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Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention

5. The Impact of Diet on Crime

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In this lecture, we think about the impact diet can have on how criminals behave, focusing in particular on: (i) the role that low levels of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and blood glucose can play in increasing violent behaviour; (ii) Benton’s 1996 research, which found a link between low blood glucose levels and irritability; (iii) Gesch and colleagues’ 2002 research on the positive impact of nutritional supplements on prisoners’ behaviour; (iv) findings that too low and too high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can negatively impact behaviour; (v) strengths and weaknesses of the dietary approach to tackling anti-social behaviour.


In this course, Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University) explores crime investigation and prevention. In the first lecture, we think about evidence collection and how an interview differs from an interrogation. In the second lecture, we think about the cognitive interview by working through each of its stages, as well as the five additional considerations put forward in the enhanced cognitive interview. In the third lecture, we think about primary crime prevention, including target hardening, improving street lighting, the use of defensible spaces, the installation of CCTV and the implementation of zero tolerance policies on crime. Next, we think about Kelling and Wilson’s 1982 ‘broken windows theory’ and Zimbardo’s 1969 study using abandoned cars to assess the impact on crime levels. In the fifth lecture, we think about dietary treatments to reduce crime, including nutritional supplements. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about the impact that hormones can have on criminal behaviour, as well as some of the hormone treatments that have been implemented for sexual offenders.


Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor of education and research and head of the School of Human and Social Sciences at Buckinghamshire New University. Professor O’Keeffe’s research interests include investigative psychology and parapsychology, and has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities. Some of Professor O’Keeffe’s recent publications include 'Things That Go Bump In The Literature: An Environmental Appraisal of 'Haunted Houses'' (2020) and 'Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement' (2014).

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APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, April 07). Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention - The Impact of Diet on Crime [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, C. "Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention – The Impact of Diet on Crime." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Apr 2022,

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