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Brimicombe A.J. (2012) “ Beware win or lose: domestic violence and the World Cup” Significance 9(5): 32-35

A six-pack, the big match on television - and in the wake of alcohol-fuelled emotion, violence against a partner. Did domestic violence increase when the World Cup was on?

Brimicombe A.J. and Li, Y.(2012) “Open Data and the Monitoring of the Sustainability of a London 2012 Legacy” Researching and Evaluating the Games Conference, London, Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) of UK government

This study was competitively commissioned by the ESRC on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and London 2012. Due to the open data policy and web dissemination of data tables, no new primary data collection was required to carry out the study. This is not the case with other host cities where in Vancouver and now in Sochi and Rio large amounts of primary data collection become necessary because fundamental data on the environment, economy and society are not readily available at sufficient granularity. The performance of London 2012 can continue to be monitored on an annual basis from open data updates which act as a barometer to legacy outcomes. This is a testament to the accessible time-series data infrastructure that has been created in the United Kingdom which for most data sets can be for a decade.

Brimicombe A.J. (2012) “Did GIS Start a Crime Wave? SatNav Theft and Its Implications for Geo-information Engineering” The Professional Geographer, Vol 64, issue 3: 430-445

SatNavs are the first mass consumer product containing GIS and GPS technologies. The engineering of the product as an easily detachable device without login or other secured access meant that SatNavs quickly became a target of theft and imparted to the owners (at the time) an unrecognised level of vulnerability. Spatial clustering analyses show that SatNav thefts in London Borough Newham is significantly different to other thefts from vehicles reflecting in part visitor patterns and predatory, prolific offenders.

Li, Y. and Brimicombe A.J. (2011) "A New Variable for Spatial Accessibility Measurement in Social Infrastructure Planning" Proceedings 11th International Conference on GeoComputation, London, University College London (CD)


A new variable (Average Weighted Distance) is developed to measure and analyse spatial accessibility by small area geography. It will support rapid assessments of inequalities and ‘what-if’ analyses in local social infrastructure planning. The approach can use both Euclidean distance and network distance using postcode centroids as the atomic spatial unit. However, it is found that these two approaches have a high correlation and therefore similar patterns of relative inequality. The Euclidean distance approach has less computational load and is generally applicable, particularly where rapid ‘what-if’ analyses are required for decision support in a planning context. Local organisations are then able to interpret and further analyse relative local spatial accessibility for specific services/facilities as well as monitor changes in accessibility over time. s.

Brimicombe A.J. (2007) “Ethnicity, religion and residential segregation in London: evidence from a computational typology of minority communities” Environment & Planning B, Planning & Design 34: 904-924


Within the context of growing polarisation and fragmentation of the urban landscape, this paper presents a computational typology applicable to the study of minority communities, both ethnic and religious, useful in understanding their spatial distribution and juxtaposition at neighbourhood levels. The typology has been applied to multicultural London using the 2001 census in which there were questions on ethnicity and religion. The landscape of religion is found to be more highly segregated in contrast to the landscape of ethnicity. Furthermore, on the basis of a preliminary analysis of indicator variables, minorities seem on aggregate to be in an improved situation given a level of residential segregation with the exception of residents of segregated Asian-Bangladeshi areas for ethnicity and residents of segregated Muslim areas for religion. This questions the generally held view that segregation in a multicultural society is undesirable per se and suggests that a ‘one size fits all’ government policy towards residential segregation is insufficiently perceptive. The typology introduced here should facilitate a more critically informed approach to multiculturalism and the contemporary city.

Brimicombe, A.J.; Brimicombe, L.C.; Li, Y. (2007) "Improving geocoding rates in preparation for crime data analysis" International Journal of Police Science and Management 9: 80-92

Problem-oriented policing requires quality analyses of patterns and trends in crime incidences. A common form of analysis is the identification of geographical clusters or 'hot spots'. For such analyses, crime incident records must first be geocoded, that is, address-matched so as to have geographical co-ordinates attached to each record. The address fields in crime databases typically have omissions and inaccuracies whilst a good proportion of crimes occur at non-address locations. Consequently, geocoding can have an unacceptably low hit rate. We present and test an improved automated and consistent approach to batch geocoding of crime records that raises the hit rate by an additional 65% to an overall rate of 91%. This is based on an actual implementation for a UK Police Force. Kernel density surfaces used to visualise the results of the test show that the additional geocoded records have distinct spatial patterning. This would indicate that without the improved hit rate, geocoded crime records are likely to be spatially biased and that 'hot spots' of crime tend also to be 'hot spots' of otherwise un-geocoded data.

Brimicombe, A.J. (2006) "Modelling spatial variation in street crime: an inductive learning approach" Proceedings GISRUK2006, Nottingham: 59-64.

