Towards a predictive model of criminogenic market forces and specific item theft trajectories: An open-source intelligence web scraping approach
Mr Liam Quinn1, Dr Joseph Clare1, Dr Jade Lindley1, Dr Frank Morgan1
1University Of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to share initial findings from a study investigating the longitudinal relationships between criminogenic market forces and stealing counts of specific makes and models of gaming consoles in Western Australia (WA) between 2012 and 2019. The presentation will also share the open-source intelligence web scraping approach used to collect data for the study.
Issue: Theft of electronic consumer goods can lead to financial loss, loss of highly valued personal data, and emotional, psychological, and even physical harm (Armitage & Pease, 2008). Despite recognition in the crime opportunity literature of the potential importance of partial product life cycles on stealing counts of specific goods (Shaw et al., 2015; Thompson, 2017; Wellsmith & Burrell, 2005), this is not empirically well-understood.
Nature & scope: The CRAVED (concealable, removable, available, valuable, enjoyable, and disposable) opportunity-based framework (Clarke, 1999) is drawn on to outline the theoretical links between market forces inherent in partial product life cycles and stealing counts of specific makes and models of electronic goods. Initial correlational findings of the relationships between legitimate market forces (scraped from online second-hand markets and Google Trends) and stealing counts of specific makes and models of gaming consoles (WA Police data) are then presented.
Conclusion: Findings suggest strong correlations between legitimate market forces and theft trajectories of specific makes and models of gaming consoles, warranting further development of reward-reducing market disruption measures. Additionally, the open-source intelligence web scraping approach appears feasible and useful for further investigation of stolen goods markets.
Liam Quinn is a PhD candidate in the School of Law (Criminology) at the University of Western Australia. Grounded in a crime opportunity and situational crime prevention perspective, Liam’s PhD research is investigating the relationships between legitimate market forces and the theft and disposal of stolen goods. His current research interests include open-source intelligence, stolen goods markets, offender decision-making, crime prevention, policing research, and cybercrime.