PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (8): 1131-1139.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2018.08.012

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Drug-related crime risk assessment and predictive policing based on risk terrain modeling

Ning ZHANG(), Dawei WANG*()   

  1. School of Criminology, People's Public Security University of China, Beijing 100038, China
  • Received:2017-07-20 Revised:2017-12-26 Online:2018-09-04 Published:2018-09-04
  • Contact: Dawei WANG;
  • Supported by:
    Changjiang River Administration of Navigational Affairs in Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China's Technology Project, No.201710012


Crime is the product of a certain time and space. Research on crime cannot be separated from temporal and spatial analyses, as well as social, geographical, ecological, environmental, and other factors that generate crime. Risk terrain modeling technology was developed by American scholars for spatial risk assessment and predictive policing. It has been independently proven and tested in over 45 countries across six continents around the world and 35 states in the United States. It has been widely used in many fields such as predictive policing, homeland security, traffic accidents, public health, child abuse, environmental pollution, and urban development. It has achieved remarkable results in the crime research area of drug, arson, explosion, rape, robbery, and theft. This study adopted crime hotspot analysis and risk terrain modeling to analyze the risk factors, spatial blind spots, and risk terrain of narcotics crimes in 2015 in N City of the Yangtze River Delta region, explored the mechanism and evolution of drug crimes, and made a prediction on N City 2016 drug crime trend. The results show that N City drug crime presents obvious crime hotspots and crime cold spots. Rental housing, hotels, railway stations, banks, parking lots, entertainment venues, urban expressways, and Internet cafes are drug risk factors in the city. Risk terrain modeling is effective in predicting drug crimes. The narcotics departments of public security organs should put more police and energy to gradually limit and eliminate the hotspots that generate, attract, and promote crime.

Key words: drug-related crime, hotspot analysis, risk terrain modeling, risk assessment, predictive policing