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As cities grow in size, crime grows even faster. But while certain types of crime—car theft and robbery, for example—exponentially outpace the population, other crime categories buck the trend. Rape, for example, grows only linearly, at roughly the same pace as a city's population.
Why it is that only some crimes supercharge from city size is explained in a new paper published this week in Physical Review E. According to the paper, the same underlying mechanism that boosts urban innovation and startup businesses can also explain why certain types of crimes thrive in a larger population.
Variation - Relationships - Crime - Researchers - Time
"The variation among scaling relationships for crime has troubled researchers for a long time," says lead author Vicky Chuqiao Yang (Santa Fe Institute, Northwestern University). "This work says the variations are not a bug, but a feature."
According to Yang and her coauthors Andrew Papachristos and Daniel Abrams (both of Northwestern University), certain crimes are "social" in nature and require a team effort. Going by data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System, an average of ~1.6 offenders were arrested or reported per robbery, and ~1.5 per motor vehicle theft—relatively high numbers considering that only a small subset of offenders wind up getting arrested or listed in crime reports. By contrast, reporting data for rape, a crime often committed by a lone individual, hovered closer to one.
People - Crime
The more people involved in a crime, the...
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