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Criminal Careers of Places: A Longitudinal Study

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2004
112 pages
This federally funded study identified and examined longitudinal changes of crime at place or crime concentrations utilizing street segments in Seattle, WA.
Researcher have argued that to fully understand crime places you must examine the dynamics of change over time and look to innovations in developmental models of individual criminal careers for insights into criminal career places. This study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice sought to provide greater complexity in the understanding of the development of crime at place across time by drawing from theoretical and methodological approaches that have been used to understand the criminal careers of individuals. A site was sought that would have a long history of collecting records of crime events that specified the date, time and location of those incidents. Thus, 14 years of crime data in Seattle, WA, were analyzed. The analysis of crime at street segments in Seattle over the 14 year period, as well as the use of a trajectory approach assisted in the understanding of crime at micro places. The study confirmed prior research showing that crime is tightly clustered in specific places in urban areas, and that most places evidence little or no crime. In addition, there was a high degree of stability of crime at micro places over time which was evident in the vast majority of street segments in the study of 14 years of official data. This study provides the first examination of trajectories of crime at micro places over time, suggesting the importance of a developmental, criminal career perspective in the study of micro crime places. Figures, references, and appendixes

Date Published: July 1, 2004