PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 804-814.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.05.009

• Special Column: Crime Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Formation and feature analyses of crime hotspots using near repeat principle: A case study of robbery in Beijing

GUO Yaqi, CHEN Peng*()   

  1. Institute of Information Engineering of Policing and Cyber Security, People's Public Security University of China, Beijing 102600, China
  • Received:2019-10-12 Revised:2020-02-25 Online:2020-05-28 Published:2020-07-28
  • Contact: CHEN Peng
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of Beijing(9192022);National Engineering Laboratory Director Fund for Social Security Risk Perception and Prevention and Control of Large Data Applications;Top Talents Training Specialized Subsidy for Scientific Research and Innovation Projects of Master's Graduates of People's Public Security of China in 2019(2019ssky002)


As a significant spatiotemporal characteristic of crimes, repeat and near repeat pattern has received much interest in criminology research. The purpose of this study was to explore the formation process and features of crime hotspots by using near repeat principle. Robbery cases in six districts of Beijing inner city from 2012 to 2014 were used to examine the extent to which repeats and near repeats spatially intersect robbery hotspots. All the case chains within crime hotspots satisfying repeat and near repeat principle were screened out. From this, by dividing the case characteristics into criminal factors and environmental factors, the characteristics of case chains were analyzed to describe the features and formation of hotspots. The results suggest that there were three main crime hotspots in the six districts of Beijing inner city, namely "a", "b", "c", and most of the cases located within the hotspots were repeats and near repeats. The hotspot "a" was located in Shuangjing and Jinsong, and the hotspot "c" was located in Dahongmen Bridge. The characteristics of the criminal factors of these two hotspots were more consistent than that of the environmental factors, which indicates that the formation of the hotspots were more likely to originate from the repeated crimes committed in the area by criminals. The hotspot "b" was located in Fenzhongsi area by the southeastern third ring road. The characteristics of the environmental factors of this hotspot were more consistent than that of the criminal factors, which indicates that the formation of the hotspot was more likely to originate from different criminals committing crimes in this area. The research findings presented in this article can aid decision making on crime prevention and detection in policing.

Key words: near repeat principle, crime hotspot, Simpson index, case chain, Beijing