The effects of alcohol access on the spatial and temporal distribution of crime

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dc.contributor.author Fitterer, Jessica Laura
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-15T17:20:14Z
dc.date.copyright 2017 en_US
dc.date.issued 2017-03-15
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/7848
dc.description.abstract Increases in alcohol availability have caused crime rates to escalate across multiple regions around the world. As individuals consume alcohol they experience impaired judgment and a dose-response escalation in aggression that, for some, leads to criminal behaviour. By limiting alcohol availability it is possible to reduce crime; however, the literature remains mixed on the best practices for alcohol access restrictions. Variances in data quality and statistical methods have created an inconsistency in the reported effects of price, hour of sales, and alcohol outlet restrictions on crime. Most notably, the research findings are influenced by the different effects of alcohol establishments on crime. The objective of this PhD research was to develop novel quantitative approaches to establish the extent alcohol access (outlets) influences the frequency of crime (liquor, disorder, violent) at a fine level of spatial detail (x,y locations and block groups). Analyses were focused on British Columbia’s largest cities where policies are changing to allow greater alcohol access, but little is known about the crime-alcohol access relationship. Two reviews were conducted to summarize and contrast the effects of alcohol access restrictions (price, hours of sales, alcohol outlet density) on crime, and evaluate the state-of-the-art in statistical methods used to associate crime with alcohol availability. Results highlight key methodological limitations and fragmentation in alcohol policy effects on crime across multiple disciplines. Using a spatial data science approach, recommendations were made to increase spatial detail in modelling to limit the scale effects on crime-alcohol association. Providing guidelines for alcohol-associated crime reduction, kernel density space-time change detection methods were also applied to provide the first evaluation of active policing on alcohol-associated crime in the Granville St. entertainment district of Vancouver, British Columbia. Foot patrols were able to reduce the spatial density of crime, but hot spots of liquor and violent assaults remained within 60m proximity to bars (nightclubs). To estimate the association between alcohol establishment size, and type on disorder and violent crime reports in block groups across Victoria, British Columbia a Poisson Generalized Linear Model with spatial lag effects was applied. Estimates provided the factor increase (1.0009) expected in crime for every additional patron seat added to an establishment capacity, and indicated that establishments should be spaced greater than 300m a part to significantly reduce alcohol-associated crime. These results offer the first evaluation of seating capacity and establishment spacing on alcohol-associated crime for alcohol license decision making, and are pertinent at a time when alcohol policy reform is being prioritized by the British Columbia government. In summary, this dissertation contributes 1) cross-disciplinary policy and methodological reviews, 2) expands the application of spatial statistics to alcohol-attributable crime research, 3) advances knowledge on local scale of effects of different alcohol establishment types on crime, 4) and develops transferable models to estimate the effects of alcohol establishment seating capacity and proximity between establishments on the frequency of crime. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject spatial statistics en_US
dc.subject alcohol en_US
dc.subject crime en_US
dc.subject kernel density estimation en_US
dc.subject spatial lag model en_US
dc.subject alcohol outlets en_US
dc.subject alcohol outlet density en_US
dc.subject liquor en_US
dc.subject assaults en_US
dc.subject disorder en_US
dc.subject time-series model en_US
dc.subject bar en_US
dc.subject pub en_US
dc.subject nightclub en_US
dc.subject alcohol policy en_US
dc.subject health policy en_US
dc.title The effects of alcohol access on the spatial and temporal distribution of crime en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Nelson, Trisalyn
dc.degree.department Department of Geography en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Fitterer, J.L. & Nelson, T.A., 2015. A Review of the Statistical and Quantitative Methods Used to Study Alcohol-Attributable Crime. Plos One, 10(9), p.e0139344. Available at: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0139344. en_US
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitation Fitterer, J.L., Nelson, T.A. & Stockwell, T., 2015. A Review of Existing Studies Reporting the Negative Effects of Alcohol Access and Positive Effects of Alcohol Control Policies on Interpersonal Violence. Frontiers in Public Health, 3(11), pp.1–11. Available at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpubh.2015.00253. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US
dc.description.embargo 2018-02-27

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