Spatial Methods for Quantifying Crime Displacement after a Hot-Spot Intervention

Timothy Thomas, University of Washington

Research shows that urban crime concentrates in specific areas, leading scholars and practitioners to combine criminological theory and spatial methods to help inform policies and strategies on how to address this phenomenon. Outside of measuring the success of an intervention in a focal area, there is concern that the operation will simply move crime to nearby areas. Alternatively, some scholars argue that the positive benefits of the operation spread into nearby areas, reducing crime and improving the neighborhood. This study attempts to address previous methodological concerns by measuring the geographic extent to which crime might displace as well as the lasting impact of an operation. Results suggest that crime may move further from a focal area than previously expected, the positive effects of an operation may not last, and there may be unintended effects leading to neighborhood change.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment