Criminology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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An examination of the bedroom rapist

Date created: 
2017-09-22
Abstract: 

Research has found that sexual offenders are rational and consistent in their crime site selection strategies. However, one crime site location that has been largely understudied in sexual offending research is the ‘bedroom rape’ attack. Bedroom rapes are described as sexual assaults that occur within a victim’s own residence. This study uses Generalized Estimating Equations to examine data from a sample of 347 sexual assault events to determine which offender modus operandi and temporal variables are significant predictors of bedroom rape events. Findings indicate that a number of modus operandi and temporal variables are significant predictors. For instance, bedroom rape events are more likely to involve premeditation, coercion and an offender who commits a burglary in addition to the sexual offence. Conclusions on why offenders may choose this type of crime attack location are drawn and implications for situational crime prevention measures are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Eric Beauregard
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Fear and loathing on public transportation: Applying a spatial framework to crime patterns on Vancouver's Canada Line SkyTrain System

Date created: 
2017-09-25
Abstract: 

The expansion of mass forms of public transportation systems have often been resisted due to fears and concerns over an increased level of crime. The following study seeks to determine whether the SkyTrain’s Canada Line has increased levels of reported crime in six criminal offence categories: commercial burglary, residential burglary, mischief, theft, theft from vehicle, and theft of vehicle between January 2003 and December 2015 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Time series regression, panel data analysis, and spatial point pattern tests are applied to determine whether such concerns should be merited or disregarded in the study of crime and transportation. Results demonstrate that census tracts that host a Canada Line SkyTrain station do not increase levels of crime. Rather, census tracts that host multiple SkyTrain stations and/or are situated in socially disorganized neighbourhoods are at a higher level of risk for criminal victimization. These findings are critical in removing the negative stigma surrounding mass forms of public transportation systems. Additionally, these results assist local police, transit authorities, and urban planners to create appropriate crime prevention strategies to prevent crime while restructuring public discourse about the potential criminogenic effects from public transportation systems.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Understanding the collective identity of the radical right online: A mixed-methods approach

Date created: 
2017-09-07
Abstract: 

Criminologists have generally agreed that the Internet is not only a tool or resource for right-wing extremists to disseminate ideas and products, but also a site of important identity work, accomplished interactively through the exchange of radical ideas. Online discussion forums, amongst other interactive corners of the Web, have become an essential conduit for the radical right to air their grievances and bond around their “common enemy.” Yet overlooked in this discussion has been a macro-level understanding of the radical discussions that contribute to the broader collective identity of the extreme right online, as well as what constitutes “radical posting behaviour” within this context. Drawing from criminal career measures to facilitate this type of analysis, data was extracted from a sub-forum of the most notorious white supremacy forum online, Stormfront, which included 141,763 posts made by 7,014 authors over approximately 15 years. In study one of this dissertation, Sentiment-based Identification of Radical Authors (SIRA), a sentiment analysis-based algorithm that draws from traditional criminal career measures to evaluate authors’ opinions, was used to identify and, by extension, assess forum authors’ radical posting behaviours using a mixed-methods approach. Study two extended on study one by using SIRA to quantify authors’ group-level sentiment about their common enemies: Jews, Blacks, and LGBTQs. Study three further extended on studies one and two by analyzing authors’ radical posting trajectories with semi-parametric group-based modeling. Results highlighted the applicability of criminal career measures to study radical discussions online. Not only did this mixed-methods approach provide theoretical insight into what constitutes radical posting behaviour in a white supremacy forum, it also shed light on the communication patterns that contribute to the broader collective identity of the extreme right online.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Richard Frank
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Exploring the Rise and Decline of Anti- State Terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): A multi-sphere based explanation

Date created: 
2017-08-02
Abstract: 

The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has become a main hub for global, as well as domestic, terrorist activity. Many of the groups committing terrorist attacks originate from, andare situated in, this region. Thus, it is essential to understand the particular social, economic, political, structural and historic factors predominant in the region that create such fertile groundfor the establishment and survival of terrorist movements. In this longitudinal study, a comprehensive anti- state terrorism model was utilized to examine the relationship between the rise and decline of terrorist activity and social, economic, political, structural, as well as historic factors. Furthermore, an interrupted time series design was applied to explore the region’ssusceptibility to global, as well as regional, change. The results of this study provide an in-depth understanding of the specific factors contributing to the rise and decline of anti-state terrorism inthe MENA region, as well as suggest policy recommendations on effective ways to respond to the terrorist threat.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Garth Davies
Raymond Corrado
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Homeless journeys: Understanding mobility of the homeless with respect to their survival strategies

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-07-17
Abstract: 

This study contributes to understanding homelessness in Vancouver by investigating homeless mobility and destinations, two topics that are germane to the motivation to remain unsheltered and travel to Vancouver while homeless. Altogether, 24 persons were interviewed for this study in the Downtown Eastside (DTES). The primary finding is that among those interviewed, a majority were from out of town, not homeless when they first arrived in Vancouver, and have mobility concentrated in the DTES. The exception to this was five individuals who had been street homeless for over one consecutive year and had dispersed mobility all over the city, typically in response to opportunistic survival strategies and desire to sleep in isolated areas. Illegal survival strategies were uncommon, and housing was identified as easy to find though good housing was not. Shelters were universally distrusted. This paper concludes with recommendations for policy and a call to action for future research.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Use of hyperspectral remote sensing to examine immature blow fly development

