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Explaining the temporal and spatial dimensions of robbery: Differences across measures of the physical and social environment

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 60 Dated: 2019 Pages: 1-12
Date Published
12 pages

Given the evidence that crime events exhibit both a spatial and a temporal pattern, the authors explored whether certain social and physical environmental characteristics have varying relationships with crime at different times of day.


The authors assessed this temporal question using a flexible nonlinear parametric approach on a large sample of street segments (and surrounding spatial area) in Southern California. Different temporal and spatial patterns for key measures were evident. The presence of total employees in the surrounding area was associated with a reduced robbery risk during the daytime, but not at night. The risk of a robbery was elevated on a high retail segment on weekends during the daytime, and on high restaurant segments into the early evening on weekends. Furthermore, the presence of retail and restaurants in the surrounding area (evidence of shopping districts) was associated with elevated robbery risk in the afternoon and well into the evening. These differing temporal patterns indicate the possibility of different mechanisms in operation. (Publisher abstract provided)


Date Published: January 1, 2019