The Effects of a Firework Explosion on the Extent and Nature of Crimes in the City of Enschede

Gerben Bruinsma, NSCR and Leiden University
Floor Luykx, NSCR Netherlands' Institute for the Study

On May 13th of 2000 a firework depot exploded in the center of Enschede, a middle-sized town in the Eastern part of the Netherlands. Twenty people were killed and a thousand injured by the explosion. A whole mixed low class neighborhood was wiped off the face of the earth. More than 5.000 people lost their houses and all their properties. In this paper we analyze the effects of this explosion on the extent and nature of crime in this city. Are there changes in the distribution and nature of the crimes committed afterwards? Based on several criminological theories a number of propositions on possible outcomes are tested. Can displacement effects be observed between neighborhoods? Based on all available police data time series analyses are executed in order to assess the effects. The results will be interpreted in the context of well known criminological theories.

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Updated 05/20/2006