The missing link of crime analysis: A systematic approach to testing competing hypotheses

Townsley, Michael, Mann, Monique, & Garrett, Kristian (2011) The missing link of crime analysis: A systematic approach to testing competing hypotheses. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 5(2), pp. 158-171.

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Crime analysts have traditionally received little guidance from academic researchers in key tasks in the analysis process, specifically the testing of multiple hypotheses and evaluating evidence in a scientific fashion. This article attempts to fill this gap by outlining a method (the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses) of systematically analysing multiple explanations for crime problems. The method is systematic, avoids many cognitive errors common in analysis, and is explicit. It is argued that the implementation of this approach makes analytic products audit-able, the reasoning underpinning them transparent, and provides intelligence managers a rational professional development tool for individual analysts.

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ID Code: 91925
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Crime analysis, Intelligence analysis, Hypothesis testing, Cognitive biases, Crime problems, Policing
DOI: 10.1093/police/par023
ISSN: 1752-4512
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Police Administration Procedures and Practice (160205)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Authors
Copyright Statement: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice following peer review. The version of record Policing (2011) 5 (2): 158-171 is available online at:
Deposited On: 17 Jan 2016 23:50
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2016 01:59

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