14th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology

  • Ellie Bates (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


With Susan McVie: 'Vandalism and drift: Why both hot and cold spots matter' Abstract: Whilst there has been recent research into the broad phenomena of anti-social behaviour, there has been little recent research into the specific phenomena of vandalism. In particular, little is understood about why vandalism often persistently re-occurs year in year out in particular locations. By drawing on theoretical and methodological approaches from both criminology and geography this mixed methods research explores whether some areas experience high and low concentrations of vandalism year on year; if patterns change over time and whether areas with differing levels of vandalism share characteristics. The research was based on secondary analysis of six years of police recorded crime data on vandalism covering the period 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2010 for a case study area within Edinburgh, Scotland with a broad mix of socio-demographic contexts. This was complimented by data acquired from holding knowledge exchange focus groups where Police Officers responsible for neighbourhood policing produced and discussed shaded maps considering characteristics of areas with high and low vandalism. This enabled rich data to be gathered complementing the quantitative analysis. This paper focuses on the quantitative methods used to assess these patterns and trajectories of high and low vandalism across time. In particular it highlights the usefulness of using Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA), in this case Gi* and Local Moran's I, to highlight areas with similarly high or low concentrations of vandalism. Analysis was conducted at 100m by 100m grid square and small neighbourhood administrative geography (output area) level. To identify and visualise trajectories of vandalism across time, Group Trajectory Analysis (a form of Latent Class Analysis) was used, identifying key groups of areas with high, consistently low and drifting levels of vandalism. The research demonstrates the importance of comparing not just areas where there are high concentrations of crime, but also those areas with low or no crime, alongside those areas that fluctuate (or drift) between these extremes. Interestingly the scale chosen for analysis was found to noticeably impact on results; this 14th Annual Conference of European Society of Criminology was reinforced by maps produced in focus groups by police officers, with knowledge of the local area, which also suggested that differing sized localities were affected by high and low levels of vandalism. The paper suggests that to understand vandalism and its affect on place, considering both hot and cold spots matters.
PeriodSept 2014
Event typeConference
LocationPrague, Czech RepublicShow on map


  • Vandalism
  • Hot and Cold Spots
  • trajectories