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To link or not to link: a test of the case linkage principles using serial car theft data

By Matthew Tonkin


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.The purpose of the present study is to test the case linkage principles of behavioural\ud consistency and behavioural distinctiveness using serial vehicle theft data. Data from 386 solved vehicle thefts committed by 193 offenders were analysed using Jaccard’s, regression and ROC analysis to determine whether objectively observable aspects of crime scene behaviour could be used to distinguish crimes committed by the same offender from those committed by different offenders. The findings indicate that spatial\ud behaviour, specifically the distance between theft locations and between dump locations,\ud is a highly consistent aspect of vehicle theft behaviour, thus intercrime and interdump\ud distance represent the most useful aspects of vehicle theft for the purpose of case linkage\ud analysis. The findings have theoretical and practical implications for understanding of\ud criminal behaviour, for the development of decision-support tools to assist Police\ud investigation and apprehension of serial vehicle theft offenders, and for the use and evaluation of case linkage as expert evidence.University of Leiceste

Year: 2007
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