Testing Serial Crime Events for Randomness in Day of Week Patterns with Small Samples

Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling 13(2): 148-165, 2014, DOI: org/10.1002/jip.1449

35 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2014 Last revised: 12 Dec 2016

See all articles by Andrew Wheeler

Andrew Wheeler

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Date Written: August 5, 2014

Abstract

This paper discusses exact tests for evaluating whether a series of offences are randomly distributed across days of the week for small sample sizes. The context is if an analyst has identified a series of related events, can the analyst determine if those events are randomly distributed with respect to the day of week given only a few offences? One can develop exact reference distributions since the number of potential permutations are small, and I find that the likelihood ratio G-test under realistic circumstances is quite powerful. One need only three crimes to occur on the same day of the week to reject the null. I provide several examples of using the test under realistic circumstances; a series of thefts of catalytic converters where the dates are unknown, gang shootings during a year, and arsons.

Keywords: exact-tests, interval-censored, circular, aoristic, serial-crime

Suggested Citation

Wheeler, Andrew, Testing Serial Crime Events for Randomness in Day of Week Patterns with Small Samples (August 5, 2014). Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling 13(2): 148-165, 2014, DOI: org/10.1002/jip.1449, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2476536 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2476536

Andrew Wheeler (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 830688, GR 31
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

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