Concentrated Events and Mobile Populations: The Spaial Distribution of Homicide Events, Offenders, and Victims in Bernalillo County, New Mexico

Lisa Broidy, University of New Mexico
Jerry Daday, University of New Mexico
Paul D. Steele, University of New Mexico

Recent work has examined the patterning of violent events in space and the degree to which such patterns are associated with the structural and social features of geographic. Focusing on homicide, this research has established that homicide tends to be spatially congregated and that its diffusion across space is dependent on the social and structural features of adjacent areas. This study examines the spatial distribution of homicide events, offenders, and victims in a Bernalillo County. Consistent with previous work, our findings suggest that, homicides in Bernalillo County are largely congregated in specific geographical areas. However, our data also reveal a highly mobile population of offenders and victims who travel an average of 4 miles to these events and live, on average, 6 miles apart from one another. We examine these patterns in more detail, exploring whether the spatial distribution of events, offenders, and victims is dependent on the dynamics of the event, such that some types of homicide are more spatially concentrated (i.e., intimate partner homicides), while others are more spatially diffuse (i.e., drug related homicides). We also examine how events within hot spots differ from those outside hot spots in terms of the spatial distribution of events, offenders, and victims?

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Updated 05/20/2006