A Contribution to the Study of Geographical Displacement of Crime using GIS–Kings Cross, London

Franz Tette Okyere


Displacement of crime is the specter that haunts crime prevention studies, in that, the crime problem does not go away but shifts from one location to another. The fact that crime is not reduced in an area but rather moves around means that trying to change the situation and circumstances surrounding the targeted area may not fully reduce crime. Research that has been previously carried out into the study of geographic displacement of crime in the Kings Cross area did not have any spatial element within the methodology. Most analyses have used more statistical methods than spatial analysis. This research aimed at investigating how the patterns of prostitution, “arrests for soliciting”, have changed between June 2000 and May 2005, more specifically to find out whether there had been a “displacement of crime” or a “diffusion of benefits.” This research used a geographical information system and a general statistical method to investigate how much, and in which direction(s) crime had been displaced. It also explored the temporal nature of offences within the study area. Data provided on offenders also included, apart from the locational information, the date and time of the offences. Analysis was also carried out to establish how “arrests for soliciting” changed overtime in Camden Basic Command Unit (BCU). The hotspot analysis using kernel density estimation (KDE) revealed that there had been a significant displacement of crime events to the north of the target area. The hotspots revealed a “displacement of crime” in a north-easterly direction; it is interesting to know that the resultant index of displacement for a buffer zone of 500 m around the target area varied over the years. It can be shown from the research that between the periods of June 2000 and May 2005 there were varied relationships between diffusion and direct effects. The most recent weighted displacement quotient (WDQ) indicates a positive net effect of the program in May 2005. As part of the temporal analysis on average between June 2000 and May 2005, most of the “arrests for soliciting were made during a week day, specifically during the midweek. The least number of “arrests for soliciting” occurred during the weekends and Mondays.

Keywords: GIS, crime displacement, hotspot analysis, index of displacement, temporal analysis



GIS, crime displacement, hotspot analysis, index of displacement, temporal analysis

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