Memorialising Crime

Prof. Alison Young1
1University Of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia

This paper examines the issues arising when the scene of a crime becomes also a site for memorialisation. A number of case studies will be examined, including both authorised and unauthorised memorials, such as those found at the sites of car accidents and overdoses, along with temporary memorials at the scenes of unsolved crimes and ongoing investigations. The paper’s aim is to consider the spectator’s affective encounter with places and their varying modes of placemaking. It considers the city as a accumulation of crime scenes, some marked by permanent memorials, some containing transient invitations to remember, and others rendered invisible once the crime scene tape is removed, and asks what we can learn from this about our encounters with crime in everyday urban life.


Alison Young is the Francine V. McNiff Professor of Criminology at the University of Melbourne, and researches on crime and public space, with particular interest in urban aesthetics and governance of graffiti, homelessness, and neighbourhood atmospheres. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Street Art World (2016), Street Art, Public City (2014), and The Scene of Violence (2010). In 2016, she founded the Urban Environments Research Network, a group of academics, artists, and architects  interested in questions of law, regulation and criminal justice in the city.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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