Article

Risk of Robbery in a Tourist Destination: A Monthly Examination of Atlantic City, New Jersey

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Abstract

Purpose: : The purpose of the current study was to identify potential changes in crime generators and attractors based on monthly models in a high-tourist destination. Design: A Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) approach was used to assess spatial relationships between 27 crime generator and attractor types in Atlantic City, New Jersey with robbery occurrence for the 2015 calendar year. Twelve separate monthly models were run to identify changes in risk factors based on month of the year. Findings: Results indicated unique significant risk factors based on the month of the year. Over the warmer and summer months, there was a shift in environmental risk factors that falls in line with more of a change in routine activities for residents and tourists and related situational contexts for crime. Practical Implications: The analytical approach used in the current study could be used by police departments and jurisdictions to understand types of crime generators and attractors influencing local crime occurrence. Subsequent analyses were used by Atlantic City Police Department to direct place-based policing efforts. Originality/Value: With growing crime and place research that accounts for temporal scales, we advance these endeavors by focusing on a tourist destination, Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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... Research on sporting event arenas/stadiums and theme parks have found that their presence and events contribute to crime occurrence (Vandeviver, Bernasco & Daele, 2019). Crime generators create concentrations of targets that could tempt both residents and tourists to criminal opportunities at those locations (Drawve, Kennedy, & Caplan, 2020). Residents are less likely to become victims because they know the spatial structure of their city/place of residence and can avoid these places. ...
... This could be just about any area that is low in crime (Brantingham, & Brantingham. 2003;Drawve et al. 2020). ...
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The use of smart tourism technologies such as travel-related websites, social media, and smartphones in travel planning has been pervasive and growing. This study examines the mechanism of how travelers use these technologies to enhance travel satisfaction. By adopting the framework of exploration and exploitation and identifying the antecedents that advance and prohibit such uses, we find that the attributes of smart tourism technologies promote both explorative and exploitative use, while user’s security and privacy concerns have a negative effect. In addition, explorative use has a strong influence on overall travel experience satisfaction, and exploitative use mainly enhances the transaction satisfaction.
Article
Purpose: Crime analysts need accurate population-at-risk measures to quantify crime rates. This research evaluates five measures to find the most suitable ambient population-at-risk estimate for 'theft from the person' crimes. Method: 1.Collect 'ambient' datasets: the 2011 Census, aggregate mobile telephone locations, and social media.2.Correlate the population measures against crime volumes to identify the strongest predictor.3.Use the Gi* statistic to identify statistically significant clusters of crime under alternative denominators.4.Explore the locations of clusters, comparing those that are significant under ambient and residential population estimates. Results and Discussion: The research identifies the Census workday population as the most appropriate population-at-risk measure. It also highlights areas that exhibit statistically significant rates using both the ambient and residential denominators. This hints at an environmental backcloth that is indicative of both crime generators and attractors - i.e. places that attract large numbers of people for non-crime purposes (generators) as well as places that are used specifically for criminal activity (attractors). Regions that are largely residential and yet only exhibit hotspots under the ambient population might be places with a higher proportion of crime attractors to stimulate crime, but fewer generators to attract volumes of people.
Article
Street profile analysis is a new method for analyzing temporal and spatial crime patterns along major roadways in metropolitan areas. This crime mapping technique allows for the identification of crime patterns along these street segments. These are linear spaces where aggregate crime patterns merge with crime attractors/generators and human movement to demonstrate how directionality is embedded in city infrastructures. Visually presenting the interplay between these criminological concepts and land use can improve police crime management strategies. This research presents how this crime mapping technique can be applied to a major roadway in Burnaby, Canada. This technique is contrasted with other crime mapping methods to demonstrate the utility of this approach when analyzing the rate and velocity of crime patterns overtime and in space.
Article
In this paper we examine the effects of alcohol outlets, with particular attention to convenience stores, located in an East Coast Tourist City. Tourist City offered an opportunity to observe the interplay between convenience stores and robberies and assaults in the presence of large volumes of summer tourists. Guided by Routine Activities Theory, we focused on the convergence of potential victims, guardianship and offenders in the vicinity of convenience stores. The first part of our paper concerns the effects of convenience stores on assaults and robberies in block groups. Using grocery stores as a comparison to convenience stores, we found that the number of convenience stores was correlated with significantly higher levels of both robberies and assaults. The second part of our investigation employed small circular buffer areas focusing on the immediate area around the convenience stores. This analysis revealed that these small areas were associated with significantly higher assaults in the summer and offseason but robberies only during the offseason. In addition, we found that variation in the number of other alcohol outlets near the convenience stores increases the number of assaults within the buffer areas.
