The effects of substance use on offender crime scene behavior

Christine J. Hammond, John W. Bond, Tim D. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Substance use has an effect on an individual's propensity to commit acquisitive crime with recent studies showing substance users more likely to leave forensic material at a crime scene. An examination of acquisitive crime solved in Northamptonshire, U.K., during 2006 enabled 70 crime scene behavior characteristics to be analyzed for substance and nonsubstance use offenders. Logistical regression analyses have identified statistically significant crime scene behavior predictors that were found to be either present at or absent from the crime scene when the offender was a substance user. Most significant predictors present were indicative of a lack of preparation by the offender, irrational behavior, and a desire to steal high value, easily disposed of, property. Most significant predictors absent from the crime scene were indicative of more planning, preparation, and execution by the offender. Consideration is given to how this crime scene behavior might be used by police investigators to identify offenders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-381
Number of pages6
JournalScience and Justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • forensic science
  • forensic psychology
  • drugs of abuse
  • crime
  • psychology


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