Security Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 1–2, pp 95–116 | Cite as

Adding the Temporal and Spatial Aspects of Routine Activities: A Further Test of Routine Activity Theory

  • Elizabeth R Groff


Routine activity theory identifies the routine activities of individuals as important to understanding the convergence of elements necessary for a crime to occur. Two recent studies have demonstrated how geographically aware agent-based models can be used to provide a virtual rather than empirical laboratory for testing theory. Those studies trace the development of three versions of a basic street robbery model with different representations of routine activities (random, temporal constraints, and spatio-temporal constraints). This research uses the existing model to test whether the core premise of routine activity theory (i.e., as time away from home increases so will street robbery) holds true under the different versions of activity spaces. The findings indicate that temporal and spatial constraints have separate and unequal influences on the incidence of crime. These results substantiate the key role of spatio-temporal constraints in determining the opportunities for and incidence of street robbery events.


theory testing simulation agent-based models geographic information systems activity spaces 



This research was supported in part by the Grant 2005-IJ-CX-0015 from the National Institute of Justice. The author wishes to thank the anonymous reviewers who provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth R Groff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of MarylandAlexandria

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