GIS-based spatio-temporal analysis of crime hotspots and ascertaining the time effect on them
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Crime is a serious problem with high social and economic costs. It is neither unique nor random, but rather tends to be unevenly distributed and has a spatio-temporal pattern. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and crime mapping have opened new opportunities in crime control and prevention. Unfortunately, many law enforcement agencies, especially in the developing world, are not aware of this technology and the strength it can bring to their work. In this study, the spatial-temporal distribution of crime that is robbery, burglary, murder and rape in Wandegeya police division for the whole of 2017 has been analyzed using tracking analysis and kernel density estimation. Visualisation of crime density surfaces was employed in the interpretation of these crime patterns. Changes in spatial distribution of crime during the hour of the day and day of the week were also determined and results presented using maps. The results indicate that Wandegeya, Makerere University, Kagugube and Bombo road have the highest concentration of crime. They also show that crime patterns in Wandegeya police division vary with time, the highest concentrations being between 8am - 11 am, 13pm - 15pm, 15pm - 18pm, and 18pm - 21pm. The study concludes that incorporation of time into spatial analysis for crime provides an exhaustive strategy which gives comprehensive results for effective crime prevention and reduction. The study recommends increased reporting of crime, adoption of GIS techniques in analysing crime patterns, capacity building in the Police Force and finally cooperation and sharing of information between security organs, researchers, and a regional approach in managing crime.