Crime and Victimisation

Has Scotland's falling crime rate benefited everyone equally?

Crime has fallen nationally, but this project aims to establish whether crime has fallen to the same extent within all local authority areas and the extent to which there is variation between areas. Using small area level police recorded crime data, this project investigates the differences in crime trends across local communities of Scotland to identify the winners and losers in the crime drop. 

Transforming Stop and Search in Scotland

This briefing tells the story of how research by Dr Kath Murray and Professor Susan McVie led to transformative changes within Police Scotland  around stop and search practice. 

Read the briefing in full. 

Black people more likely to be searched by police, report finds - The National

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 00:00

The National on the report prepared by Susan McVie and Kath Murray for the Scottish Police Authority on scrutiny of Police Scotland use of stop and search. You can view the SPA report here.

Read The National article in full.

Police more likely to search black people and Gypsies - Herald Scotland

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 00:00

Herald Scotland's Mark McLaughlin on the Scottish Police Authority report by Susan McVie and Kath Murray regarding scrutiny of Police Scotland’s use of stop and search in terms of proportionality, fairness and effectiveness.  Here is the SPA report by McVie and Murray.

Read Mark's article in full at the Herald Scotland website.

Crime and the era of ‘big data’

In this current era of ‘big data’, crime data poses both opportunities and challenges for data scientists and crime analysts.  The wealth of data available at increasingly small spatial scales provides good opportunities for better understanding the relationship between crime and place; while investment in data linkage infrastructure is allowing us to examine the connection between crime and a host of other social and environmental factors.  Within our AQMeN programme of research, we have considered what the era of ‘big data’ means for criminology and been active in securing access to new f

Transforming Stop and Search in Scotland

During the course of our research on crime and victimisation, the eight Scottish police forces were merged into one single force in April 2013.  During its early phase, Police Scotland faced significant criticism over its use of stop and search which was found to be significantly higher than other comparative jurisdictions.  During a very turbulent period in Scottish policing history, there was intense political and media debate about the use and scrutiny of police stop and search. 

Changing patterns of youth crime and justice

A core element of AQMeN’s research on crime has involved examining changes in patterns of youth crime and justice over time.  In addition to our research on the crime drop in Scotland and our study of criminal careers over the period of the crime drop, we have examined the relationship between youth crime and poverty, assessed the case for increasing diversionary responses within youth justice, and provided detailed overviews of the changing nature of youth justice

New methodological approaches within criminology

A key aim of AQMeN was to develop new methodologies using quantitative data.  Within the crime and victimisation strand, we have developed several projects using crime data that have made a significant contribution to methodological development within the field of criminology.  Further details of these projects are given below.

Victim inequality and the crime drop

A key aspect of our research programme on the crime drop has involved examining it from the perspective of victims.  Victimisation surveys provide a useful alternative source to police statistics on changing trends in crime in a number of countries, including Scotland.  By combining multiple sweeps of Scottish victim surveys from 1993 to 2014/15, we take a victim-centered approach to understanding how the experiences of victims have changed over time.  Our main finding is that there has been a significant increase in victim inequality over the period of the crime drop.  Here we summarise ou


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