Weekly Crime Concentration

Journal article

This paper examines and visualises the temporal concentration of different crime types and detects if their intensity varies through distinct moments of the week.  This study is based on more than 220,000 crimes reported to the Mexico City Police Department between January 2016 and March 2020 to capture the day and time of crimes and detect moments of the week in which the intensity exceeds the average frequency. A new metric for the temporal concentration of crime is constructed for different types of crime and regions of the city based on the corresponding heartbeats. 

The results show the temporal concentration of crime is a stable signature of different types of crime. The intensity of robberies and theft is more homogeneous from Monday to Sunday, but robberies of a bank user are highly concentrated in a week, meaning that few hours of the week capture most of the burning moments. The concentration is not homogeneously distributed in the city, with some regions experiencing a much higher temporal concentration of crime. 

Crime is highly concentrated when observed in its weekly patterns, but different types of crime and regions exhibit substantially distinct concentration levels. The temporal trace indicates specific moments for the burning times of different types of crime, which is a critical element of a policing strategy.

Rafael Prieto Curiel
Volume 37 Issue 3, September 2021 (open access)
Sustainable Cities