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Hotspot mapping, near repeat analysis, and risk terrain modelling

Publication date: Nov 19, 2010 11:02:13 AM

Start: Oct 4, 2011 10:30:00 AM
End: Oct 4, 2011 12:00:00 PM

Location: Brook House, UCL

Speaker: Les Kennedy, Rutgers University, Newark, USA 
Audience: SECReT students

hotspot map

Prof Les Kennedy of the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University, Newark presented a lively seminar looking at Joint Operational Utility for crime modelling techniques such as Hotspot Mapping, Near Repeat Analysis, and Risk Terrain Modeling. His research was based on data for violent crimes (aggravated assaults, homicides, robbery, shootings, and weapon possession) provided by the New Jersey State Police through the Regional Operations Intelligence Center. 

Prof Kennedy talked about Hotspots: areas with high concentrations of crime, and conventional hotspot mapping which uses locations of past events to anticipate locations of future similar events. He also talked about near repeat offences analysis which states that if a crime occurs at a location, the chances of a future crime occurring nearby increases. Many near repeat incidents over time could result in hotspots.

Prof Kennedy’s analysis of the NJ police data showed that for this data-set there was a 500% greater chance of victimization at the same place up to 7 days after an initial incident, and a 153% greater chance of near repeat occurring within 14 days at 801-900 feet from initial incident. This knowledge of the near repeat phenomenon can be used to intervene at certain places. However it is limited by the fact that, like hotspot mapping, it relies on the occurrence of crime before predicting future behavior.

Professor Kennedy also concluded that hotspot locations did not move from year to year because environments stayed criminogenic, and violent crimes occur at places with higher environmental risks, especially if violent crimes already occurred there.

Prof Kennedy finished by summarizing that:

  • Violent crimes occur at places with high environmental risks
  • If environmental risks aren’t mitigated, then crimes will continue at the same places, creating hotspots
  • Unpreventable instigator crimes will attract near repeats at places of higher environmental risk

Slide download: Hotspot mapping, rear repeat analysis, and risk terrain modelling – UCL SECReT seminar