A multivariate Bayesian spatial modeling approach was used to jointly model the counts of two types of crime, i.e., burglary and non-motor vehicle theft, and explore the geographic pattern of crime risks and relevant risk factors. In contrast to the univariate model, which assumes independence across outcomes, the multivariate approach takes into account potential correlations between crimes. Six independent variables are included in the model as potential risk factors. In order to fully present this method, both the multivariate model and its univariate counterpart are examined. We fitted the two models to the data and assessed them using the deviance information criterion. A comparison of the results from the two models indicates that the multivariate model was superior to the univariate model. Our results show that population density and bar density are clearly associated with both burglary and non-motor vehicle theft risks and indicate a close relationship between these two types of crime. The posterior means and 2.5% percentile of type-specific crime risks estimated by the multivariate model were mapped to uncover the geographic patterns. The implications, limitations and future work of the study are discussed in the concluding section.
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