Statistical Analysis of Spatial Crime Data

  • Wim Bernasco
  • Henk Elffers


While the geography of crime has been a focal concern in criminology from the very start of the discipline, the development and use of statistical methods specifically designed for spatially referenced data has evolved more recently. This chapter gives an overview of the application of such methods in research on crime and criminal justice, and provides references to the general literature on geospatial statistics, and to instructive and innovative applications in the crime and criminal justice literature.The chapter consists of three sections. The first section introduces the subject matter and delineates it from descriptive spatial statistics and from visualization techniques (“crime mapping.”) It discusses the relevance of spatial analysis, the nature of spatial data, and the issues of sampling and choosing a spatial unit of analysis. The second section deals with the analysis of spatial distributions. We discuss the specification of spatial structure, address spatial autocorrelation, and review a variety of spatially informed regression models and their applications. The third section addresses the analysis of movement, including spatial interaction models, spatial choice models, and the analysis of mobility triads, in the field of crime and criminal justice.


Spatial Autocorrelation Census Tract Street Segment Spatial Unit Geographically Weighted Regression 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Wim Bernasco
    • 1
  • Henk Elffers
    • 1
  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR)AmsterdamNetherlands

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