Although the environmental criminology, which relates crime to environmental factors and argues that the environment is not a passive determinant of the onset, continuation or termination of crime, has been on the agenda of urban studies, the relationships between elements of the physical environment and crime have not yet been sufficiently studied through exploratory spatial statistics. In the light of crime theories such as Broken Windows Theory, Crime Pattern Theory and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design approach, this study aims to define and understand crime patterns by producing crime maps, visualizing spatial distributions, and testing the relationship between recurrent crimes in space and physical environmental elements.
With the field study carried out in Chicago, the spatial patterns and relationships between crime types and physical environment elements were analyzed using exploratory spatial statistical methods. All secondary data used in this research are open data and all analyses were carried out using Geographical Information Systems. Exploratory spatial data analyses using GIS are Average Nearest Neighbor, Optimized Hotspot Analysis, Spatial Autocorrelation (Global Moran's I) and Geographically Weighted Regression.
The analyses conducted in this study provided supporting evidence for theories of crime. The findings revealed that crimes tend to occur in close proximity to one another and cluster in specific neighborhoods and regions. This spatial concentration of crime supports the notion that criminals choose their locations intentionally or randomly. Furthermore, the study established a direct relationship between physical environmental elements and crime. Various physical factors such as inadequate street lighting, vacant and abandoned buildings, and sanitation code complaints were found to significantly contribute to the occurrence of crimes. These findings confirm the hypothesis that the deterioration of the physical environment can influence and contribute to increased criminal activity. Overall, the results of this study align with established theories of crime and provide empirical evidence for the significance of the physical environment in shaping criminal behavior.
Suçu çevresel faktörlerle ilişkilendiren ve çevrenin suçun başlangıcı, devamı veya sona ermesinde aktif bir etken olduğunu savunan çevresel kriminoloji, kent çalışmalarının gündeminde olmasına rağmen, fiziksel çevre unsurları ile suç arasındaki ilişkiler henüz keşfedici mekânsal istatistiki yöntemler aracılığıyla yeterince çalışılmamıştır. Bu çalışma, Kırık Camlar Teorisi, Suç Örüntüleri Teorisi ve Çevresel Tasarım Yoluyla Suç Önleme yaklaşımı gibi suç teorileri ve yaklaşımları ışığında, suçun mekânsal dağılımlarını görselleştirip suç haritaları üretmeyi ve mekânda tekrar eden suçlar ile fiziksel çevre unsurları arasındaki ilişkiyi test ederek suç örüntülerini tanımlamayı ve anlamayı amaçlamaktadır.