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Building a Better Hot Spot: Social Disorganization Theory and Hot Spot Identification

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Abstract:

The widespread implementation of geographic information systems has played an enormous role in the way that modern metropolitan police departments concentrate their efforts. This current focus on crime science provides administrators with up to date details of crime and crime patterns within municipalities as well as the ability to focus on smaller geographic areas. Particular emphasis has been placed on 'hot spots' analyses wherein police efforts are concentrated in these smaller geographic areas, characterized by disproportionately greater crime counts or an increased count of calls for service. Unfortunately, this emphasis on hot spots analyses leads us to a circular reasoning where crime is the only, or best, predictor of crime.

This research offers an alternative through the construction of theoretically driven hot spots. Examining over two years worth of crime data from Philadelphia, Pa. this research compares the effectiveness of traditional hot spots against the effectiveness of theory driven hot spots, employing social disorganization theory, in consistently identifying areas in which concentrations of crime occur.
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Association:
Name: American Society of Criminology (ASC)
URL:
http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p126012_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Lawton, Brian. "Building a Better Hot Spot: Social Disorganization Theory and Hot Spot Identification" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, Nov 01, 2006 <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p126012_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lawton, B. A. , 2006-11-01 "Building a Better Hot Spot: Social Disorganization Theory and Hot Spot Identification" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p126012_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The widespread implementation of geographic information systems has played an enormous role in the way that modern metropolitan police departments concentrate their efforts. This current focus on crime science provides administrators with up to date details of crime and crime patterns within municipalities as well as the ability to focus on smaller geographic areas. Particular emphasis has been placed on 'hot spots' analyses wherein police efforts are concentrated in these smaller geographic areas, characterized by disproportionately greater crime counts or an increased count of calls for service. Unfortunately, this emphasis on hot spots analyses leads us to a circular reasoning where crime is the only, or best, predictor of crime.

This research offers an alternative through the construction of theoretically driven hot spots. Examining over two years worth of crime data from Philadelphia, Pa. this research compares the effectiveness of traditional hot spots against the effectiveness of theory driven hot spots, employing social disorganization theory, in consistently identifying areas in which concentrations of crime occur.

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