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Security Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 295–302 | Cite as

The “Hottest” Part of a Hotspot: Comments on “The Utility of Hotspot Mapping for Predicting Spatial Patterns of Crime”

  • Ned Levine
Commentary

The recent article by Chainey et al. (2008) in the Security Journal made an important contribution to the analysis of crime hotspots by developing a criterion for comparing methods that identify hotspots. However, the methodology they adopted to compare several specific hotspot techniques was limited and, consequently, raised doubts about the conclusions they drew.

In their paper, they developed a measure called the Prediction Accuracy Index(PAI), which is the ratio of the density of crimes in a hotspot relative to the density of crimes in the general study area. The index is applied to the next time period; that is, the hotspots identified in one time period are applied to the crimes occurring in the next time period. This measure is a good criterion for comparing different hotspot techniques. A hotspot method that has a higher PAI has a higher ratio of events per square unit of area than another method with a lower PAI. In other words, a method with a higher PAI is relatively...

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Dr. Alan Robertson of the Houston Police Department for help in defining several of the parameters used in the analysis.

References

  1. Block, R. and Block, C.R. (2004) Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Crime (STAC). In Levine, N. (ed.) CrimeStat III: A Spatial Statistics Program for the Analysis of Crime Incident Locations. (version 3.0). Chapter 7. Houston, TX: Ned Levine & Associates; Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. November. Available at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/crimestat.Google Scholar
  2. Chainey, S., Tompson, L. and Uhlig, S. (2008) The Utility of Hotspot Mapping for Predicting Spatial Patterns of Crime. Security Journal. Vol. 21, pp 4–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ESRI (2008) ArcGIS 9.2. Redlands, CA: Environmental Systems Research Institute. Available at http://www.esri.com.
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  5. Jessen, R.J. (1978) Statistics Survey Techniques. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  6. Levine, N. (2004) CrimeStat III: A Spatial Statistics Program for the Analysis of Crime Incident Locations. (version 3.0). Houston, TX: Ned Levine & Associates; Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice. November. Available at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/crimestat.Google Scholar
  7. Levine, N. (2006) Houston, Texas, Metropolitan Traffic Safety Planning Program. Transportation Research Record. Vol. 1969, pp 92–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ratcliffe, J. (2002) HotSpot Detective 2.0 for MapInfo Professional 7.0. Available online at http://jratcliffe.net/hsd/.

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ned Levine
    • 1
  1. 1.Ned Levine & AssociatesHoustonU.S.A.

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