Criminal Activity Vectors - Predicting the Activity Space Nodal Points of Offenders
According to Crime Pattern Theory, individuals all have routine daily activities located in several nodes that are used for different purposes, such as home, work or shopping. As people move between these nodes, their familiarity with the spatial area around the nodes, as well as between nodes, increases. Offenders have the same spatial movement patterns and awareness spaces as regular people, hence it is likely that an offender will commit the crimes in their own awareness space and on the way to one of their nodes. This idea is used to predict the location of the nodes within the awareness space of offenders. The activities of 57,962 offenders who were charged or charges were recommended against them were used to test this idea by mapping their offense locations with respect to their home locations to determine directionality. Once directionality to crime was established, a unique clustering technique, based on K-Means clustering and path-prediction, was used to find the most likely location of one of the nodes of the offender. It was found that, by selecting the right clustering parameters, offenders tend to move towards central shopping areas, and commit crimes along the way.