Security Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 132–146

In and around: Identifying predictors of theft within and near to major mass underground transit systems

Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/sj.2014.2

Cite this article as:
Newton, A., Partridge, H. & Gill, A. Secur J (2014) 27: 132. doi:10.1057/sj.2014.2


This article identifies factors that encourage or reduce pick-pocketing at underground rail stations through a case study analysis of the London Underground. Negative binomial Poisson regression models found predictor variables of pick-pocketing selected from the internal characteristics of stations and features of their nearby surroundings. Factors that increased risk were those associated with greater congestion inside stations including lifts, waiting rooms and fewer platforms; and increased levels of accessibility near stations, more paths and roads. Features that reduced risk were those likely to encourage detection and guardianship; stations with more personal validators, staffing levels and shop rentals; and the presence of more domestic buildings nearby. Station type was also influential; those that were ‘attractors’ of crime and those frequently used by tourists were at greater risk. The findings suggest a transmission of theft risk between the internal settings of underground stations and their nearby surroundings.


underground mass transittheftinterstitial crime analysispick-pocketing

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Applied Criminology Centre, University of HuddersfieldQueensgateUK
  2. 2.Enforcement and On Street Operations (EOS), Transport for London (TfL)LondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Security and Crime Science, University College London (UCL)University College London (UCL)LondonUK