The Influence of On-Premise and Off-Premise Alcohol Outlets on Reported Violent Crime in the Region of Waterloo, Ontario: Applying Bayesian Spatial Modeling to Inform Land Use Planning and Policy

Matthew Quick, Jane Law, Hui Luan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research analyzes the association between alcohol outlets and reported violent crime at the small-area level in the Region of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Alcohol outlets are hypothesized to be associated with high violent crime, primarily because they bring together large numbers of potential offenders and targets, and from a policy perspective, alcohol outlets are a modifiable land use risk factor that can be addressed through land use planning and policy. Results show that both on- and off-premise alcohol outlets are positively associated with reported violent crime after accounting for socioeconomic characteristics. Using small-area risk estimates resulting from Bayesian spatial regression models, map decomposition visualizes the geographic pattern of violent crime risk and the contribution of specific risk factors at the small-area scale, and violent crime hotspots are identified based on posterior probability of relative risk. Applying results to land use planning and policy, we identify small-areas that may be preferred for proposed alcohol outlets based on specific criteria such as low violent crime risk and low risk due to alcohol outlets. We also discuss how the results of this research inform law enforcement initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-454
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Spatial Analysis and Policy
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol outlets
  • Bayesian spatial analysis
  • Crime pattern theory
  • Land use planning
  • Violent crime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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