- USF Sarasota-Manatee - http://sar.usfsm.edu -

Breakthrough Research Spotlight: Dr. Rustu Deryol

Crime Places in Context: An Illustration of the Multilevel Nature of Hot Spot Development
Dr. Rustu Deryol, University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee
Dr. Pamela Wilcox, University of Cincinnati
Dr. Matthew Logan, California State University
Dr. John Wooldredge, University of Cincinnati

Our study, recently published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, aimed to explain differences in crime counts occurred at point addresses in Cincinnati, Ohio between 2010 and 2012. As show in the figure, we examined two elements: 1) how close a crime location was to crime generating locations, such as carry-out liquor stores, drinking establishments, and bus stops, and 2) the degree of land used for commercial purposes nearby. In the figure, the pin represents a location experiencing at least one crime—a crime location. The large circle encompassing the crime location and crime generator symbols represents the broader environmental backcloth (neighborhood) in which crime places are situated.

We tested several hypotheses and found that the distance to all three measures of crime-generating locations (carry-out liquor stores, on-premises drinking establishments, and bus routes) would affect crime counts. We found that the closer these locations are, the higher the crime count. In addition, we also found that this effect varied significantly across neighborhoods, with neighborhoods with more commercial land use seeing a higher effect.


These findings have implications for more effectively addressing crime. More specifically, crime counts may be reduced by targeting addresses located close to multiple crime generating locations. Moreover, the type of neighborhood should be taken into account when addressing crime problems at locations as the most effective crime prevention strategy may be different based on the type of neighborhood. Neighborhoods with relatively more commercial land use might need different crime prevention strategies than those neighborhoods with relatively less commercial land use.

For further questions about this study, please contact with Dr. Rustu Deryol (deryolr@sar.usf.edu).
Figure 1. A conceptualization of the effect of nodes, paths, and backcloth affecting crime locations