Using an agent-based crime simulation to predict the effects of urban regeneration on individual household burglary risk

Malleson, N., Heppenstall, A.J., See, L. ORCID:, & Evans, A. (2013). Using an agent-based crime simulation to predict the effects of urban regeneration on individual household burglary risk. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 40 (3) 405-426. 10.1068/b38057.

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Making realistic predictions about the occurrence of crime is a challenging research area. City-wide crime patterns depend on the behaviour and interactions of a huge number of people (including victims, offenders, and passers-by) as well as a multitude of environmental factors. Modern criminology theory has highlighted the individual-level nature of crime-whereby overall crime rates emerge from individual crimes that are committed by individual people in individual places-but traditional modelling methodologies struggle to capture the complex dynamics of the system. The decision whether or not to commit a burglary, for example, is based on a persons unique behavioural circumstances and the immediate surrounding environment. To address these problems, individual-level simulation techniques such as agent-based modelling have begun to spread to the field of criminology. These models simulate the behaviour of individual people and objects directly; virtual "agents" are placed in an environment that allows them to travel through space and time, behaving as they would do in the real world. We outline an advanced agent-based model that can be used to simulate occurrences of residential burglary at an individual level. The behaviour within the model closely represents criminology theory and uses real-world data from the city of Leeds, UK as an input. We demonstrate the use of the model to predict the effects of a real urban regeneration scheme on local households.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crime simulation; Burglary; Agent-based modelling; Offender behaviour
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design; 40(3):405-426 (2013)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:48
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:23

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