Geographic and Temporal Crime Patterns Across Six U.S. Cities

Authors: Rebecca J. Walter*, University of Washington, Marie Skubak Tillyer, University of Texas at San Antonio, Arthur Acolin, University of Washington
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: crime, micro-places, hot spots
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 52
Presentation File: Download



Existing research has established that crime is highly concentrated at a small proportion of micro-places, or hot spots, and changes in crime at relatively few micro-places can have considerable influence on citywide crime rates. Building on past research examining hot spot formation and change, this paper uses crime incident data for six large and varied U.S. cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, San Antonio, New York City, and Philadelphia) to examine changes in the distribution of crime across blockfaces over an eleven-year period (2008-2018). We follow the approach used by Groff, Weisburd, and Yang (2010) which relies on a group-based trajectory analysis to identify blockfaces with different crime patterns. We then examine whether blockfaces with similar temporal trajectories are collocated spatially or whether there is variation in the temporal patterns of crime among nearby blockfaces. The results of the study inform how crime prevention strategies might be strategically implemented to target smaller units such as blockfaces rather than larger neighborhoods due to street-to-street variability.

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