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Exploring spatial and temporal variation in perception of crime and place using crowdsourced data

Solymosi, R; (2017) Exploring spatial and temporal variation in perception of crime and place using crowdsourced data. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

To advance and widen the scope of research into the perception of crime and place, innovations in technology for data collection can be utilized as research tools. To date, there has been little exploration into these new methods of data capture. This thesis presents the possibilities of using crowdsourced data collection methods for application to research in environmental criminology. The lack of detailed data on people's experiences and movements at a micro geographical and temporal resolution have impeded the exploration of many of the subtleties of the relationship between crime and place, but this data-gap can be filled by creatively applying new technologies for data collection. The core chapters in this thesis give empirical examples, which demonstrate that spatiotemporal data on people's experiences with crime and disorder during their routine activities can be collected and used to study perception of crime and place. By exploring such crowdsourced data from an environmental criminology framework, I demonstrate how fear of crime varies in place and time, dynamically within individuals, which is not reflected in current measurement approaches. I also propose crowdsourced collection of volunteered geographic information as a proxy measurement for within-day fluctuations for active guardianship, possibly highlighting areas of temporarily increased crime risk. Such information also shows promise in identifying when people are likely to encounter signal disorders as part of their everyday routine activities, leading to possible experiences of fear of crime. These findings provide novel insight into fear of crime, signal disorders, and active guardianship, which allows for the exploration of these concepts as situation-dependent, dynamic experiences. Theoretical development of this thesis is the application of the framework of environmental criminology to the study of subjective perceptions, and the possibility to gather empirical data to support this approach is made possible by the methodological developments presented within. This approach serves as a guideline for studying perception in a way that allows for situational prevention measures to be introduced. Making use of new insight into dynamic variation in context allows for identification of areas with temporarily increased risk of crime, disorder or fear of crime. This thesis contributes to theoretical and methodological growth in the study of perception of crime and place by applying crowdsourcing theory and practice to its measurement.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Exploring spatial and temporal variation in perception of crime and place using crowdsourced data
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: crowdsourcing, fear of crime, place, perception, mobile sensing, mapping, experience sampling method, environmental criminology, crime science, routine activities, active guardianship, disorder
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1541235
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