Società Italiana di Diritto ed Economia, SIDE - ISLE 2015 - 11TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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A Spatial Analysis of Crime Rates in Flemish Municipalities
Jana Indesteege

Last modified: 2015-12-15


A significant strand of literature exists regarding the determinants of crime. Interest in the spatial component of crime rates, however, has only been expanded in the last decade. Hence, this article analyzes the impact of spatial effects on property, violent, drug and total crime rates in Flemish municipalities (n=306). Considering the limited Belgian empirical literature on crime, this study is an innovative contribution.
First, the results indicate that crime rates are not evenly distributed among Flemish municipalities, since a higher crime rate is present in the big cities, the coastal and the border region of Flanders. Second, spatial dependency is found to impact the crime rate in Flemish municipalities. The empirical results obtained by using different spatial weight matrices indicate that only one variable, which is the unemployment rate, impacts all types of crime statistically significant. In general, the remaining determinants are found to correspond to the traditional literature on crime.

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