A key dimension in crime analysis is geographical location - the characteristics and juxtapositions of where crimes happen. Not surprisingly then, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been in use since the early 1990s to assist in the identification of geographical clusters of crime and are now routinely used to determine such 'hot spots'. The research focus in crime mapping has now shifted towards the development of analytical models that provide an understanding of the underlying determinants that can then inform policy and crime prevention intitiatives.

Brimicombe, A.J. (2005) "Cluster detection in point event data having tendency towards spatially repetitive events." Proceedings 8th International Conference on GeoComputation, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan (CD)

The analysis of point event patterns in geography, ecology and epidemiology have a long tradition. Of particular interest are patterns of clustering or 'hot spots' and such cluster detection lies at the heart of spatial data mining. Certain classes of point event patterns exhibit a tendency towards spatial repetitiveness (within the resolution of geo-positioning) although with a temporal separation. Examples are crime and traffic accidents. Spatial superimposition of point events challenges many existing approaches to cluster detection. In this paper a variable resolution approach, Geo-ProZones, is applied to residential burglary data exhibiting a high level of repeat victimisation. This is coupled with robust normalisation as a means of consistently defining and visualising the 'hot spots'.

Brimicombe, A.J. (2005) "La détection des concentrations des evénements ponctuels ayant des répétitions spatiales" Actes du Colloque International de Géomatique et d'Analyse Spatiale, Avignon, France ISBN 2-910545-06-7 (CD)

Brimicombe, A.J. (2004) "On Being More Robust About 'Hot Spots'" Proceedings Seventh Annual International Crime Mapping Research Conference, Boston, Massachusetts

Brimicombe, A.J.; Ralphs, M.; Sampson, A. and Tsui, P. (2001) "An exploratory analysis of the role of neighbourhood ethnic composition in the geographical distribution of racially motivated incidents" British Journal of Criminology 41: 293-308

This paper explores the use of statistical and Geographical Information Systems mapping techniques in producing a preliminary assessment of geographical patterns of racially motivated crimes and harassment in a given area. The geographical distribution of allegations of racially motivated incidents reported to the police in the London Borough of Newham is investigated. The results of the analysis suggest that the ethnic composition of an area appears to have a significant effect on the rate of incidents. Correlation and regression analyses are carried out and support the preliminary finding that rates of incidence are significantly higher where there is a large white majority and smaller groups of other ethnicities.

Brimicombe, A.J. (2000) "Constructing and evaluating contextual indices using GIS: a case of primary school performance" Environment & Planning A 32: 1909-1933

The current political agenda has a firm focus on primary school education as one, among a number of critical public services, that determine electorate opinion. Performance tables which emphasise aggregate examination scores have become an entrenched feature of the educational landscape for parents, teachers and policy makers. Yet it is widely accepted that these types of tables of aggregate examination scores provide a problematic, even flawed guide to the performance of schools. Given the recognised broad link between pupil performance and the social and economic environment in which they live and are brought up, there is continued interest in being able to contextualise school examination scores so as to better reflect relative achievement. Inequalities are inherently spatial phenomena and with the use of census-based indices to measure them, it is not surprising that geographical information systems (GIS) are increasingly being used in the task of creating contextual measures. This paper explores a methodology for creating and analysing a contextual index of ambient disadvantage centred on robust normalisation of data and is illustrated using census variables, pupil numbers and test scores for 3687 primary schools in the north of England. Relevant census variables are interpolated using ordinary kriging with an element of smoothing so as to simulate to some extent the effect of school catchment areas. Key features of using robust normalisation are that variable weights can be tested and the internal level of support for an index, weighted absolute deviation, can be calculated and mapped. This latter provides a quality measure for an index. The methodology is critically assessed in relation to other recent approaches.

Brimicombe, A.J. (1999) "Small may be beautiful - but is simple sufficient?" Geographical and Environmental Modelling 3: 9-33

The title of this paper is inspired by two trends in spatial analysis: a shift in perspective from global to local, and the growing sophistication of analytical techniques employed to do so. While simple techniques tend to be trivialized, they are robust without being brittle. Thus, this paper proposes a modified, robust tool for exploratory spatial data analysis - the normalized boxplot - alongside other robust measures of distribution. This tool can used to explore both the presence of spatial non-stationarity at the level and to recognize zones at the local level within which adequate spatial stationarity exists to develop meaningful hypotheses concerning causal relationships. The method is used in a case study of limiting long-term illness in 595 wards in North-East England. The analysis results, through the detection of spatial non-stationarity, in a spatial partitioning of the area into five locality types for which different relationships for the possible explanatory variables exist. Thus, the detection, description and explanation of spatial differentiation at the local level is clearly an important goal of spatial analysis, but as is shown through tools such as normalized boxplots, some simple, safe and easily understandable approaches are adequate to the task.