Spatial and structural determinants of residential burglary rates in Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario)

Publication Year:
Usage 167
Downloads 92
Abstract Views 75
Repository URL:;
Anstey, Martin Christopher
Human Geography; Urban Studies and Planning
thesis / dissertation description
Traditional ecological analyses of burglary have a number of shortcomings. First, break-ins occurring within a neighbourhood have been regarded as a solely the product of local residents. Second, the relationship between burglary and its determinants has been considered constant across space. Third, the data used in ecological analysis has been treated as statistically independent. The purpose of this study is to expand upon previous ecological studies through an analysis of residential burglary in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada Theory from environmental criminology (a discipline concerned with the spatial aspects of crime) is used in conjunction with spatial data analysis techniques and GIS technology to model the variation of breaking and entering across the city’s enumeration areas. The results suggest a heterogeneous spatial structure underlying the determinants of burglary rates. Within a four kilometre radius of the CBD, the crime is very localized; its prevalence in a neighbourhood best predicted by the offender characteristics of the local area Within the area located beyond this inner zone, significant predictor variables relate to the attractiveness of an EA in terms of opportunities, suggesting that the crime is committed by individuals journeying from other areas. Throughout the entire study area higher population densities were consistently found to be the greatest deterrent to burglary rates recorded at this scale.