Article
Objectives Test whether the exposure of street segments to five different potentially criminogenic facilities is positively related to violent, property, or disorder crime counts controlling for sociodemographic context. The geographic extent of the relationship is also explored. Method Facility exposure is operationalized as total inverse distance from each street segment in Philadelphia, PA, to surrounding facilities within three threshold distances of 400, 800, and 1,200 feet. All distances are measured using shortest path street distance. Census block group data representing ethnic heterogeneity, concentrated disadvantage, and stability are proportionally allocated to each street block. Negative binomial regression is used to model the relationships. Results Exposure to bars and subway stations was positively associated with violent, property, and disorder crime at all distance thresholds from street segments. Schools were associated with disorder offenses at all distance thresholds. The effects of exposure to halfway houses and drug treatment centers varied by distance and by crime type. Conclusions Facilities have a significant effect on crime at nearby places even controlling for sociodemographic variables. The geographic extent of a facility’s criminogenic influence varies by type of facility and type of crime. Future research should examine additional types of facilities and include information about place management.
Article
Specialist tourist police units are a recent development in many countries where tourism is important to the economy and where crimes associated with tourism are recognised. However, such developments are scarcely universal. This paper focuses on three contrasting examples: the UK, where there are no specialist tourist police, despite a clear relationship between tourism and crime and disorder; Ghana, where tourist police have been introduced relatively recently; and the USA, where tourist police units are an established part of policing structures in tourist areas like Florida. After describing the current situation in each area, the paper concludes with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of specialist units and the reasons why contrasting policies have emerged.
Article
To date, limited research has investigated the effects of tourist prior knowledge as a multidimensional construct on their perceived risk. This research is one of the first studies to investigate the relationships among tourists' risk perceptions and various types of their prior knowledge, namely subjective knowledge, objective knowledge, prior visitation, and past international travel experience. The research also investigates the nature of the relationship between tourist prior knowledge, risk perceptions, and their subsequent information search behavior. Using structural equation modeling, the results reveal that while objective knowledge did not significantly reduce or increase the risk associated with traveling to the Middle East, subjective knowledge appeared to have the strongest influence on tourist risk perceptions. The results of this study further suggest that while various dimensions of perceived risk may elicit the use of different information sources, prior knowledge also plays a role alongside risk perceptions in determining the information sources used. Implications at both theoretical and practical levels are also discussed.
Article
The effects of crime generators, crime attractors, and offender anchor points on the distribution of street robberies across the nearly 25,000 census blocks of Chicago are examined. The analysis includes a wide array of activities and facilities that are expected to attract criminals and generate crime. These include a variety of legal and illegal businesses and infrastructural accessibility facilitators. In addition to these crime attractors and generators, the role of the presence of motivated offenders’ anchor points, as measured by offenders’ residence and gang activity, is assessed. The analysis also includes crime attractors, crime generators, and offender anchor points in adjacent census blocks. The findings demonstrate the strength of the effects of crime generators and attractors and offender anchor points on the frequency of street robbery at the census block level.
Article
Seasonal crime patterns have been a topic of sustained criminological research for more than a century. Results in the area are often conflicting, however, and no firm consensus exists on many points. The current study uses a long time series and a large areal sample to obtain more detailed seasonality estimates than have been available in the past. The findings show that all major crime rates exhibit seasonal behavior, and that most follow similar cycles. The existence of seasonal patterns is not explainable by monthly temperature differences between areas, but seasonality and temperature variations do interact with each other. These findings imply that seasonal fluctuations have both environmental and social components, which can combine to create different patterns from one location to another.
Article
This article uses an alternative measure of the population at risk, the ambient population (provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory), in crime rate calculations. It is shown through a variety of statistical analyses at two different scales of aggregation that this alternatively calculated crime rate is not always related to the conventionally calculated crime rate. The implications of this finding are that past theoretical testing and policy formation might have been based on spurious results, showing the importance of remaining current with the developments of geographic information science technologies and data availability when undertaking a spatial analysis of crime.
Article
It has been known for some time that crime risk is unevenly distributed and that some geographic areas experience more crime than others. However, less attention has been given to the ebb and flow of crime hotspots and in particular the stability of crime problems. This is important as the identification of appropriate crime reduction responses should be informed by the timing and stability of crime problems as well as their location. This paper reviews recent work concerned with space-time patterns of crime and the implications of the findings for crime forecasting. Variation in the stability of crime hotspots is discussed in some detail and an empirical demonstration provided to illustrate the central issues. A modification of a current hotspotting method that may better identify stable hotspots of crime is also presented. Findings are discussed in relation to their policy implications including those that focus on the built environment.
Article
The relative contribution of tourism to nine various types of crimes throughout the 50 states of the U.S. is examined for the year of 1975. Nine regression models, each one involving a different type of crime, analyzed the relative contribution of tourism alongside nine other sociodemographic predictors. The results indicate that for five out of nine crimes tourism was not found to be a determinant at all. For the remaining four the magnitude of contribution was so low that it could be considered insubstantial.
