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  1. Crime events in context

Crime events in context

The research group Crime events in context aims to discover proximal causes of variations in crime. The research focuses on situational and (short-term) environmental causes of crime, including mechanisms that prevent, displace, or transform it.

Methodological individualism

The program conforms to a positivist scientific approach aimed at discovery of general laws that explain empirically observed phenomena. It complies with the principle of methodological individualism, according to which social phenomena are collective outcomes of individual decisions. This principle is applied to where, when and how: a) crimes are committed by offenders, b) targets or people are victimized, and c) crimes are prevented by guardians.

Situational opportunities and constraints

Consistent with the focus on proximal causes of offending, victimization and guardianship, the program draws on theories and perspectives that specify direct and immediate causes of behavior, such as situational opportunities and constraints. All crime is a form of rule-breaking, and the research program aims to develop generic explanations that are valid for many different types of rule-breaking. It assesses whether contemporary developments like the ongoing digitization of society and the rise of new forms of crime pose challenges to existing theory.

Causes of crime and crime prevention

The program embraces all types of data that can inform the research questions. This includes secondary data gathered for other than research purposes (e.g., police records, surveillance videos, victimization data, census data, web content), but also data specifically collected for research purposes through interviews, surveys, or experiments. The focus on proximal causes of crime and crime prevention requires data that are disaggregated and fine-grained in terms of location, time, actors, and behavior.

Program leader: Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard


(Inter)national collaborations

Experts on this theme

Prof. Marie R. Lindegaard

Senior Researcher

Prof. Wim Bernasco

Senior Researcher

Prof. Stijn Ruiter

Senior Researcher

Dr Rutger Leukfeldt

Senior Researcher

Dr Asier Moneva


Dr Wouter Steenbeek

Senior Researcher

Dr Evelien Hoeben


Dr Lasse Suonperä Liebst

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Virginia Pallante


Prof. Henk Elffers

Visiting Research Fellow

Dr Peter Ejbye-Ernst


Carlijn van Baak LLM MA

PhD Candidate

Hans Myhre Sunde MPhil

PhD Candidate

Jordi Janssen MSc

PhD Candidate

Kurt Steiner MSc

PhD Candidate | Guest Researcher

Daniëlle Stibbe MSc

PhD Candidate

Hannah Kool MSc

PhD Candidate

Melissa Sexton MSc

Junior Researcher

Mara van Dalen MSc

Junior Researcher