Advertisement

Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 469–496 | Cite as

The Influence of Community Areas, Neighborhood Clusters, and Street Segments on the Spatial Variability of Violent Crime in Chicago

  • Cory SchnellEmail author
  • Anthony A. Braga
  • Eric L. Piza
Original Paper

Abstract

Objectives

The influence of three hierarchical units of analysis on the total spatial variability of violent crime incidents in Chicago is assessed. This analysis seeks to replicate a recent study that found street segments, rather than neighborhood units of analysis, accounted for the largest share of the total spatial variability of crime in The Hague, Netherlands (see Steenbeek and Weisburd J Quant Criminol. doi: 10.1007/s10940-015-9276-3, 2015).

Methods

We analyze violent crime incidents reported to the police between 2001 and 2014. 359,786 incidents were geocoded to 41,926 street segments nested within 342 neighborhood clusters, in turn nested within 76 community areas in Chicago. Linear mixed models with random slopes of time were estimated to observe the variance uniquely attributed to each unit of analysis.

Results

Similar to Steenbeek and Weisburd, we find 56–65 % of the total variability in violent crime incidents can be attributed to street segments in Chicago. City-wide reductions in violence over the observation period coincide with increases in the spatial variability attributed to street segments and decreases in the variability attributed to both neighborhood units.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that scholars interested in understanding the spatial variation of crime across urban landscapes should be focused on the small places that comprise larger geographic areas. The next wave of “neighborhood-effects” research should explore the role of hierarchical processes in understanding crime variation within larger areas.