Article
Using Cleveland data, we replicate Roncek and LoBosco's study of the effect of proximity to San Diego's high schools on crime in their surroundings. We also examine a major alternative hypothesis whether having other non-residential land uses in the schools’ surroundings accounts for crime in these areas. Our findings closely parallel theirs. Proximity to public high schools only increases crime on city blocks which are immediately adjacent to the schools. Second, the size of a school's enrollment is not important for explaining crime in its surroundings. The analysis of non-residential effects supports Roncek and LoBosco's claim that crime effects are due solely to the presence of public high schools, although other land uses affect crime near private high schools. While there are differences in the exact magnitudes of the effects, the substance of their findings for San Diego generalizes well to a very different city. More generally, we argue that Wirth's early arguments about the effect of urbanism on impeding social control can be extended to the residential areas within the city.
Article
Tourists and visitors represent a valuable and appreciated element of many countries and many communities. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these tourists and visitors are at great risk of being victims of violent and property crimes in the cities they visit. This paper assesses the relationship between the number of visitors to various cities and the types and patterns of crimes, over time, in two cities engaged in mass tourism. If the anecdotal re- ports are valid indications, crime should fluctuate directly in proportion to the number of visitors. If other factors have stronger explanatory power, the relationship between tourists (visitors) and crime will not be strong or consistent. Based on the data, this research showed that the number of tourists over the course of an eleven year period does not adequately explain the variations in violent crime rates of either of the two cities. Violent crime rates in Honolulu and Las Vegas from 1982 through 1993 showed less of an increase than the increases experienced by other similar cities in the United States for the period studied. The data showed that there was no significant correlation between any of the four serious violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault) and the number of visi- tors to Las Vegas. For Honolulu, there was an inverse relationship between the number of visitors and the violent crimes of murder and robbery but a direct and significant relation- ship to aggravated assault. The results could assist these and other cities in studying more idiosyncratically the relationship between crime and tourism as well as the localization of crimes on visitors in order to engage in measurement and prevention efforts which would serve visitors as well as residents.
Article
This study reviews the general literature on tourism and crime and the recent history of violent and property crime in several Caribbean destinations. It highlights the failure of most previous research to discriminate crimes against tourists vs. residents. Annual crime data for Barbados for 1989–93 are analyzed and reveal that overall guest victimization rates are higher than host rates. Residents are significantly more likely to be victimized by violent crime while tourists are significantly more likely to experience property crime and robbery. Monthly data on guest victimization for 1990–93 show similar patterns. The paper concludes with a number of measures to enhance tourist safety.
Article
Tourists can become adversely affected by the law of a country they visit. The host may commit a crime against the visiting tourist. Conversely, the tourist may commit a crime against the host. A third and interrelated issue concerns the attitude and actions of the host country's legal institutions toward tourists — giving rise to the title of this paper. These issues are explored through information collected during several studies of tourism in Thailand, conducted by the author between 1977 and 1985.Ambivalence in the tourist's role makes him or her vulnerable to criminals, to a country's law and legal process, and to different attitudes of law enforcing agencies. The more a tourist moves about independently, and away from the protective shelter of an ‘environmental bubble’, the more he or she will be at risk.
Article
The research presented here has two key objectives. The first is to apply risk terrain modeling (RTM) to forecast the crime of shootings. The risk terrain maps that were produced from RTM use a range of contextual information relevant to the opportunity structure of shootings to estimate risks of future shootings as they are distributed throughout a geography. The second objective was to test the predictive power of the risk terrain maps over two six‐month time periods, and to compare them against the predictive ability of retrospective hot spot maps. Results suggest that risk terrains provide a statistically significant forecast of future shootings across a range of cut points and are substantially more accurate than retrospective hot spot mapping. In addition, risk terrain maps produce information that can be operationalized by police administrators easily and efficiently, such as for directing police patrols to coalesced high‐risk areas.
Article
A leading sociological theory of crime is the “routine activities” approach (Cohen and Felson, 1979). The premise of this ecological theory is that criminal events result from likely offenders, suitable targets, and the absence of capable guardians against crime converging nonrandomly in time and space. Yet prior research has been unable to employ spatial data, relying instead on individual- and household-level data, to test that basic premise. This analysis supports the premise with spatial data on 323,979 calls to police over all 115,000 addresses and intersections in Minneapolis over 1 year. Relatively few “hot spots” produce most calls to Police (50% of calls in 3% of places) and calls reporting predatory crimes (all robberies at 2.2% of places, all rapes at 1.2% of places, and all auto thefts at 2.7% of places), because crime is both rare (only 3.6% of the city could have had a robbery with no repeat addresses) and concentrated, although the magnitude of concentration varies by offense type. These distributions all deviate significantly, and with ample magnitude, from the simple Poisson model of chance, which raises basic questions about the criminogenic nature of places, as distinct from neighborhoods or collectivities.