The Invariance of Crime Concentration and Drug Overlap in Midsized Cities

Authors: Hannah Ridner*, University of Connecticut, Debarchana Ghosh, University of Connecticut
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: crime, concentration, midsized cities, variance, microspatial
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Tower Court A, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Second Floor Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The geographic concentration of crime led to the proposal of the Law of Crime Concentration in 2015 by David Weisburd. This law suggests that crime will concentrate within a narrow margin, but further research is needed to properly define, measure, and confirm this law. This study builds upon measurement techniques used in previous studies (i.e, Gini coefficient and Poisson Gamma) to measure crime concentration in 21 midsized cities and analyzes the variation in crime concentration across these cities in the U.S. The measurement techniques used are the Generalized Gini, Gini coefficient, and the Poisson Gamma. The study also filled several gaps within the literature by having a larger sample size than the other validation of law of crime concentration studies, selecting midsized cities, which were ignored previously, and having a regionally representative sample. Results reveal three things: (1) that crime is highly concentrated in mid-sized U.S. cities, (2) the level of concentration varies by crime type (i.e., property crime and violent crime), and (3) there is a large variation in crime concentration across cities. The results do not lend support for the law of crime concentration but may be used to further analyze from a spatial lens why there is such variation of crime concentration levels across cities. As a way to analyze the reasoning behind this spatial variation, among other factors, illegal drug use-related data was added to this analysis, to see if this concentrates at the same level as the other crimes analyzed in this study.

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