525 Gladfelter Hall


Evidence-based policing, Criminal intelligence, Crime and place


Dr Jerry Ratcliffe is a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University, Philadelphia, where he also directs the Center for Security and Crime Science. His career started as a cadet and then police officer with the Metropolitan Police in London (UK) where he served for a number of years on patrol duties, in an intelligence and information unit, and as a member of the Diplomatic Protection Group. Due to a severe winter mountaineering accident while ice climbing in the Scottish Highlands, he left the police after 11 years of service. He completed a B.Sc. with first class honors in Geography and GIS at the University of Nottingham (UK) and has a Ph.D. from the same institution.

As a lecturer in policing based at the New South Wales Police College in Australia, he ran graduate programs in criminal intelligence and for a number of years coordinated Australia’s National Strategic Intelligence Course. Dr Ratcliffe was also a senior research analyst with the Australian Institute of Criminology, where he conducted one of the first evaluations of an intelligence-led policing operation. Since arriving in the US in 2003, he has twice been awarded the Professional Service Award for outstanding contributions to criminal intelligence analysis by the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA), and in 2010 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Units (LEIU). He was the 2014 recipient of the Ronald V. Clarke ECCA award for fundamental contributions to the field of environmental criminology and crime analysis.

He has published over 80 research articles and book chapters and five books including ‘Intelligence-Led Policing’ (2008 and 2016), ‘Strategic Thinking in Criminal Intelligence’ (2004 and 2009), ‘GIS and Crime Mapping’ (2005) and ‘Policing Illegal Drug Markets’ (2005). His studies have examined shooting in Philadelphia, drug markets and gang investigations in New Jersey, street gangs in Central America, and the impact of bars on nearby violent street crime. He was the lead researcher on the Philadelphia Foot Patrol Experiment, a randomized study of the benefit of foot patrol in violent crime hotspots involving over 200 Philadelphia Police officers. It was awarded the 2010 IACP Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award and the 2013 Academy of Experimental Criminology Award for Outstanding Experimental Field Trial.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and publishes and lectures on intelligence-led policing, and the role of mid-level commanders and crime reduction. His book (‘Intelligence-Led Policing’) has become the ‘seminal’ book on the subject and has bridged the academic/professional practitioner gap as both a text for university courses and as a promotion book for a number of police departments. It was recently translated into Chinese. He is an advisor to the Philadelphia Police Commissioner, and the first academic to be a research advisor with the criminal investigative division of the FBI.

Outside of work, Jerry was an officer in the British Army reserves (Royal Engineers), has climbed the three highest mountains in Africa, led an expedition down the Selenga river in Siberia, and was the first non-Iban tribesman to successfully navigate (with a traditional carved boat) the rapids of the Temburong river in Borneo. He likes to scuba dive, fly his seaplane and drink single malt whisky…but not at the same time.

Selected Publications

  • Ratcliffe, JH, Perenzin, A & Sorg, RT (in press) Operation Thumbs Down: A quasi-experimental evaluation of an FBI gang takedown in South Central Los Angeles, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management.
  • Haberman, CP & Ratcliffe, JH (2015) Testing for temporally differentiated relationships among potentially criminogenic places and census block street robbery counts, Criminology, 53(3): 457–483
  • Groff, ER, Ratcliffe, JH, Haberman, C, Sorg, ET, Taylor, RB, Joyce, N (2015) Does what police do at hot spots matter? The Philadelphia Policing Tactics Experiment, Criminology, 53(1): 23-53.
  • Ratcliffe, JH (2015) Towards an index for harm-focused policing, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 9(2): 164-182.
  • Ratcliffe, JH (2016) Central American police perception of street gang characteristics, Policing and Society, 26(3): 291-311.
  • Ratcliffe, JH, Strang, SJ, & Taylor, RB (2014) Assessing the success factors of organized crime groups: Intelligence challenges for strategic thinking, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 37(1): 206-227.
  • Ratcliffe, JH (2012) The spatial extent of criminogenic places on the surrounding environment: A change-point regression of violence around bars, Geographical Analysis, 44(4): 302-320.
  • Ratcliffe, JH, Taniguchi, T, Groff, ER & Wood, JD (2011) The Philadelphia Foot Patrol Experiment: A randomized controlled trial of police patrol effectiveness in violent crime hotspots, Criminology, 49(3): 795-831.

Courses Taught

  • Evidence-based policing
  • Criminal intelligence
  • Introduction to law enforcement
  • Geographic perspectives on crime
  • Issues in law enforcement
  • Criminal behavior