation and possibly investment. This assumes that youth who live within the area also vandalise their local area. This remains (one of the many) areas for further research. It is likely youth will vandalise areas they generally frequent, e.g. where they socialise and hang out - this may be around their home or it may be near their school or where they visit for entertainment / fun. Intermediate geography areas are quite large to is a reasonable hypothesis that young people may offend within the IG area. This may also explain why the city centre stands out as a place with high rates of vandalism per population and youth population - it has fairly low numbers of youth living in it but it's a place lot of young people visit.. Very recent research by Wikstrom et al 2010 (reference at end of slides) in Peterbrough suggests young people do travel quite widely and where they are is related to their routine activities e.g. attending school, meeting friends etc. So this kind of visualisaiton is just a start - to take it further you really need to start looking at better denominators (e.g. daysymetric populations) where are most young people likely to be at a given time and the level of crime at a given time (and yes I am starting to think about how this might be possible..)
  • These were produced by using Geoda to produce the cartogram and through brushing and linking produce a series of screen shots with the relevant band e.g. <0.25 or 0.25-0.5 etc highlighted and copying them to power point for reference. The image was then appropriately re-coloured using the graphics software paint.net – it works but it’s slow. This produces an excess risk cartogram. (Some kind of automated software or a feature added to Geoda to automatically produce these would be useful – currently Geoda will only shade cartograms as a 1.5 or 3.0 hinge)
  • Chloropleth map and cartogram side by side to provide context, but show a key issue is the way we standardise – not just the mapping style.
  • If we only use vandalism density as a measure we may inappropriately target children within high child density areas as problematic when these children may not be behaving any differently to their peers in a less high child density area We need to be careful we do not inappropriately signify / label young people; especially careful that we do not inappropriately involve young people in the criminal justice system (CJS). Recent research by McVie and McCara (2005, 2007)8 suggests that involvement with the CJS can be a stronger predictor of future criminality than other factors But research on signal crimes (Innes, 2004)9 suggests that the presence of crimes such as vandalism or graffiti in a neighbourhood influences perception of crime, so crime density may be a highly relevant measure for considering this issue We need to develop a better understanding of the place and time dynamics of vandalism – including how can we best understand and visualise the nature of local vandalism problems
  • Although this paper highlights issues for mapping vandalism, similar considerations apply to any specific crime. Crimes can have complex motivations which can be crime specific; the majority of criminals and victims are younger people (the age-crime curve is universally accepted; the reasons behind it remain contentious). We should consider if we are yet taking enough care considering all relevant theories and issues in visualising crime, and if our current visualisations might be misleading us over the nature of crime problems. Criminologists, GIS professionals and crime analysts need to work together on this. We need a public debate on the appropriateness of public interest data maps. How do we respect freedom of information but avoid confusion or harm. . What guidance is needed? Breast cancer density maps anyone?
  • Criminal damage / Vandalism should not yet be included in official public crime maps; better understanding of the nature of this crime problem and how best to visualise it is needed. Further research is needed into whether existing denominators used for public crime maps are producing mis-leading maps which are under-stating or over-stating local crime problems. Careful consideration should be given as to whether official public crime maps of Anti-Social Behaviour are appropriate. Where crime data is released for public use, guidance on potential problems with using the data and where possible suggested appropriate denominators should be given. Any researcher modelling links between crime and place needs to think carefully standardisation of crime data.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Exploring and Mapping Patterns of Vandalism amongst Young People: When is a problem not a problem? Ellie Bates School of Law University of Edinburgh [email_address] William Mackaness Institute of Geography University of Edinburgh william.mackaness@ed.ac.uk
    • 2.
      • Why does researching vandalism need crime maps, and why is it difficult to map?
      • Some specific issues with mapping vandalism illustrated by using a longitudinal cohort study
        • Categorisation – how do we define the problem?
        • Visualisation – how should we visualise the problem?
      • Wider implications
        • For open source map makers
        • For researchers
        • For policy makers
    • 3. Vandalism is a crime quintessentially associated with place...
    • 4. To understand why vandalisms occurs where and when it does, we need to consider the relationship between crime and place.... Edinburgh City centre vandalism Photos: E Bates, August / September 2009
    • 5. place Place really matters for all these criminology ideas Social Disorganisation / Collective Efficacy Routine Activities Situational Action Theory Cultural Criminology
    • 6. Balbi and Guerry (1829): Map of crimes against person and property in France
    • 7.  
    • 8.  
    • 9.  
    • 10.  
    • 11.
      • Specific problems for visualising a vandalism problem
      • Under – reporting of the problem
      • Vandalism – mindless ‘received opinion’
    • 12. Vandalism ‘received opinion’ 1 – ‘it’s mindless’ Vandalism Typology Stanley Cohen (1973, 1984) 6 acquisitive tactical vindictive play malicious conventional vandalism ideological vandalism institutionalised rule breaking (tolerated) ritualism e.g. Halloween play protection e.g. public schoolboys writing off (too minor) walling in (e.g. school, prison)
    • 13.
      • Specific problems for visualising a vandalism problem
      • Under – reporting of the problem
      • Vandalism – mindless ‘received opinion’
      • Broad categorisation (within property crime?)
