Objectives - We investigate the spatio-temporal variation of monthly residential burglary frequencies across neighborhoods as a function of crime generators, street network features and temporally and spatially lagged burglary frequencies. In addition, we evaluate the per-formance of the model as a forecasting tool.

Methods - We analyze 48 months of police-recorded residential burglaries across 20 neigh-borhoods in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in combination with data on the locations of urban facilities (crime generators), frequencies of other crime types, and street network data. We apply the Integrated Laplace Approximation method, a Bayesian forecasting framework that is less computationally demanding than prior frameworks.

Results - The local number of retail stores, the number of street robberies perpetrated and the closeness of the local street network are positively related to residential burglary. Inclu-sion of a general spatio-temporal interaction component significantly improves forecasting performance, but inclusion of spatial proximity or temporal recency components does not.DiscussionOur findings on crime generators and street network characteristics support evi-dence in the literature on environmental correlates of burglary. The significance of spatio-temporal interaction indicates that residential burglary is spatio-temporally concentrated. Our finding that recency and proximity of prior burglaries do not contribute to the perfor-mance of the forecast, probably indicates that relevant spatio-temporal interaction is lim-ited to fine-grained spatial and temporal units of analysis, such as days and street blocks.

Discussion - Our findings on crime generators and street network characteristics support evidence in the literature on environmental correlates of burglary. The significance of spatio-temporal interaction indicates that residential burglary is spatio-temporally concentrated. Our finding that recency and proximity of prior burglaries do not contribute to the performance of the forecast, probably indicates that relevant spatio-temporal interaction is limited to fine-grained spatial and temporal units of analysis, such as days and street blocks.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10940-020-09469-3
Journal Journal of Quantitative Criminology
Citation
Mahfoud, M, Bernasco, W, Bhulai, S, & van der Mei, R.D. (2020). Forecasting spatio‑temporal variation in residential burglary with the integrated Laplace approximation framework: Effects of crime generators, street networks, and prior crimes. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 1–28. doi:10.1007/s10940-020-09469-3