Predicting criminal incidents on the basis of non-verbal behaviour: the role of experience

Crundall, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-6030-3631 and Eyre-Jackson, L., 2015. Predicting criminal incidents on the basis of non-verbal behaviour: the role of experience. Security Journal. ISSN 0955-1662

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Do experienced police officers have a superior ability to detect impending criminal acts? In order to test this hypothesis ten Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) clips were collected from real criminal events that occurred in and around Nottingham city centre in the UK. Ten control clips were filmed specifically or chosen from existing footage to match the criminal clips, but did not contain any criminal activity. All clips ended abruptly, immediately prior to a real criminal act unfolding, or a non-criminal act in the control clips, and either the screen turned black, masking the video scene, or remained frozen on the final frame of the edited clip. Thirty police officers and 30 control participants watched the clips. At the end of each clip, participants were asked to predict what would happen next. Signal detection analysis indicated marginal evidence that police show greater accuracy in predicting clips that cut to black screen compared to the general public. A stronger effect was noted in the analysis of the criterion, with police officers much more likely to predict a crime regardless of whether there was one. These findings provide promising evidence of experiential differences between police officers and the general public when identifying criminal and antisocial behaviour in CCTV footage, though the greater criterion bias effect suggests that experience may over-sensitise individuals to non-verbal cues.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Predicting criminal behaviour
Publication Title: Security Journal
Creators: Crundall, D. and Eyre-Jackson, L.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Date: 2 November 2015
ISSN: 0955-1662
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 11 Nov 2015 14:34
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:57

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