Computational Criminology and Predictive Policing

Computational criminology seeks to address criminological problems through the use of applied mathematics, computer science and criminology. Methods include algorithms, data mining, data structures and software development. The discipline of environmental criminology relies heavily on computational criminology, which is defined by Liu and Eck (2008) as the: "...use of computer simulation of crime patterns to reveal hidden processes of urban crimes, taking an interdisciplinary approach by combining criminology, computer simulation, and geographic information systems into one comprehensive resource". The Computational Criminology Initiative (CCI) was introduced by ICURS in 2003, and allows for new visualization techniques for understanding crime patterns.


ICURS developed CourBC, a database currently holding four years' information on all court appearances in all adult criminal courts in British Columbia.  CourBC contains information about all charges, all co-accused and all outcomes and sentencing for all convictions. CourBC can help identify the most frequent crimes and breaches appearing before the BC criminal courts; the impact of bail/remand decisions; the impact of the drugs court; and the number of appearances as case complexity increases.

Crime Attractors & Generators

This project focused on developing estimates of the directional pull of different types of land uses by examining the spatial relationships between offenders' home location and the location of their crimes.  The pull of major shopping malls is extremely strong. In conjunction with this project, ICURS also developed a technique for estimating the roads an offender normally follows in both routine activities and journeys to crime, providing a base line for predicting offending patterns in order to target prevention programs and support investigations.

Social Network Analysis of Very Large Offender Networks

This project developed software needed to do network analysis on large datasets (tested on datasets with 9 million records). This software, among other things, has been used to look at high volume repeat offenders and their co-offenders and victimization between local gangs. It allows examination of the spatial aspects of offender networks as well as the network form.