Keywords

Street Segment Crime and place Law of crime concentration Chicago Neighborhoods 

References

  1. Agnew R (1992) Foundation for a general strain theory of crime and delinquency. Criminology 30:47–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agnew R (1999) A general strain theory of community differences in crime rates. J Res Crime Delinq 36:123–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andresen MA, Malleson N (2011) Testing the stability of crime patterns: implications for theory and policy. J Res Crime Delinq 48:58–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bellair PE (2000) Informal surveillance and street crime: a complex relationship. Criminology 38:137–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernasco W, Block R (2011) Robberies in Chicago: a block-level analysis of the influence of crime generators, crime attractors, and offender anchor points. J Res Crime Delinq 48:33–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Black D (1970) The production of crime rates. Am Soc Rev 35:733–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Block LR, Block CB (1995) Space, place, and crime: Hot spot areas and hot places of liquor-related crime. In: Eck J, Weisburd D (eds) Crime and place: crime prevention studies, vol 4. Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, pp 145–183Google Scholar
  8. Boessen A, Hipp J (2015) Close-ups and the scale of ecology: land uses and the geography of social context and crime. Criminology 53:399–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowers K (2014) Risky facilities: crime radiators or crime absorbers? A comparison of internal and external levels of theft. J Quant Criminol 30:389–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Braga AA, Clarke RV (2014) Explaining high-risk concentrations of crime in the city: social disorganization, crime opportunities, and important next steps. J Res Crime Delinq 51:480–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Braga AA, Papachristos AV, Hureau DM (2010) The concentration and stability of gun violence at micro places in Boston, 1980–2008. J Quant Criminol 26:33–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Braga AA, Hureau DM, Papachristos AV (2011) The relevance of micro places to citywide robbery trends: a longitudinal analysis of robbery incidents at street corners and block faces in Boston. J Res Crime Delinq 48:7–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Braga AA, Papachristos AV, Hureau DM (2014) The effects of hot spots policing on crime: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Justice Q 31:633–663CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brantingham PJ, Brantingham PL (1981) Environmental criminology. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  15. Brantingham PJ, Brantingham PL (1993) Environment, routine and situation: toward a pattern theory of crime. In: Clarke R, Felson M (eds) Routine activity and rational choice. Transaction, New Brunswick, pp 259–294Google Scholar
  16. Browne WJ, Subramanian SV, Jones K, Goldstein H (2005) Variance partitioning in multilevel logistic models that exhibit overdispersion. J R Stat Soc 168:599–613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Burgess EW (1925) The growth of the city: an introduction to a research project. In: Park RE, Burgess EW (eds) The city: suggestions for the investigation of human behavior in the urban environment. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 47–62Google Scholar
  18. Bursik RJ, Grasmick HG (1993) Neighborhoods and crime: the dimensions of effective community control. Lexington Books, LanhamGoogle Scholar
  19. Bursik RJ, Webb J (1982) Community change and patterns of delinquency. Am J Soc 88:24–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chicago Fact Book Consortium (1990) Local community fact book: Chicago metropolitan area. Academy Chicago Publishers, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  21. Clarke RV (1995) Situational crime prevention. In: Tonry M, Farrington D (eds) Building a safer society: strategic approaches to crime prevention. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  22. Cloward RA, Ohlin LE (1960) Delinquency and opportunity: a study of delinquent gangs. The Free Press, GlencoeGoogle Scholar
  23. Cohen LE, Felson M (1979) Social change and crime rate trends: a routine activity approach. Am Soc Rev 44:588–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cornish DB, Clarke RV (1986) The reasoning criminal. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Curman ASN, Andresen MA, Brantingham PJ (2015) Crime and place: a longitudinal examination of street segment patterns in Vancouver, BC. J Quant Criminol 31:127–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Deryol R, Wilcox P, Logan M, Wooldredge J (2016) Crime places in context: an illustration of the multi-level nature of hot spot development. J Quant Criminol. doi: 10.1007/s10940-015-9278-1 Google Scholar
  27. Earls F, Buka SL (1997) Project on human development in Chicago neighborhoods. National Institute of Justice, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  28. Earls FJ, Brooks-Gunn J, Raudenbush SW, Sampson RJ (2007) Project on human development in chicago neighborhoods: community survey, 1994–1995. ICPSR02766-v3. Inter-university consortium for political and social research [distributor], Ann Arbor. 2007-10-29.  10.3886/ICPSR02766.v3
  29. Eck JE, Eck EB (2012) Crime place and pollution: expanding crime reduction options through a regulatory approach. Criminol Public Policy 11:281–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Eck JE, Weisburd D (1995) Crime places in crime theory. In: Eck J, Weisburd D (eds) Crime and place: crime prevention studies, vol 4. Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, pp 1–34Google Scholar
