Environmental Predictors of a Drug Offender Crime Script: A Systematic Social Observation of Google Street View Images and CCTV Footage

Sytsma, V., Connealy, N. and Piza, E. (2021)

Crime & Delinquency, 67(1): 27-57.

Study Abstract

The extent to which environmental context has been considered when developing crime scripts has been limited to descriptions of the locations offenders visit during the crime. This research contributes a description of the environmental characteristics of an open-air drug market and identifies environmental facilitators and inhibitors toward offender actions during a drug-selling crime script. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage is combined with Google Street View images to determine whether physical disorder, decay, and “crime generators” characterize the drug market under study. There is little evidence to suggest that the former two dimensions influence the crime sequence; however, crime generators such as retail facilities and bars and liquor stores are environmental facilitators toward a drug-selling crime script; and transit locations, corner stores, and public parks are environmental inhibitors toward the script.

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