Editorial: Crime Patterns in Time and Space: The Dynamics of Crime Opportunities in Urban Areas

Andrew Newton, Marcus Felson

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

43 Citations (Scopus)


The routine activity approach and associated crime pattern theory emphasise how crime emerges from spatio-temporal routines. In order to understand this crime should be studied in both space and time. However, the bulk of research into crime patterns and related activities has investigated the spatial distributions of crime, neglecting the temporal dimension. Specifically, disaggregation of crime by place and by time, for example hour of day, day of week, month of year, season, or school day versus none school day, is extremely relevant to theory. Modern data make such spatio-temporal disaggregation increasingly feasible, as exemplified in this special issue. First, much larger data files allow disaggregation of crime data into temporal and spatial slices. Second, new forms of data are generated by modern technologies, allowing innovative and new forms of analyses. Crime pattern analyses and routine activity inquiries are now able to explore avenues not previously available. The unique collection of nine papers in this thematic issue specifically examine spatio-temporal patterns of crime to; demonstrate the value of this approach for advancing knowledge in the field; consider how this informs our theoretical understanding of the manifestations of crime in time and space; to consider the prevention implications of this; and to raise awareness of the need for further spatio-temporal research into crime events.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Number of pages5
JournalCrime Science
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2015


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