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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Wider Benefits to Sector & Achievements for Host Institution

Benefits to the institution(s)

As all project outputs are to be released publicly (or as far as possible given data restrictions) the partner institutions will share the benefits of the project freely with other institutions and the community as a whole. However, the institutions also recognise that there will be direct positive benefits in terms of publicity and academic/professional synergy. Also, the individual staff members will benefit from the professional networks that they can establish at conferences whilst disseminating the research as well as skills gained through events offered by JISC.

Benefits to the wider community of environmental criminologists / crime-reduction professionals

Interest in understanding crime patterns has grown considerably in recent years and the number of people actually mapping and analysing crime data has extended way beyond the police to include central government, local authorities, regeneration partnerships, consultants and the general public. Seeing crime patterns upon a map has also triggered a number of questions about what is causing those patterns, why they are in particular areas and why they happen at certain times of day. These questions cannot be answered just by looking at crime data. To begin to answer them we need data about what is going on in those areas to shape the patterns that we see. This involves looking at the types of housing, street layouts, the social make-up of different neighbourhoods, accessibility and transport routes, open space, the juxtaposition of different land uses and a whole host of other factors that place crime patterns into their broader context. Although we have data on crime, there is no easily accessible data set that enables us to map all or even most of these other factors. The data that does exist is only available through specialised services such as Digimap. Additionally, one of the factors preventing wide scale use of the data is the technical expertise required to analyse it and to derive useful insights from it. This project will seek to harness and exploit under-used geospatial datasets  to enable both the academic and end user communities to better understand what underpins crime patterns and how these can be explained  and for targeting policy interventions and resources for  crime reduction.

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