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The Spill Over of Crime from Urban Centers: An Account of the Changing Spatial Distribution of Violent Crime in Guyana

Geospatial Information Sciences, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, the University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 75080, USA
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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(11), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8110481
Received: 6 September 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 20 October 2019 / Published: 25 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Crime Mapping and Analysis Using GIS)
As the rate of crime decelerates in the developed world, the opposite phenomenon is being observed in the developing world, including Latin America and the Caribbean. Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean has been concentrated in urban settings, but the expertise for studying crime and providing guidance on policing remain heavily rooted in the developed world. A hindrance to studying crime in the developing world is the difficulty in obtaining official data, allowing for generalizations on where crime is concentrated to persist. This paper tackles two challenges facing crime analysis in the developing world: the availability of data and an examination of whether crime is concentrated in urban settings. We utilized newspaper archival data to study the spatial distribution of crime in Guyana, South America, across the landscape, and in relation to rural indigenous villages. Three spatial analysis tools, hotspot analysis, mean center, and standard deviation ellipse were used to examine the changing distribution of crime across 20 years. Based on 3900 reports of violent crime, our analyses suggest that the center of the gravity of crime changed over the years, spilling over to indigenous peoples’ landscapes. An examination of murder, where firearms and bladed weapons were the weapons of choice, suggests that these weapons moved beyond the coastal zone. The movement of weapons away from the coast raises concerns for the security of indigenous peoples and their associated wildlife. Our analysis suggests that policing measures should seek to extend towards Amerindian landscapes, and this is perhaps indicative of Latin American states with demographics similar to Guyana’s. View Full-Text
Keywords: Guyana; crime distribution; indigenous landscapes; developing world; newspaper archives Guyana; crime distribution; indigenous landscapes; developing world; newspaper archives
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Cummings, A.R.; Markandey, N.; Das, H.; Arredondo, C.; Wehenkel, A.; Tiemann, B.L.; Lee, G. The Spill Over of Crime from Urban Centers: An Account of the Changing Spatial Distribution of Violent Crime in Guyana. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 481.

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