National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Explaining Developmental Crime Trajectories at Places: A Study of "Crime Waves" and "Crime Drops" at Micro Units of Geography in Seattle, Washington, 1989-2004 (ICPSR 28161)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study extends a prior National Institute (NIJ) funded study on mirco level places that examined the concentration of crime at places over time. The current study links longitudinal crime data to a series of other databases. The purpose of the study was to examine the possible correlates of variability in crime trends over time. The focus was on how crime distributes across very small units of geography. Specifically, this study investigated the geographic distribution of crime and the specific correlates of crime at the micro level of geography. The study reported on a large empirical study that investigated the "criminology of place." The study linked 16 years of official crime data on street segments (a street block between two intersections) in Seattle, Washington, to a series of datasets examining social and physical characteristics of micro places over time, and examined not only the geography of developmental patterns of crime at place but also the specific factors that are related to different trajectories of crime. The study used two key criminological perspectives, social disorganization theories and opportunity theories, to inform their identification of risk factors in the study and then contrast the impacts of these perspectives in the context of multivariate statistical models.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access. (How to apply.)

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Seattle Street Segments Aspatial Data
Documentation:
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS2:  Seattle Street Centerline Spatial Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS3:  Seattle Street Midpoint Spatial Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

Weisburd, David, Elizabeth Groff, and Sue-Ming Yang. Explaining Developmental Crime Trajectories at Places: A Study of "Crime Waves" and "Crime Drops" at Micro Units of Geography in Seattle, Washington, 1989-2004. ICPSR28161-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-08-05. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR28161.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2005-IJ-CX-0006 )

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   crime mapping, crime prediction, crime rates, crime statistics, employment, geographic information systems, land ownership, property values, public assistance programs, public housing, socioeconomic status, truancy, urbanization, voter registration

Smallest Geographic Unit:   street segment

Geographic Coverage:   Seattle, United States, Washington

Time Period:  

  • 1989--2004

Date of Collection:  

  • 2006--2007

Unit of Observation:   Street segment: both sides of the street between two intersections.

Universe:   Street segments in Seattle, Washington.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

Part 2 and Part 3 are zip archive files that are for use with mapping software.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The purpose of this study was to examine the possible correlates of variability in crime trends over time.

Study Design:  

In this logitudinal study a total of 24,023 street segments in Seattle were analyzed. Computerized records of crime incident reports were used to represent crime. Incident reports were generated by police officers or detectives after an initial response to a request for police service. A total of 1,697,212 crime records were joined to their corresponding street segments so that crime frequencies for each of the 24,023 segments for each year could be calculated.

The data collected for the study includes both aspatial (Dataset 1, Seattle Street Segments Aspatial Data) and spatial data (Dataset 2, Seattle Street Centerline Spatial Data and Dataset 3, Seattle Street Midpoint Spatial Data). The spatial data are in ESRI shape file format. Two base files are included that correspond to the units of analysis used in the study. The UofA_lines file contains the vector representation of the street segments in Seattle, Washington, as defined by the study. Only residential and arterial streets were included in the study. Limited access highways were excluded because of their lack of interactive human activity. This left 24,023 units of analysis (i.e., street segments) in Seattle. For this study, the unit of analysis is defined as a street segment (i.e., as both sides of the street between two intersections). The original street centerline file obtained from the Seattle GIS department was edited to make sure each street met the study definition. Each street has a Street_id which is a unique identifier. The UofA_points file contains the mid-points of all the street segments. This shape file also contains a Street_id field which is a unique identifier. The aspatial data file can be joined to either the line file or the point file using the Street_id field.

Sample:   The geographic unit of analysis for this study is the street segment (sometimes referred to as a street block or face block). The street segment was defined as both sides of the street between two intersections. Only residential and arterial streets were included in the study. Limited access highways were excluded because of their lack of interactive human activity, leaving the school with 24,023 units of analysis (i.e., street segments) in Seattle.

Mode of Data Collection:   record abstracts

Data Source:

Seattle Public Schools

InfoUSA database of all businesses in Seattle

Labels and Lists Inc. (voter registration)

Fleets and Facilities Department, City of Seattle

Yellow pages

Seattle Public Libraries

Seattle GIS

Seattle School District

Department of Transportation (Metro Transit Division)

Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle Planning Department and parcel boundaries King County GIS

Description of Variables:   The study contains 103 variables including crime information, social disorganization information and measures representing opportunity theories. Crime count information included crime counts in Seattle for each year between 1989 and 2004 and moving averages for crime rates in the first (1989-1991) and last (2002-2004) three years. Social disorganization information included property value, housing assistance, race, truant student residents, voting behavior, unsupervised teens, physical disorder, and urbanization. Measures representing opportunity theories included high-risk juvenile residents, location of public facilities, number of public facilities, street lighting, public transportation, street networks, land use, and business sales.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

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