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-11-01
Abstract: 

Medico-legal entomology, the study and application of insect science to criminal investigations, is most notably used to estimate a minimum post-mortem interval (minPMI). Examining blow fly development to make this estimation provides the minimum time it takes to reach the oldest stage associated with the remains. Unfortunately, providing the time it takes to reach a stage may underestimate the age of the insects during the lengthier post feeding stage and intra-puparial period. Hyperspectral remote sensing is introduced as a means to solve this issue and to examine the potential for narrowing these lengthier stages into days within the stages. Hyperspectral remote sensing involves sensing, recording and processing reflected and emitted energy to produce point source measurements. Spectral measurements of both immature Protophormia terraenovae and Lucilia sericata were completed from second instar to adult emergence from the mid-section, anterior and posterior ends of developing immature blow flies. Functional regressions and coefficient functions were examined for model prediction and generalization to identify demarcations within stadia to age the immature blow flies. Aging P. terraenovae larvae was successful at wavelengths ranging from 400-1000nm, however, at that wavelength range, only the last day of the intra-puparial period could be distinguished from the first five days. Immature Lucilia sericata were examined at a wider range of wavelengths (350-2500nm) and model prediction and generalization for both pupae and larvae was possible. Similarities and differences were found between species and potential contributing factors were considered such as range of wavelengths analyzed, food substrate, significance of washing away surface contaminants before measuring, contributions of cuticular hydrocarbons, and potential surface bacteria, best region to measure the immature blow fly and replication experiments. Hyperspectral remote sensing not only allows an entomologist to incorporate more precision in their estimate but error rates are also introduced which is required of a forensic science according to the National Academy of Sciences.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gail Anderson
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The Built Environment and Urban Crime Patterns: A spatial analysis of land use and property crime in Surrey, B.C.

Date created: 
2017-07-07
Abstract: 

As we grow our urban space, it is important to understand the influence of the built environment on criminal opportunity. Using a theoretical foundation that synthesizes routine activity theory and social disorganization theory, this study examines the spatial relationship between land use and property crime in a large metropolitan city. A series of spatial analyses were used to explore the geographic distribution of three types of property crime: residential break and enter, commercial break and enter, and theft of motor vehicle. Results found support not only for a spatial relationship between the built environment and property crime occurrences but also for the effect of the socio-economic variables of routine activity theory and social disorganization theory.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Bryan Kinney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Tor, what is it good for? How crime predicts domain failure on the darkweb

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-07-14
Abstract: 

Content analysis of the darkweb shows the volume of illicit domains which are speculated to facilitate criminal activity. Describing Tor serves a valuable purpose, however does not allow for broader speculations about the criminogenic nature of the environment and the dismantling of the hidden services. Examining how the criminal content leads to domain failures is a small step towards providing insight into any casual mechanisms on Tor. The current study analyzes how 774 categorized domains explain website failure using a Cox repeated events regression while controlling for structure, popularity and size. Tor domain failure was found to be a function of popularity and size rather than criminality. Some criminally focused domains, however did survive longer on average than legal websites. The visibility of the domains may lead to increased costs financially as well as socially. The lack of infrastructure paired with law enforcement interventions may explain domain failures on Tor.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Richard Frank
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

CVE Programs and Initiatives through the Ages: A snapshot of the past, present, and future

Date created: 
2017-08-03
Abstract: 

We have now reached the stage where there are many countering violent extremism (CVE) programs and initiatives in existence. Each program leaves a unique imprint, making it possible to trace these efforts through the ages, as well as give some indication as to what is working and not working. An extensive literature review surveying academic publications and independent/government reports regarding radicalization theory, and more specifically, deradicalization, disengagement, rehabilitation, and prevention efforts is used to build the framework for this study’s database. A content analysis utilizing data triangulation is then conducted on 67 existing or previously existing CVE programs/initiatives. The Information drawn from these programs is used to develop a timeline of where CVE efforts have been, where they are now, and provides an idea of where they might be going. Some impressions made by these efforts have been marked – good and bad, lending pertinent information to the development of these types of programs. This study is intended to inform and improve the next generation of CVE programming.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Garth Davies
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Crime Prevention in Practice: An Analysis of Pharmacy Robberies

Date created: 
2017-08-17
Abstract: 

This paper investigates the incidents of pharmacy robberies in British Columbia, Canada between 2001 and 2016. Using rational choice theory and situational crime prevention, this paper examines the sudden decrease in pharmacy robberies in fall 2015 and proposes theory-based implementations that may further reduce counts of pharmacy robbery throughout the province. This study also measures the effect of recent bylaw implementation enacted in September 2015, and the effect this may have had on reducing pharmacy robbery counts throughout British Columbia. Employing negative binomial regression models, counts of monthly pharmacy robberies are analyzed in four locations: Vancouver, Lower Mainland, Interior, and Vancouver Island. Statistically significant results are found to support the preventative measures enacted by the pharmacy bylaw implementations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.