      • Who or what is the population at risk? ‘the denominator dilemma’ (Ratcliffe, 2010) 5
    • 14. Vandalism ‘received opinion’ 2 – ‘it’s kids’ Prevalence (participation rate) the proportion of unit population involved in offending behaviour - by age group 7
    • 15. Is Vandalism like other property crime / are graffiti and smashing/breaking vandalism the same ? Source: Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions in Crime, Sweep 3 conducted 2000, Average age of respondent 14.
    • 16. When is a problem not a problem SOR_Vandal_Area SOR_Graffiti_Area R 2 = 0.864 Study Area: City of Edinburgh Statistical Geography: Intermediate Geography, Crown copyright reproduced by permission of HMSO Data Source: Edinburgh Study Youth Transiations in Crime (ESYTC), Sweep 3, average of respondent 14, N=760 N=1563
    • 17. SOR_Vandal_Count SOR_Graffiti_Count Study Area: City of Edinburgh Statistical Geography: Intermediate Geography, Crown copyright reproduced by permission of HMSO R 2 = 0.343 N=760, 22% of 3470 geocoded respondents N=1563, 45% of 3470 geocoded respondents Data Source: Edinburgh Study Youth Transiations in Crime (ESYTC), Sweep 3, average of respondent 14,
    • 18. When is a problem not a problem
      • – Standardised by area in hectares
      • Cartogram from Geoda 1.5 hinge
      (b)- Standardised by respondent, Cartogram from Geoda 1.5 hinge
    • 19. Rather than this
    • 20. Does this provide a greater insight – SD Maps? Per hectare Per total population Per pop. Aged 10-19
    • 21. Is an excess risk map also helpful? Per total population Per hectare Per pop. Aged 10-19
    • 22. Excess risk / Standardised Offence Ratio (SOR) Cartograms SIMD Vandalism per population aged 10-19 SIMD Vandalism per hectare SIMD Vandalism per total population
    • 23. Excess risk map and excess risk cartogram Per pop. Aged 10-19 Per hectare
    • 24. Could this visualisation provide additional insight, or stimulate problem solving?
    • 25.
      • Conclusions 1
      • Density – inappropriate labelling of ‘youth’
      • Perception – influenced by presence of vandalism – density important!
      • Place/ time dynamics of vandalism complex – care in allocation of resources
    • 26. Conclusions 2
      • Conclusions 1
      • Challenge of mapping vandalism - true of any crime
      • Care in interpretation - requires us to work together
      • Challenges in public delivery services
    • 27.
      • Recomendations
      • Criminal damage / Vandalism should not yet be included in official public crime maps;
      • Further research on visualisation/ denominator issues
      • Where released, caveats should be stated.
      • Careful choice of standardisation / visualisation required.
    • 28. References 1, SAMPSON, R. J. & RAUDENBUSH, S. W. (1999) Systematic Social Observation in Public Spaces: A New Look at Disorder in Urban Neighbourhoods. American Journal of Sociology, 105, 603-651. SAMPSON, R. J. (2009) Disparity and diversity in the contemporary city: social (dis)order revisited. The British Journal of Sociology , 60, 1-31 2, COHEN, L. & FELSON, M. (1979) Social Change and crime rate trends: a routine activities approach. American Sociological Review, 44, 588-608. FELSON, M. BOBA, R. (2010) Crime and Every Day Life, 4 th Edition, London, Sage 3, WIKSTRÖM, P.-O. H. (2006) Individual Settings and acts of crime, situational mechanisms and their explanations of crime. IN WIKSTRÖM, P.-O. H. & SAMPSON, R. J. (Eds.) The explanation of crime: Context mechanisms and development. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. WIKSTRÖM, P.-0. H., CECCATO V., HARDIE B. & TREIBER K. (2010) Activity Fields and the Dynamics of Crime Advancing Knowledge About the Role of the Environment in Crime Causation, Journal of Quantitative Criminology , 26, 55-87 4, FERRELL J. HAYWARD K. & YOUNG J. (2008) Cultural Criminology an Invitation , London, Sage 5, RATCLIFFE, J. (2010) Crime Mapping: Spatial and Temporal Challenges in Piquero A. Weisburd D Handbook of Quantitative Criminology, New York, Springer 6, COHEN, S. (1973) Property destruction motives and meanings - IN WARD, C. (Ed.) Vandalism. London, Architectural Press. COHEN, S. (1984) Sociological approaches to vandalism. IN LEVY-LEBOYER, C. (Ed.) Vandalism: behaviour and motivations. Amsterdam, New York, Elsevier Science Publishers. 7, ROE, S & ASHE J (2008) Young people and Crime Findings from the Offending Crime and Justice Survey 2006 , London , Home Office 8, MCCARA, L. and MCVIE, S. (2005) ‘The Usual Suspects? Street-life, young offenders and the police.’ Criminology and Criminal Justice 5, 1, 5–36. MCCARA, L. and MCVIE, S. (2007) ‘Youth justice? The impact of system contact on patterns of desistance from offending.’ European Journal of Criminology 4, 3,315–345. 9, INNES, M. (2004) Signal crimes and signal disorders: notes on deviance as communicative action. British Journal of Sociology, 55 , 335-355
    • 29. Acknowledgement

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