Research Areas

Crime reduction is the primary thematic area for research in the ICURS Laboratory. Projects under this theme address the impact of crime reduction approaches designed to reduce crime and fear of crime while enhancing public safety. We are in a dynamic urban and rural environment in the 21st century. There is a continuing need to understand better complex patterns and develop analytic tools to facilitate research and policy assessment.

Computational Criminology and Predictive Policing

Computational criminology uses theories of crime in an urban environment together with the advancements in computational sciences. ICURS introduced the first Computational Criminology Initiative (CCI) in 2003.

CCI themes/research clusters include:

  • Interoperability between justice and urban databases.
  • Artificial Intelligence with agent based modeling.
  • Computationally intensive approaches.
  • New visualization techniques for understanding crime patterns. Crimes and security issues involve human agents, laws and the physical and social landscape. This complexity requires new, adaptable research tools.

Crime Analysis

Crime Analysis covers a broad range of techniques used to better understand the phenomena of crime at national, provincial, municipal, neighbourhood and local areas.

Economics of Policing

With the intention of updating ICURS’ 2005 “30 Year Costing Study,” the Economics of Policing (2014) project was designed to further understand police service, value for money and performance measures across sectors in British Columbia. Specifically, this study hoped to identify, document, and analyze the range of activities and services involved in policing across Canada and especially in British Columbia. This study also sought to analyze and explain the activity and dollar costs of providing policing services over time, and to project future trends in the economics of policing.

Policing and Mental Health

Projects found within the policing and mental health portfolio are designed to better understand the variety of ways in which persons with mental illness, substance use problems, or a combination of the two, interact with police services in British Columbia.

Policy Analysis and Policy Simulation Models

PPS projects address existing policies and programs as well as work at developing new techniques to evaluate alternative possibilities (advanced "what if" models for policy planning; constraint satisfaction methodology; agent based models; linear and non-linear approaches) as well as providing crime trend analysis tools.

Urban/Rural/Remote: Growth, Decline, and Analysis

Projects found within this portfoloio attempt to take into account the specific features of particular environments to better understand a broad range of social phenomena in these areas.