Offender residence locations: exploring the impact of spatial scale on variability and concentration


  • Monsuru Adepeju Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Samuel Langton Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement
  • Wouter Steenbeek Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement



geography, crime, spatial scale, hierarchical model, offenders


In recent decades, the analysis of different geographic scales for studying the spatial patterning of crime has profoundly deepened our theoretical grasp of crime dynamics. However, a similar investigation is lacking when it comes to the patterning of offender residences, despite there being clear theoretical and empirical reasons for doing so, among them, the close relationship between where offenders live and where their corresponding crimes are committed. This paper delves into the concentration and variance of offender residences across different levels of spatial aggregation. The data used contains the locations of residence for known offenders in Birmingham between the years 2006 and 2016. Resident locations are aggregated to Output Areas (OA), nested within Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA), further nested within Middle Super Output Areas (MSOA). Descriptive and model-based statistics are deployed to quantify concentration and variation at each spatial scale. Results suggest that most variance (~48%) in offender residence concentrations is attributable to the largest spatial scale (MSOA level). Output Areas capture approximately 38\% of the variance. Findings open up discussions on the role of urban development in determining the appropriateness of spatial scale.



Additional Files





Research Articles