SCOTS murderer Robert Black notoriously used knowledge of the UK’s roads from his job of delivering goods across the country to track his victims and to evade capture for decades.

Now research has concluded that being a driver has been the occupation of choice for British serial killers over the years.

However with an increase in CCTV and tracking technology, multiple murderers are expected to increasingly move from the ‘physical road’ to using the ‘technological highway’ of the internet to track down their victims, it also warns.

Dr Adam Lynes, lecturer in criminology at Birmingham City University, investigated the occupations of some of the UK’s most notorious serial killers in a bid to establish if there were any common work environments.

He identified different groups of occupations: healthcare, with the example of killer Dr Harold Shipman; business, which included the Moors Murderers Ian Brady; a clerk, and secretary Myra Hindley; and public and personal service, such as Scots butler Archibald Hall.

However, while these groups contained a maximum of four examples, the fourth group – driving and transient work – had a total of eight serial killers, including Scot Peter Tobin and Fred West, who both worked as odd-job men.

Lynes said there were a series of advantages to this type of work for those intent on killing – such as being able to travel across a wide geographical locations for legitimate reasons and to quickly flee the scene of the crime in a van or a lorry.

But he said it was less easy to establish whether serial killers deliberately chose this profession to assist in their criminal activities.

“This was the only occupational group that also had a universal motivation behind their crimes – all of the drivers were sexually motivated,” he said.

“It is kind of the perfect storm of people looking for certain conditions to commit crimes, whether it is conscious or subconscious and whether it is premeditated or not.”

Lyne, who has published his findings in a book The Road to Murder: Why Driving is the Occupation of Choice for Serial Killers emphasised the research was not suggesting all lorry drivers, for example, are murderers or pre-disposed to be.

He also said the rise in CCTV and surveillance technology in recent years could be linked to a drop in the average amount of time a serial killer operates before being caught and predicted an increase in murders linked to the internet.

He pointed to the recent example of Stephen Port, who met his victims on gay dating sites, coaxed them to his London home and then poisoned them with the ‘date rape’ drug GHB.

Port was convicted in November last year for the murder of four young men, but in the wake of the case, police announced they believe there could be more victims and were reviewing 58 deaths in London linked to the drug.

Lyne said: “What has happened is the serial killer of today or tomorrow has moved from the physical road to the technological highway – the internet.

“There is not the whole issue of having to look for victims in public – people don’t see you and you can hide your identity.”