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

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Assessing Security Threats to Canada's Energy Infrastructure: The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

Date created: 
2014-07-29
Abstract: 

Safe and secure critical infrastructure is essential for the functioning of Canada's society. A robust system of infrastructure allows Canada to be a leader on the world stage but also presents potential security risks. Using open source data, this paper identifies why energy infrastructure is the ideal target for malicious attack and includes a focus on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Using the Harmonized Threat and Risk Assessment Methodology, to perform a risk based analysis; the likelihood of an attack on the Northern Gateway was assessed. A risk rating of low to medium was found, with a variety of vulnerabilities and possible threat actors identified.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Bryan Kinney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Violence by Clients against Street-Level Sex Workers: Applying Situational Crime Prevention Strategies

Author: 
Date created: 
2014-08-08
Abstract: 

Street-level sex workers are at high risk of violence. In Canada, a total of 161 sex workers have been murdered from 1991 to 2012 due to their engagement in sex work. Close to 70% of these homicides occurred in western Canada (Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Homicide Survey, personal communication, May 6, 2014). Although most interactions between sex workers and their clients tend to be non-violent in nature, research indicates that the majority of the violence against sex workers is committed by their clients. This paper provides an overview of the violence perpetrated by clients against street-level sex workers primarily focusing on British Columbia. By applying the situational crime prevention framework to this problem, this paper reveals the potential in addressing the opportunistic nature of the violence to reduce the risk of violence to street-level sex workers. This paper concludes with strategies to address the situational factors contributing to the violence that can be applied in both street and unsanctioned indoor venues by the broader community, indoor management, and sex workers.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Beyond a Split-Second: An Exploratory Study of Police Use of Force and Use of Force Training in Canada

Date created: 
2014-07-11
Abstract: 

The authority to use force, including lethal force is a defining feature of the police profession. A police officer’s decision to use force carries potentially significant consequences for all involved and is arguably the most heavily scrutinized aspect of modern police work, despite its rare use. Situations involving the use of force are often characterized by a rapidly evolving scenario, complex environment, considerable uncertainty, and a potentially high degree of fear. These factors make it extremely challenging for officers to decide when and how to act. The high stakes nature of police use of force events and the level of scrutiny that the use of force attracts places a premium on the quality of training that officers are given, both in terms of content and application. Yet, in spite of the importance ascribed to training, the research in this area is limited, particularly from a Canadian perspective. What is known about use of force training comes largely from research and experience in the U.S.A., a significantly different policing environment than Canada. Using a qualitative research framework, this thesis seeks to fill the gap in Canadian use of force research and shed light on recruit and in-service training that is given to police officers. Using in-depth, semi-structured interviews with ten Canadian police academy and department-based use of force instructors, this study explores the factors involved in police use of force situations and how use of force training prepares officers for use of force events in Canada. The findings indicate that while current police training is evolving to better prepare officers for the realities of police use of force encounters, it is nonetheless limited by a number of factors. These factors are identified and discussed noting the implications for police services, policing scholars, and police oversight bodies.

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

Latent class analysis of sexual offending - extracting offender and offense characteristics for investigative interviewing and interrogation process

Date created: 
2014-07-07
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study was to explore how offender-related and victim-related case characteristics in a sexual assault impact offenders’ decisions to confess or not during interrogation. Five offender and five victim profiles were identified and then offender by victim profile combinations were assessed to see how specific case characteristics influenced offenders to make a decision trade-off of admitting to or denying their involvement in a sexual assault event. The implications of these results for sexual assault investigations and offender profiling are discussed. In addition, interrogation strategies are provided for each offender-victim combination that is related to a decision not to confess during interrogation.

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

Gangs and Drugs: Maintaining Border Security Using Crime Analysis and GIS

Date created: 
2014-06-27
Abstract: 

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the Canadian border. There are multiple layers of complexity involved in protecting Canadian land and citizens. Drug smuggling in particular is a large focus for the agency. This paper provides an overview on the fundamentals of crime analysis as it is used in the intelligence capacity to conduct risk assessments as they pertain to foreign travellers and goods attempting to enter Canada. In addition, the complexity of gang networks as they are involved in drug smuggling are examined, as well as how CBSA can utilize network analysis and geographic information systems (GIS) to aid investigations and operations planning.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

Criminalizing Terrorism: The Impact of Context and Cohort Effects on the Sentencing Outcomes of Terrorist Offenders

Date created: 
2014-08-14
Abstract: 

