Wildlife Crime Analysis

Data-Driven Nature Protection
From the cruel slaughter of critically endangered rhinos for their horns to illegal hunting and the destruction of protected habitats, crimes involving wildlife evoke a visceral emotional response in many of us. But their very nature – indeed, the fact that they are offences in and against nature – poses particular challenges in policing them.
Course levelMaster/PhD
Recommended course combination
Session 1: Empirical Research Methods For Legal Studies
Session 3: Crime in Numbers: From Correlation to Causation
Session 2 14 July to 28 July 2018
Co-ordinating lecturerDr Andrew Lemieux
Form(s) of tuitionInteractive seminar, fieldwork, computer training
Form(s) of assessmentShort research paper, presentation
ECTS3 credits
Contact hours45
Total tuition fee€1.000

Postgraduate, PhD students or professionals in the field of Criminology, Sociology, Policing, Ecology and Conservation. Applications from outstanding, highly motivated undergraduates will also be considered. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please let us know. Students or professionals who are in their final year of bachelors studies or have obtained a full bachelors degree are able to register for this course. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to participants with a wide variety of backgrounds.

The term “wildlife crime” refers to any illegal activity involving protected species in nature. Poaching is perhaps the best-known form, but this act of killing is in fact just the most prominent of a variety of offences which supply the global demand for wildlife products.

Drawing from lessons learned by urban police forces in combatting crimes such as burglary, robbery and theft, this course teaches you how to collect and analyse data about wildlife crime. It begins with a basic introduction: how this form of criminality is defined, the variety of specific offences which fall under the umbrella term “wildlife crime” and what agencies are responsible for enforcing legislation in this area.

Building upon this foundation, we then explore the difficulties associated with studying wildlife crime – in particular, problems related to data limitations and biases. After that, you go on to learn the basics of crime analysis, situational prevention and problem-oriented policing so that you can link data-driven approaches to actually fighting wildlife crime. Meanwhile, the field trips and project expose you to wildlife in the Netherlands and the practical difficulties associated with protecting vast landscapes.

At the end of this course you will:

• Understand the who, what, when, why and where of wildlife crime.
• Be able to identify spatial and temporal patterns in such crime.
• Be able to link crime analysis to prevention.
• Be able to formulate research questions and hypotheses regarding wildlife crime problems.
• Be able to collect and analyse data to answer specific research questions.
• Present your research findings.

Prof pic

Andrew Lemieux studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Arizona (BS 2005, MS 2006). He subsequently earned a Master’s degree (2008) and PhD (2010) in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University. His doctoral research examined the risk of violent victimisation Americans are exposed to in different activities and places. Since 2010, he has worked at the NSCR as a post-doc and then as a researcher. His current research focuses on the spatial and temporal elements of wildlife crime within protected areas with a specialisation in understanding and planning ranger patrols. He has worked with a number of governmental and non-governmental agencies tasked with the protection of rhino, tigers, and elephants in Africa and Asia.

"Wildlife crime is a considerable threat to biodiversity and the rule of law. It has been referred to as a ‘wicked’ problem because understanding and preventing it is no simple task. Wildlife crime analysis was developed to address this reality, providing practitioners with a framework for problem solving. It will be a pleasure to bring this course from the field into the classroom, to help students learn more about a complex issue that is often overlooked or misunderstood."

A reader will be provided.
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