The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


Weekly Crime Concentration

7 September 2021

A paper to examine and visualise the temporal concentration of different crime types and detect if their intensity varies through distinct moments of the week.


Following work published last year with Dr Neave O'Clery and a series of workshops presented to stakeholders including the police department in Mexico City, Rafael Prieto Curiel (PEAK Urban) has used the data and code from the research to produce a manuscript, "Weekly Crime Concentration", published this month in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

The aim of the paper is to show that a few moments of the week concentrate most of the crime that happens in the city. Different types of crime have a different heartbeat but also, different regions have distinct heartbeats, so it is not a universal property. Also, there are shocks, for example, when we have holidays, so it is not even a fixed heartbeat. The “heartbeat of the crime signal” is constructed by overlapping the weekly time they were suffered.

This study is based on more than 220,000 crimes reported to the Mexico City Police Department between January 2016 and March 2020 to capture the day and time of crimes and detect moments of the week in which the intensity exceeds the average frequency.

You can read the open access paper here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10940-021-09533-6