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Locating crime and criminality in Edwardian London

Dhillon, K; (2015) Locating crime and criminality in Edwardian London. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This research offers a unique exploration into criminal activity on the streets of Edwardian London by mapping the locations of crimes and defendant addresses, revealing local-scale spatial patterns that hitherto have been lost from or hidden in archives. Focusing on an area (known as the Westminster Police Court area) in Central, South West London during the periods 1901-1902 and 1911-1912, the aim of the study was to investigate how crime and defendant addresses were spatially distributed, assessing temporal changes to patterns and the relationships with neighbourhood characteristics. Court, newspaper and census records were cross-referenced, with the resulting data mapped using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and findings investigated further or contextualised using additional archival sources. The maps produced reveal that the majority of crime was located on major thoroughfares, creating a distinct main street/back street dualism, which was consistent across both study periods. However, not all crime types exhibited this trend and there were some which showed spatial variation over time. Those committing offences within the study area were found to be living locally, concentrated in six generally working class neighbourhoods – most committing crime at distances up to a kilometre from their place of residence. But the maps also highlight areas where crime and/or defendants were absent, reflecting or relating to various features of these city spaces. In addition, data collected allowed for a quantitative assessment of crime and defendants to be conducted, as well as a separate analysis of crime committed on railways (in stations, goods yards and train carriages in motion) – a field neglected by crime historians. The study concludes with a detailed 'biographical' examination of four streets in the study area, allowing the quantitative and spatial assessment of criminal activity to be interpreted alongside information on the social, economic, cultural and environmental characteristics of each street space.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Locating crime and criminality in Edwardian London
Event: University College London (UCL)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Geography
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470869
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