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Hot spots and burning times : a spatiotemporal analysis of calls for service to establish police demand
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Establishing police demand is important to optimally allocate scarce police resources in space and time. To contribute to the existing knowledge on the optimization of policing and crime prevention strategies worldwide, we examine the spatiotemporal pattern of calls for service (CFS), with a focus on the urgency of the calls (as measured by the police priority codes), in Antwerp (2017-2020), Belgium. To disentangle the space-time pattern of the priority codes, we apply the average nearest neighbour statistic, global and local Moran's I, Getis-Ord Gi*, and emerging hot spot analysis. Our results demonstrate that the spatial, temporal, and space-time patterns of the priority codes differ and that more urgent CFS are more demanding in terms of allocated police vehicles than less urgent CFS. Based on the findings of this paper, we recommend to include priority codes in future police patrol routing solutions to make patrol strategies more realistic. An important aspect will be to increase/decrease the number of available units depending on the spatiotemporal pattern of the CFS per priority code. Instead of only working with fixed shifts, there is a need to deploy peak shifts during times of peak demand.
Journal: APPLIED GEOGRAPHY