marcos oliveira
The Spatial Structure of Crime in Urban Environments


It is undoubtedly cliché to say that we are in the Age of Big Data Analytics or Data Science; every computing and IT publication you find talks about Big Data and companies no longer are interested in software engineers and analysts but instead they are looking for Data Scientists! In spite of the excessive use of the term, the truth of the matter is that data has never been more available and the increase in computation power allows for more sophisticated tools to identify patterns in the data and on the networks that governs these systems (complex networks). Crime is not different, the open data phenomena has spread to thousand of cities in the world, which are making data about crime activity available for any citizen to look at. Furthermore, new criminology studies argue that criminals typically commit crimes in areas in which they are familiar, usually close to home. Using this information we propose a new model based on networks to build links between crimes in close physical proximity. We show that the structure of the criminal activity can be partially represented by this spatial network of sites. In this paper we describe this process and the analysis of the networks we have constructed to find patterns in the underlying structure of criminal activity.

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