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Stability in unstable places: property crime in a campus environment


In recent years, campus crime has become the focus of a growing body of literature; however, spatial analyses only represent a small facet of campus crime research. To date, the majority fails to consider longitudinal aspects of campus crime. To address this gap, this study analyzed geographic similarity between property crime distributions across 3 years of police incident data for a metropolitan university in the southern USA and its surrounding community. Using ArcMap and a spatial test developed by Andresen (Appl Geogr 29(3):333–345, 2009), the degree of similarity between annual, seasonal, and semesterly spatial distributions of property crime were analyzed. The results indicated 41.2% of all property crimes occurred within 5% of locations. Significant levels of similarity for the seasonal and semesterly distributions of on-campus property crime were found, which largely became nonsignificant once zero-crime locations were removed. None of the annual analyses, nor the analyses of the campus and its surrounding community reached a significant level of similarity. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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Correspondence to James N. Hurst.

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Hurst, J.N. Stability in unstable places: property crime in a campus environment. Crime Prev Community Saf (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41300-020-00087-6

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  • Colleges and universities
  • Property crime
  • Seasonality
  • Spatial point pattern test
  • Environmental criminology