A Spatial Analysis Of Assault Patterns In Entertainment Areas Throughout the Waikato using Geographic Information Systems
Hughes, G. (2011). A Spatial Analysis Of Assault Patterns In Entertainment Areas Throughout the Waikato using Geographic Information Systems (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5590
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5590
Alcohol related violence has long been a matter of social concern. Recent studies investigating the association between assaults and alcohol have found that there are certain places and locations including bars, which are more commonly associated with assaults than other places. Using different spatial analysis techniques accommodated within a Geographic Information System (GIS) including point and choropleth density, Euclidean based distance measures, clustering analysis and geographically weighted regression, this study examines the association between bars and assaults in the Waikato region. It also seeks to explain the assault patterns around bars by various theories, namely the “Social Disorganisation Theory”, “Routine Activity Theory” and the “Crime Potential Theory”. The study determined that for the two year period (2008-2009) in the Waikato Police district there was clear evidence of higher assault levels being associated with areas of higher bar densities. In Hamilton’s CBD there was a particularly strong relationship between assaults and bars where around 25% of all assaults took place within 10 metres of a bar and approximately half of all assaults took place within 50 metres of a bar. Over the study period, one meshblock in Hamilton’s CBD recorded approximately 45 assaults per square kilometre per week. Elsewhere in the Waikato, the study showed a reasonably strong relationship between assaults and bars at the coastal resorts of Whitianga, Raglan and Coromandel township. In these townships, there was a discernable, but lesser relationship to that of the Hamilton CBD, with around 15-25% of assaults taking place within 10 metres of a bar. The assault density in the centre of these coastal townships, as well as other townships throughout the Waikato was generally lower, recording 3-4 assaults per square kilometre per week. Suburban areas in Hamilton City showed similar assault densities to that recorded in the centre of townships throughout the Waikato. The study findings were found to be generally consistent with the Routine Activity and Crime Potential theories by conclusively demonstrating that place, in this instance, bars, and their location, influences the distribution of assaults. The study examined population characteristics only in respect of population density and its proxy, road density, but these variables were not found to be particularly accurate in predicting the distribution of assaults.
University of Waikato
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