  31. Eck JE, Gersh JS, Taylor C (2000) Finding crime hot spots through repeat address mapping. In: Goldsmith V, McGuire PG, Mollenkopf JH, Ross TA (eds) Analyzing crime patterns: frontiers of practice. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, pp 49–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Efron B (1979) Bootstrap methods: another look at the jackknife. Anna Stat 7:1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Fisher WD (1958) On grouping for maximum homogeneity. J Am Stat Assoc 53:789–798CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gastwirth JL (1972) The estimation of the Lorenz curve and Gini index. Rev Econ Stat 54:306–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gelman A, Hill J (2007) Data analysis using regression and multilevel/hierarchical models. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. Grannis R (1998) The importance of trivial streets: residential streets and residential segregation. Am J Soc 103:1530–1564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Groff E, Weisburd D, Morris NA (2009) Where the action is at places: examining spatio-temporal patterns of juvenile crime at places using trajectory analysis and GIS. In: Weisburd D, Bernasco W, Bruinsma G (eds) Putting crime in its place: units of analysis in geographic criminology. Springer, NewYork, pp 61–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Groff ER, Weisburd D, Yang SM (2010) Is it important to examine crime trends at a local “micro” level?: a longitudinal analysis of street to street variability in crime trajectories. J Quant Criminol 26:7–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hartley HO, Sielken RL (1975) A “super-population viewpoint” for finite population sampling. Biometrics 31:411–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hipp J, Boessen A (2015) Neighborhoods, networks, and crime. In: Cullen F, Wilcox P, Sampson R, Dooley B (eds) Challenging criminological theory: the legacy of Ruth Kornhauser. Transaction, New Brunswick, pp 275–300Google Scholar
  41. Hunter A (1974) Symbolic communities: the persistence and change of Chicago’s local communities. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  42. Hunter A (1985) Private, parochial, and public social orders: the problem of crime and incivility in urban communities. In: Suttles G, Zald M (eds) The challenge of social control: citizenship and institution building in modern society. Ablex, Norwood, pp 230–242Google Scholar
  43. Johnson SD (2010) A brief history of the analysis of crime concentration. Eur J Appl Math 21:349–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Johnson S, Bowers K, Birks D, Pease K (2009) Predictive mapping of crime by ProMap: accuracy, units of analysis, and the environmental backcloth. In: Weisburd D, Bernasco W, Bruinsma G (eds) Putting crime in its place: units of analysis in geographic criminology. Springer, New York, pp 179–198Google Scholar
  45. Kirk DS, Papachristos AV (2011) Cultural mechanisms and the persistence of neighborhood violence. Am J Soc 116:1190–1233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kuhn TS (1962) The structure of scientific revolutions. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  47. Laub JH (2004) The life course of criminology in the United States: the American Society of Criminology 2003 Presidential Address. Criminology 42:1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lorenz MO (1905) Methods of measuring the concentration of wealth. Publ Am Stat Assoc 9:209–219Google Scholar
  49. Mears D, Bhati D (2006) No community is an island: the effects of resource deprivation on urban violence in spatially and socially proximate communities. Criminology 44:509–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Merton RK (1938) Social structure and anomie. Am Soc Rev 3:672–682CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Miethe TD, Meier RF (1994) Crime and its social context: toward an integrated theory of offenders, victims, and situations. State University of New York Press, AlbanyGoogle Scholar
  52. Morenoff JD, Sampson RJ, Raudenbush SW (2001) Neighborhood inequality, collective efficacy, and the spatial dynamics of urban violence. Criminology 39:517–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Oberwittler D, Wikstrom P (2009) Why small is better: Advancing the study of the role of behavioral contexts in crime causation. In: Weisburd D, Bernasco W, Bruinsma G (eds) Putting crime in its place: units of analysis in geographic criminology. Springer, New York, pp 35–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Park R (1915) Suggestions for the investigations of human behavior in the urban environment. Am J Soc 20:577–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Peterson RD, Krivo LJ (2010) divergent social worlds: neighborhood crime and the racial-spatial divide. Russell Sage Foundation, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  56. Pierce GL, Spaar S, Briggs LR (1988) The character of police work: strategic and tactical implications. Northeastern University Center for Applied Social Research, BostonGoogle Scholar
  57. Rabe-Hesketh S, Skrondal A (2012) Multilevel and longitudinal modeling using stata volume I: continuous responses, 3rd edn. Stata Press, College StationGoogle Scholar
  58. Raudenbush SW, Bryk AS (2002) Hierarhical linear models: applications and data analysis methods, 2nd edn. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  59. Rengert G, Chakravorty S, Bole T, Henderson K (2000) A geographic analysis of illegal drug markets. Crim Prev Stud 11:219–240Google Scholar
  60. Rice KJ, Smith WRC (2002) Socioecological models of automotive theft: integrating routine activity and social disorganization approaches. J Res Crime Delinq 39:304–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Robinson W (1950) Ecological correlations and the behavior of individuals. Am Soc Rev 15:351–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sampson RJ (2011) The community. In: Wilson JQ, Petersilia J (eds) Crime and public policy. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 210–236Google Scholar
