Investigating the geography of crime
Produced by Raphael Heath, Head of Geography at the Royal High School Bath, as part of an Innovative Geography Teaching Grant from the RGS-IBG
The purpose of these resources are to provide teachers and students with the information and skills required to be able to conduct a sophisticated investigation into UK crime patterns using GIS mapping techniques using primary and secondary data. An interactive online version of this resource is available here.
The resources will contain a number of useful web links and a series of online videos. It is intended that this will support sixth form students with conducting individual investigations or extended project qualifications. It is an ideal topic for allowing students to take a very individual slant. These resources will provide access to a range of skills, without being fully prescriptive about one route to enquiry, so allowing teachers and students to adapt these to local issues and original ideas.
While the resources are aimed at Key Stage 5 Geography research opportunities there are clearly a lot of aspects which could be used for a GCSE investigation or a Key Stage 3 scheme of work and study. They are also a useful overview of GIS skills and can be used by teachers or students to simply learn about GIS mapping techniques.
The study of crime is a suitable area for investigations for the new 2016 A level specifications as it links well to topics relating to changing places focusing on urban and rural issues. While crime patterns themselves may not be a requirement the specifications, there is an opportunity for students to explore their relationship to specific themes such as patterns of deprivation urban decline, rebranding and regeneration initiatives. It is also an area where there is a wealth of freely accessible data which can be drawn upon alongside various types of primary data which the student can collect.
The richness of the data available, alongside the range of potential primary data collection, means that it should be possible to generate a large number of different titles and focuses for each student’s individual investigation, so allowing for large groups to all be conducting studies on this topic.
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About the author
Raphael Heath is Head of Geography at the Royal High School Bath, GDST (Girls Day School Trust). He was presented with the Royal Geographical Society Ordnance Survey Award for Excellence in Secondary Education in 2015. He also won the Esri UK Best Community Project Award for the 2014 GIS Day World Record Event. He is a GDST Lead Subject Champion promoting collaboration and sharing good practice in Geography teaching across a network of 26 schools around the UK. He is one of Esri UK's Centre of Excellence in GIS Education. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Chartered Geographer. He has presented at conferences, published articles and run courses in various aspects of Geography teaching.