Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2012, Vol. 67 ›› Issue (12): 1645-1656.doi: 10.11821/xb201212006

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Research on the Spatial-Temporal Characteristics and Mechanism of Urban Crime: A Case Study of Property Crime in Beijing

FENG Jian, HUANG Linshan, DONG Ying, SONG Leilei   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2012-04-10 Revised:2012-10-18 Online:2012-12-20 Published:2012-12-20
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40971085;No.41101151

Abstract: Urban crime problem brought about by the high-speed urbanization has arouse great attention from scholars in different fields, such as social scientists, psychologists and criminologists, whereas geographers place emphasis on the pattern and process of urban crime. In recent years, the Chinese crime information becomes more transparent and open than ever, thus providing a majestic opportunity of urban crime study for the academics. To get a better understanding of the spatial pattern of urban crime, the city of Beijing is chosen as a study area and the software of GIS is employed to collect spatial data. The authors try to establish the quantitative representation of geographical characteristics of the crime associated with urban space, in order to set up the geographical model of urban crime and space. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows: First of all, the overall spatial distribution of urban crime in Beijing displays a picture of a polycentric structure and distance-decay. Secondly, the spatial distribution of urban crime has a reference to traffic center, concentration of urban commerce and population migration. Thirdly, the number of suspects and that of location where different types of crime happen have inter-annual variation, while both the total number of crime sites and their criminal density within each district are relatively stable. Fourthly, the spatial-temporal characteristics of sites act on both the participants of the property crimes and the criminal factors, which will decide whether or not an offender can commit a crime successfully. The hot spots and period of time of urban crime in Beijing has a close relation to the fact that the success of committing a property crime is based on a certain condition of sites and time, which appears in Beijing's environment. Finally, the spatial anti-crime strategies of urban crime and the insufficiency of research are discussed.

Key words: urban crime, property crime, urban spatial structure, site, Beijing