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Prof Spencer Chainey
Top Floor
35 Tavistock Square
Prof Spencer Chainey profile picture
  • Professor of Security and Crime Science
  • Dept of Security and Crime Science
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Dr Spencer Chainey is an Associate Professor at UCL’s Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science (JDI), is Director of the JDI Latin America and Caribbean Unit, and JDI Director of Continuing Professional Development. Spencer’s work places him at the interface between academic research and the practical world of policing, public safety, citizen security and criminal investigation. His activities involve: research and analysis collaborations to counter organised crime; the application of research evidence to police/public safety practice; support in the creation and implementation of strategies and activities that improve crime reduction, criminal investigation and citizen security, and; furthering the education and professional development of current and future generations of practitioners and researchers. All these activities draw from his 20 plus years of international experience. In addition to activities in the UK, Spencer has worked closely with police agencies (from local to federal level), ministries and secretariats of security in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Belize, Jamaica, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, China, the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining UCL in 2003, Spencer worked in local authorities and the Metropolitan Police in London, and as head consultant for an international software and services company specializing in community safety, regeneration and infrastructure management.

His expertise has been called upon to support the Government of Jamaica in developing a new national Citizen Security Plan, to author the UK Home Office’s national guidance on Information Sharing for Community Safety, to author a practice guide on hot spot policing for police officers in Latin America and the Caribbean, act as a consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank to advise the Argentinian government and several state governments in Brazil on the approval and use of loans totalling over US$100 million for improving police effectiveness and violence reduction, work with the Federal Police of Brazil to combat illegal gold mining and deforestation in the Amazon, improve the use of problem-oriented policing in the UK and Uruguay, conduct research that has helped to underpin a more intelligence-led approach to UK police forces’ use of stop and search, and author the UK Association of Chief Police Officer and College of Policing ’Geographical Analysis Workbook’.

Spencer has particular expertise in hot spot policing, community and problem-oriented policing (POP), intelligence-led policing (ILP), and evidence-based policing with these skills regularly called upon by police agencies who seek to improve their use of these approaches. Spencer also leads the training and mentoring of detectives and intelligence analysts on a serial crime investigation course, partnered with the UK National Crime Agency and supported by EuroPol.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Much of Spencer's work is focused on developing research on crime and citizen security, and supporting the professionalism of policing. Spencer is particularly active in these activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Examples of recent activities include:

  • Research and practice (2022): working with a team to coordinate a programme of hot spot policing experimental trials in Brazil
  • Practice (2022): supporting the implementation of new strategies to reduce violence in the state of Ceara, Brazil
  • Practice and research (2021-22: working with the Metropolitan Police to improve the use of problem solving approaches for reducing violence in London
  • Practice and research (2021-22): working with the Federal Police of Brazil to improve the use of intelligence-led approaches for combatting environmental crimes such as land grabbing, illegal logging and illegal gold mining
  • Research (2020-22): collaborating with data scientists from the Federal University of Ceara in developing an app for automating the creation of hot spot policing patrol routes
  • Practice (2020-22): working with a team to create content for the Brazilian Platform for Evidence-Based Practices in Public Safety
  • Practice (2019): leading a team to support the Jamaica Government and Jamaica Constabulary on the creation of the Jamaica Citizen Security Plan
  • Practice (2018-2020): supporting the implementation of problem-oriented policing in Uruguay through a skills development programme with over 1000 police officers
  • Research and practice (2018-2020): evaluating and strengthening the PADO hot spot policing programme in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Research and practice (2017-2018): development, training and evaluation of a pilot hot spot policing programme in four cities in Argentina
  • Research and practice (2018): review of the Barrios Seguros programme in Argentina
  • Research and practice (2018): developing crime analysis in Mexico: case studies of cargo robbery on highways, illegal weapons trafficking, robbery of convenience stores and poppy cultivation
  • Research and practice (2018-2022): a guidance and practice advice publication on hot spot policing for police agencies in Latin America
  • Practice (2018-2019): crime analysis skills development programme for the Chile Prosecutors Office
  • Research (2018-2019): examining changes in the concentration of robbery across the state of Rio de Janeiro during a period of crime increase
  • Practice (2014 - 2018): working with the Danish Police to improve the use of intelligence-led approaches for tackling criminal activity.

Further details on activities associated with the JDI LAC UNIT can be found here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/jdi/JDI_LAC_Unit

Teaching Summary

I am the convenor for one MSc module and convenor for the 14 short courses that are offered by the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science (JDI). I was convenor for another MSc module until 2019.

MSc Module – Geospatial approaches to security threats (20 contact hours), 2019 – present.

MSc Module - Hot Spot Policing (20 contact hours), 2017 – 2019.

Short courses

For the 14 short courses I convene, I am responsible for their costing, outlines and timetabling, and with colleagues, their marketing and content creation. I am involved in delivering all 14 short courses. Over 6000 university students and practitioners from over 30 countries have attended these short courses. Short courses include:

Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) (2 short courses on POP)

  • Stretched learning programme in Problem-Oriented Policing (35 contact hours), 2011 – present.
  • Masterclass - Problem-oriented policing and implementing evidence-based responses (7 contact hours), 2005 – present.

Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP) (2 short courses on ILP)

  • Crime intelligence analysis skills development programme (83 contact hours), 2016 – present.
  • Effective policing – a training course for police managers (14 contact hours), 2019 – present.

Hot spot policing (2 short courses on hot spot policing).

  • Analysis and Hot Spot Policing Programme Design (21 contact hours), 2018 – present.
  • Hot Spot Policing for Police Patrol Officers (3.5 contact hours), 2018 – present.

Geographic Profiling Analysis (65 contact hours), 2011 – present.

Crime analysis (35 contact hours), 2011 – present.

Strategic Intelligence Assessments (7 contact hours), 2008 – present.

Hypothesis testing for intelligence product creation (7 contact hours), 2011 – present.

Understanding hot spots (7 contact hours), 2010 – present.

Advanced hot spot analysis (7 contact hours), 2011 – present.

Neighbourhood analysis (7 contact hours), 2010 – present.

Predictive mapping (7 contact hours), 2012 – present.

Academic Background
2015   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
    Bachelor of Science Kingston University
    Master of Science University of Edinburgh
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