Using behavioural science to target prolific criminals

The use of behavioural science in the investigation, detection and prosecution of offenders is to be probed at a conference co-organised by a Leicester criminologist.

‘Using behavioural science to target prolific criminals’ on 17 & 18 October brings together speakers from both academia and law enforcement who will discuss techniques for apprehending prolific offenders. It aims to highlight new and emerging techniques from the behavioural sciences that can help the police to more effectively catch and convict prolific offenders, as well as stimulate discussion and forge new collaborations between academics and law enforcement practitioners.

Dr Matthew Tonkin from the Department of Criminology is one of four academic convenors who designed the academic content of the two-day conference in London, which is funded by the British Academy. He will also be delivering two talks on his research into crime linkage with volume crime. The other academic convenors are: Dr Jessica Woodhams (University of Birmingham), Dr Amy Burrell (Birmingham City University) and Dr Jasper van der Kemp (VU Amsterdam).

Dr Tonkin said: “We hope that delegates will come away from the conference with a better understanding of how the behavioural sciences (and academic disciplines beyond this) can contribute to the investigation, detection and prosecution of offenders.

“Ultimately, we hope this conference will forge new working relationships between academia and practice, as well as lead to research in the future that is better able to meet the needs of law enforcement agencies.”

The Department of Criminology has a world-wide reputation for conducting research that contributes to our understanding of crime and enhances our ability to prevent crime in the future. The Department also prides itself on conducting research in collaboration with practitioners and policy-makers throughout the criminal justice system.