Despite the recent criminalization of terrorism specific offenses little is known about the legal processing of terrorist offenders, and even less is known about how the context that terrorist offenders are adjudicated in impact sentencing outcomes. Collectively, this dissertation explores how changing contextual environments related to legal responses, the timing of an offender’s adjudication and perceptions of threat impact the sentencing outcomes of terrorist offenders by utilizing a sample of terrorist offenders convicted both recently, and historically, in Canada (n = 153), and by further employing a sample of terrorist offenders recently adjudicated in the United Kingdom (n = 156). Across studies the context that offenders are sanctioned in impact sentencing outcomes, and cohort effects are uncovered. Terrorism specific offenses are readily utilized, and the criminalization of terrorism offenses appear to have provided law enforcement with legal measures that assist in the proactive prevention of terrorist incidents. However, general criminal provisions still have a significant role to play in the adjudication of terrorist offenders as offenders sanctioned of general criminal provisions only, or both general and terrorism specific offenses, are sentenced more severely than offenders convicted of terrorism specific offenses alone. The timing of an offender’s adjudication also impacts sentencing outcomes as offenders sanctioned in the latter stages of a terrorist campaign are generally sentenced more severely than offenders adjudicated at the onset for similar crimes, while variability in the sentence outcomes achieved throughout a terrorist campaign are characterized by cohort effects. Furthermore, being sanctioned in proximity to major terrorist incidents is found to affect sentencing outcomes as offenders sentenced following these events are punished less severely. Finally, offenders who are characterized by factors that are associated with increased perceptions of threat receive harsher punishments; however the impact of perceptions of threat on sentencing outcomes can be limited to specific time periods.

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

The Anatomy of a City: A Forensic Investigation of the Geography of d2H and d18O Values of Tap Waters Within the Metro Vancouver Area

Author: 
Date created: 
2014-08-01
Abstract: 

The isotopic patterns of d18O and d2H in tap water were investigated across a single regional district of Metro Vancouver (MV). Isotopic analysis of human tissues can reveal the individual’s geographical history with the isotopic signatures reflecting those of water consumed during the time of tissue formation. MV tap water samples were collected and analyzed for its isotopic compositions through the use of Triple Liquid Water Isotope Analyzer (TLWIA). This study found that isotopic compositions of MV tap water were unique to its water source and varied across the regional district, depending on the water distribution system supplied by multiple water sources. This allows for MV tap water to be sourced solely by its isotopic signatures. This finding has significant forensic importance as it suggests the possibility of ultimately sourcing human values to specific areas within MV, which could aid in forensic investigations.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
Lynne Bell
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

We’re not in Vancouver anymore, Toto: Explaining crime in rural and northern British Columbia

Date created: 
2014-06-04
Abstract: 

Crime patterns differ across different geographical areas. However, much of the explanations for these differences explicitly focus on urban population areas. The result is that rural areas have been neglected. The current work seeks to explain rural concentrations of crime with an emphasis on violent crime through the use of an alternative to crime rates: a crime location quotient. Data was gathered from the British Columbia Policing Jurisdiction Crime Trends, 2000 – 2009 (BCPJ) and includes the raw counts of both property and violent offending from the Uniform Crime Reporting 2 (UCR2) Survey, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada (N=140). A comparison between crime rates and location quotients suggests that, within British Columbia, rural areas appear to specialize in violent offending. Traditional, urban based theories are tested with ordinary least squares regression for their use in explaining property and violent offending within British Columbia and it is concluded that property offending is explained well with traditional theories although the theories are less useful for violent offending. It is speculated that the reason for this difference is that traditional theories have been developed within urban areas so might miss out on some of the specific characteristics of rural police jurisdictions. As a result, the differences between rural and urban areas and differences between rural and urban violence are identified and used to develop a rural specific theoretical construct for explaining violence. The new theoretical construct is then evaluated in terms of the empirical explanatory power along with the scope and range of the theory as it relates to the British Columbian context. The new theory is then repositioned within the larger social ecological school of crime and fit back into the existing literature about rural crime. The while there are limitations with focusing on a single province, important considerations for explaining rural crime are evident and suggestions for future research take into account these results.

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

From bullied to besties: can BC notaries survive sitting at the benchers' table?

Author: 
Date created: 
2014-08-13
Abstract: 

This is an exploratory study of the evolution of a monopoly shared between two self-regulated but otherwise unequal professions, the lawyers and notaries in British Columbia, Canada from 1981 to 2013 inclusive. The analysis of documents and interviews with key informants identify significant events during the study period and explore the relationships among lawyers, notaries, the provincial government and the courts. The study investigates the maintenance, expansion, and justification of monopolies, and how the delivery of legal services has been affected by competition, education, turf wars and the metamorphosis of the law society into a public interest regulator. The results are framed against the literature on professionalization and the relationships between professions and between the state and the professions. The study adds credibility to existing theories about inter-professional machinations, and demonstrates the precariousness of a non-exclusive, independent, subordinate position in the professions.

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

The Skeletal Taphonomy of Cold: A Field and Experimental Investigation

Date created: 
2014-08-01
Abstract: 

Taphonomic changes in response to cold temperature exposure are not well characterized. Specific changes, both macroscopic (recovered animal skeletal material) and microscopic (lamb bone segments experimentally exposed to five different cold treatments), were assessed using thin sectioning and light microscopy. Macroscopic taphonomic changes could not be exclusively attributed to cold climate exposure. In contrast, two types of microstructural cracking damage, longitudinal and osteon cracks, were caused by exposure to cold. The type of cold exposure, such as freeze-drying versus just cold, could in certain instances, be distinguished based on the type and prevalence of the cracks. These findings demonstrate that microstructural cracking can be used as a taphonomic indicator of cold exposure. They also suggest that the type and prevalence of this damage could be used to distinguish between different types of cold exposure.

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