Prospective Hotspots: Some Preliminary Findings

Kate J. Bowers, University of Liverpool
Shane D. Johnson, University of Liverpool
Ken Pease, Jill Dando Institute

Perfect prediction of when and where crimes were to take place would facilitate their prevention or detection. Research consistently demonstrates that prior victimization is an excellent predictor of risk. However, Self-evidently, prior victimization yields no prediction about properties as yet unvictimized. Our recent work suggests that the risk of burglary is communicable, with properties within close proximity of a victimized house being at a temporarily heightened risk of victimization. Further results also demonstrate that the degree to which this effect occurs varies across different types of area. In this paper we discuss our progress in producing a system that generates 'prospective hotspot' maps, which predict when and where future crimes are most likely to occur.

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Updated 05/20/2006