Summer 2015 Criminology Forum Series Welcomes Martin Bouchard

When Jul 29, 2015
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 406 Oswald Tower
Contact Name Julia Laskorunsky
Contact Phone 814-867-3295
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“Two worlds colliding? Community detection from the pro-social and criminal ties of two police targets”

As part of a portfolio of strategies used to achieve crime reductions, law enforcement agencies routinely
establish lists of prolific and serious offenders to be targeted as priorities. Rarely considered, however, is the
fact that offenders are embedded in larger social networks that include a mix of pro-social and criminal ties.
From the police perspective, such networks can facilitate the prioritizing process, and assess the potential
impact of interventions. At the same time, examining the larger social structure in which high profile offenders
are embedded fills a gap in our understanding of co-offending decisions and the emergence of criminal
opportunities. Drawing from a variety of official police records, we constructed the personal networks of two
targeted offenders from a mid-size city in British Columbia, Canada. Network ties were defined in multiple
ways, including criminal events where co-offending ties were recorded, and social settings where contacts were
observed together in a non-criminal context. Results show that of the 101 associates in their combined network
(the two targets were connected and had nine contacts in common), only 50 percent have a crime affiliated
attribute. The network further divides into seven distinct communities ranging from four to 25 members, the
majority of them mixing criminal and non-criminal elements.