Spatiotemporal Analysis of Stadium-Related Theft: An English Case-Study

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TEKİN D. , Kurland J.

JOURNAL OF PENAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY-CEZA HUKUKU VE KRIMINOLOJI DERGISI, vol.7, no.2, pp.233-254, 2019 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/jplc2019-0021
  • Page Numbers: pp.233-254


Academic studies on football-related crimes have predominantly focused on violent crimes and fans engaged in these crimes. Unlike these studies which may be deemed a reflection of the traditional criminology in the football context, this paper examines the crime patterns focused on where and when theft crimes might occur on match days and why such patterns might emerge. Routine activities theory and crime pattern theory which are two related theories of environmental criminology provide a theoretical framework for the study. These two theories successfully reveal how the components of the social and physical environment provide the necessary conditions for stadium-related theft. Methodologically, for the spatial analysis of theft crimes, the methods of Kernel Density Estimation and spatial permutation test are employed; for the temporal analysis, a "match adjusted temporal analysis" is developed. Using the hotspotting technique around the Elland Road Stadium of Leeds United football team, it is suggested that theft crimes are not randomly distributed in time (match days and non-match days) and space. The risk of theft (per unit of time) is found to be particularly elevated at certain locations near to the stadium on match days, and for a window of time before, during and after matches take place. Analysing the spatial and temporal dimensions of stadium-related theft crime is likely to provide guidance about when and where to deploy officers by informing intelligence services.