PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 815-828.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.05.010

• Special Column: Crime Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impact of prior crime experiences of street robbers on subsequent crime location choices

LONG Dongping1, LIU Lin1,2,*(), CHEN Jianguo1, XIAO Luzi1, SONG Guangwen1, XU Chong1   

  1. 1. School of Geographical Science, Center of GeoInformatics for Public Security, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Department of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati OH 45221-0131, Ohio, USA
  • Received:2019-05-06 Revised:2019-09-24 Online:2020-05-28 Published:2020-07-28
  • Contact: LIU Lin
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901172);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901177);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41601138);Research Team Program of Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China(2014A-030312010);Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China(41531178);National Key R&D Program of China(2018YFB0505500);National Key R&D Program of China(2018YFB0505503);Guangzhou Science and Technology Program Key Projects(201804020016)


Explaining the choice of crime location is one of the central themes of crime geography. The existing research on the choice of the location where street robbers commit crimes mainly focuses on the following two aspects: analyzing the spatial pattern and influencing factors from a comprehensive perspective, and analyzing the time difference from a comparative perspective. In general, these studies not only enrich the research perspectives, but also clarify the spatiotemporal patterns and their formation mechanisms. Therefore, they have important theoretical and practical significance. The literature also shows that offenders' subsequent crime location choices are affected by their prior crime location choices. However, the published studies have focused on the influences of time and place of a previous crime, and have not yet verified the role of crime experiences of the former offense. Therefore, this study further examined the influence of the prior individual robbery experiences on the subsequent street robbery location choices by using a mixed logit model and data on arrested robbers in ZG City, China. The results suggest that the individual criminal experiences of street robbers such as the interval of crimes, criminal travel, and arrest on the spot have a strong effect on subsequent street robbery location choices, that is, a shorter time interval, a shorter distance of journey to prior crime location, and less possibility of being arrested in the act of a prior street robbery significantly increase the likelihood of a robber returning to the previous location. Finally, through police interviews and theoretical analysis, it is found that the last situation is formed by the offenders' fear of being arrested on the spot, the special ways of police intervention, as well as the social cohesion and crime prevention of communities. Therefore, the extension of the results may well provide references for the police departments' work on prevention and pre-event control and active intervention.

Key words: street robbers, crime experiences, crime location choices, mixed logit model, crime geography