Seminar @ Leeds: Applying Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) to Crime Analysis and Intervention

Applying Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) to Crime Analysis and Intervention

Prof. Leslie W. Kennedy, Director of the Rutgers Center on Public Security

Time / Location

Wednesday 15th October, 5:30pm. School of Geography Lecture Theatre, University of Leeds. The event is free and there is no registration.

Seminar Abstract

I will describe research that is being conducted that connects research on risky places with police intervention strategies using Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM), a geospatial method of operationalizing the spatial influence of crime risk factors to common geographic units that was developed at Rutgers University. Separate risk map layers are combined to produce a risk terrain map showing the presence, absence, or intensity of all risk factors at every location throughout the landscape. I will demonstrate a software utility that automates the processing of RTM. I will then discuss its application in a multi-jurisdictional study of a representative selection of cities in the United States that I am conducting with Joel Caplan and Eric Piza as Co-PIs. This study is designed as a quasi-experimental project with two primary goals: 1) to replicate and validate RTM in multiple jurisdictions and across many different crime types; and, 2) to evaluate theoretically- and empirically-grounded risk-based interventions targeted at high-risk micro-level environments.


Leslie W. Kennedy (PhD University of Toronto) is currently University Professor of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University and Director of the Rutgers Center on Public Security. He teaches graduate-level courses at the School of Criminal Justice (SCJ) and is a core faculty member in the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers. He was the Dean of SCJ from 1998 to 2007. Dr. Kennedy’s current research in public security builds upon his previous work in event analysis, assessing the social contexts in which dangers in society are identified and deterred. He is the author or co-author of 20 books and over 70 research articles and chapters. He has published in major journals in criminology and criminal justice, including Criminology, Justice Quarterly, and Journal of Quantitative Criminology.