PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (10): 1716-1729.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.10.009

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Study on the impact of ambient population and surveillance cameras on street robbers’ crime location choice considering time effect

LONG Dongping(), YUE Han, CHEN Jianguo*()   

  1. Center of GeoInformatics for Public Security, School of Geography and Remote Sensing, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2021-01-04 Revised:2021-03-02 Online:2021-10-28 Published:2021-12-28
  • Contact: CHEN Jianguo;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901172);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071184);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901177)


Explaining how offenders choose a crime location is one of the central themes of crime geography. However, previous research on offenders' crime location choice mostly considers the impact of the built environment and social environment, without considering the impact of ambient population and surveillance cameras on street robbery and its temporal difference. To fill this gap, this study integrated ambient population and surveillance cameras in assessing street robbers' decision making and its time effects in ZG City of China, by using the discrete spatial choice modeling. The results demonstrate that ambient population and surveillance cameras have a significant negative impact on street robbers' crime location choice, and they play a protective role in preventing street robbers' criminal activities. Interestingly, we found that the protective effect of ambient population is greater than that of surveillance cameras. The protective role of ambient population and surveillance cameras is stable daily through the week, but diurnally, the influence of ambient population shows temporal fluctuation, while the impact of surveillance cameras is temporally stable. These findings can be of some reference for police control and crime geography research by: 1) Carrying out the experimental evaluation of surveillance camera system's prevention and control effect, and dynamic optimization and adjustment of surveillance cameralocations. 2) Arranging a suitable amount of mixed functional land in urban planning or urban renewal to strengthen the moderation of ambient population through planning or management. 3) Focusing on diurnal variability in future studies of the time effects.

Key words: street robbery, time effects, protective role, crime location choice