The security hypothesis and the vehicle crime drop in England and Wales

D. Birks1*, G. Farrell2, N. Tilley3

1 Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University
2 School of Law, University of Leeds
3 Department of Security and Crime Science, University College London

*corresponding author:

A recent UK Home Office research report concludes that security is insufficient as an explanation for much the fall in car theft in England and Wales observed from 1990-2010. It argues that security improvements, most notably the electronic immobiliser, were introduced too late and too slowly to have as large an impact as had previously been suggested. Here, we develop an alternative individual-based model, which incorporates a more realistic depiction of the uptake of vehicle security in England and Wales, with the aim of assessing the causal sufficiency of such measures in explaining observed patterns of vehicle theft.


Dr Daniel Birks is a postdoctoral fellow at the Griffith Criminology Institute and Lecturer at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University. He has degrees in Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science, Cognitive Science, and Criminology. When he is not talking about himself in the third person his research interests are broadly based in the fields of environmental criminology, crime analysis and prevention, and computational social science.