Spatial and environmental consistency in serial sexual assault
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 13:39 authored by Samantha Lundrigan, Sarah Czarnomski, Marc Wilson
This study examines the crime patterns of 76 New Zealand serial sexual offenders in order to determine the extent to which offenders display locational consistency in their choice of crime locations. More specifically, the hypothesis was that there would be intraseries consistency in the distances travelled (spatial consistency) and the characteristics of the crime sites selected (environmental consistency) by serial sexual offenders. For spatial consistency to be tested, the distances travelled from home to offend and the criminal range for each offence series were analysed. Support was found for spatial consistency, and, in line with much overseas research, it was also found that the offenders typically did not travel very far from home to offend (median distance of 3 km). The environmental consistency measure was made up of various physical, temporal, and contextual variables that described the environmental characteristics of an offence. As hypothesised, it was found that offenders displayed intraseries environmental consistency in offence site selection beyond the level of that expected by chance. The implications of this both for understanding offender spatial decision making and for geographical profiling are discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Publication titleJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
- Accepted version