Tracking criminal movements and predicting hot spots

Sep 23, 2013

In the latest SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Chaturapruek, et al. describe modeling criminal movements based on where potential criminals live and areas of interest.

Data available on distance between criminals’ homes and their targets shows that burglars are willing to travel longer distances for high-value targets, and tend to employ different means of transportation to make these long trips. Of course, this tendency differs among types of criminals. Professionals and older criminals may travel further than younger amateurs. A group of professional burglars planning to rob a bank, for instance, would reasonably be expected to follow a Lévy flight.

“There is actually a relationship between how far these criminals are willing to travel for a target and the ability for a hotspot to form,” explain Kolokolnikov and McCalla.

I hear the RV and Pontiac Aztec is the preferred mode of transportation among high school chemistry teachers turned meth cooks.

Full paper here, if you’re into that.

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