Newton, Andrew D., Partridge, Henry and Gill, Andy (2014) Above and below: measuring crime risk in and around underground mass transit systems. Crime Science, 3 (1). pp. 1-14. ISSN 2193-7680

This paper explores crime risk within and around major transit systems, specifically by investigating theft of personal property offences on the London Underground. The majority of studies to date have examined theft above ground, predominantly at transit stations, although some studies have compared this with theft in nearby surrounding areas. This study is unique and extends this analysis to theft during transit journeys below ground. The location of such offences is often unknown, only discovered by the victim sometime after the event. A new technique termed Interstitial Crime Analysis is used to better measure the location of below ground theft offences; these are compared with above ground thefts using Spearman’s Rank tests for association. Key findings are: below ground theft offences are concentrated at particular stations; risk is highest during morning and late afternoon peak travel periods; at these peak times there is an elevated risk of theft at both high risk stations and in their surrounding environs; and that this relationship is not evident during the inter-peak and late night time periods. The findings suggest offenders who operate below ground may also operate above ground on major transit systems. This has clear policy implications for policing these settings and highlights the importance of joint operations and information sharing between transit agencies and local police forces operating near major transit systems.

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