Crime Prevention and Community Safety

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 30–46 | Cite as

The spatial distribution of crime and population density in Saudi Arabia

  • Mofza AlgahtanyEmail author
  • Lalit Kumar
  • Elaine Barclay
  • Hassan M. Khormi
Original Article


This study examined the relationship between crime and place across the 13 provinces of Saudi Arabia using geographic information systems techniques based on population density, identifying and visualising the spatial distributions of national and regional crime rates for drug crimes, theft, murder, assault, alcohol and ‘outrageous crimes’ (offences against Islam) over a 10-year period from 2003 to 2012. Social disorganisation theory was employed to guide the study and explain the diversity in patterns in crime across the country. The highest rates of overall crimes were identified in the Northern Border and Jizan areas, located in the north and south of the country, respectively, while the East Area has the lowest crime rate. Most drug offences occurred in Northern Borders and Jizan, high rates of theft were recorded in Northern Borders, Jouf and Makkah, while the highest rates of homicide occurred in Asir.


GIS Spatial analysis Social disorganisation theory Population density Saudi Arabia 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mofza Algahtany
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lalit Kumar
    • 1
  • Elaine Barclay
    • 3
  • Hassan M. Khormi
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Environment and Rural ScienceUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  2. 2.Ministry of JusticeRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social SciencesUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Social Sciences, Arts CollegeJazan UniversityJizanSaudi Arabia

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