Evaluating the spatial correlation between graffiti and crime

Authors: Michael Leitner*, Louisiana State University, Pascal Krauthausen, Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna, Piotr Trzepacz, Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Jagiellonian University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Applied Geography
Keywords: graffiti, crime, spatial video, Krakow
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Wilson B, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since the 1990s soccer-related graffiti have been a common feature of the urban space in the city of Krakow, Poland. This type of graffiti can also be found in other Polish cities. However, Krakow seems to be covered the most. Two previous surveys of graffiti locations carried out on a bicycle and with a still camera in 2006 and 2016 counted between 5,600 and 6,000 individual graffiti signs. These graffiti signs have been mostly applied by fan groups from the two major soccer clubs in Krakow, MKS Cracovia and Wisla Krakow.

During a recent Fulbright Scholarship at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, the spatial video acquisition system (SVAS) was applied to collect graffiti locations following the same routes from the two previous surveys. This resulted in the development of a “Graffiti-GIS” to store, analyze, model, and visualize soccer-related graffiti locations. This presentation reports on (1) the distributional patterns of graffiti locations and their subsets, (2) the identification of spatial hot- and cold-spots, and (3) the spatial relationship between graffiti hot-spots and crime hot-spots, possibly confirming the Broken Windows theory.

This research is important, because it provides valuable information regarding the spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of soccer-related graffiti to the city government that facilitates the efficient allocation of its resources for graffiti removal strategies and the prevention of applying future graffiti.

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