  63. Sampson RJ (2012) Great American city: chicago and the enduring neighborhood effect. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sampson RJ (2013) The place of context: a theory and strategy for criminology’s hard problems. Criminology 51:1–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sampson RJ, Groves WB (1989) Community structure and crime: testing social-disorganization theory. Am J Soc 94:774–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sampson R, Raudenbush S (1999) Systematic social observation of public spaces: a new look at disorder in urban neighborhoods. Am J Soc 105:603–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sampson RJ, Wilson WJ (1995) Toward a theory of race, crime, and urban inequality. In: Hagan J, Peterson RD (eds) Crime and inequality. Stanford University Press, Stanford, pp 37–56Google Scholar
  68. Sampson R, Raudenbush S, Earls F (1997) Neighborhoods and violent crime: a multi-level study of collective efficacy. Science 277:918–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sampson RJ, Morenoff JD, Earls F (1999) Beyond social capital: spatial dynamics of collective efficacy for children. Am Soc Rev 64:633–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sampson RJ, Morenoff JD, Gannon-Rowley T (2002) Assessing “neighborhood effects” social processes and new directions in research. Annu Rev Soc 28:443–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Schneider VW, Wiersema B (1990) Limits and use of uniform crime reports. In: MacKenzie PJ, Roberg RR (eds) Measuring crime. State University of New York Press, Albany, pp 21–48Google Scholar
  72. Shaw C, McKay H (1942) Juvenile delinquency and urban areas. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  73. Shaw CR, Zorbaugh FM, McKay HD, Cottrell LS (1929) Delinquency Areas: a study of the geographic distribution of school truants, juvenile delinquents, and adult offenders in Chicago. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  74. Sherman LW, Gartin PR, Buerger ME (1989) Hot spots of predatory crime: routine activities and the criminology of place. Criminology 27:27–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Simcha-Fagan O, Schwartz JE (1986) Neighborhood and delinquency: an assessment of contextual effects. Criminology 24:667–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Slocum TA, McMaster RB, Kessler FC, Howard HH (2005) Thematic cartography and geographic visualization. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  77. Spelman W (1995) Criminal careers of public places. In: Eck J, Weisburd D (eds) Crime and place: crime prevention studies, vol 4. Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, pp 115–144Google Scholar
  78. St. Jean PKB (2007) Pockets of crime: broken windows, collective efficacy, and the criminal point of view. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Steenbeek W, Weisburd D (2015) Where the action is in crime? An examination of variability of crime across spatial units in The Hague, 2001–2009. J Quant Criminol. doi: 10.1007/s10940-015-9276-3 Google Scholar
  80. Suttles GD (1972) The social construction of communities. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  81. Taylor RB (1997) Social order and disorder of street blocks and neighborhoods: ecology, microecology and the systemic model of social disorganization. J Res Crime Delinq 34:113–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Taylor RB (2015) Community criminology: fundamentals of spatial and temporal scaling, ecological indicators, and selectivity bias. New York University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Weisburd D (2015) The law of crime concentration and the criminology of place. Criminology 53:133–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Weisburd D, Amram S (2014) The law of concentration of crime at place: the case of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Police Pract Res Int J 15:101–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Weisburd D, Bushway S, Lum C, Yang S (2004) Trajectories of crime at places: a longitudinal study of street segments in the city of Seattle. Criminology 42:283–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Weisburd D, Bernasco W, Bruinsma G (2009) Putting crime in its place: units of analysis in geographic criminology. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Weisburd D, Groff ER, Yang S (2012) The criminology of place: street segments and our understanding of the crime problem. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Weisburd D, Telep C, Lawton B (2014) Could innovations in policing have contributed to the New York City crime drop even in a period of declining police strength?: The case of stop, question and frisk as a hot spots policing strategy. Justice Q 31:129–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Wheeler AP, Worden RE, McLean SJ (2015) Replicating group-based trajectory models of crime at micro-places in Albany, NY. J Quant Criminol. doi: 10.1007/s10940-015-9268-3 Google Scholar
  90. Wilcox P, Land KC (2015) Social disorganization and criminal opportunity. In: Cullen F, Wilcox P, Sampson R, Dooley B (eds) Challenging criminological theory: the legacy of Ruth Kornhauser. Transaction, New Brunswick, pp 237–258Google Scholar
  91. Wirth L, Bernert EH (1949) Local community fact book of Chicago. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  92. Wolfgang ME, Ferracuti F (1967) Subculture of violence: towards an integrated theory in criminology. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  93. Zorbaugh HW (1929) The gold coast and the slum: a sociological study of chicago’s near north side. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA
  2. 2.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations