The American Journal of Public Health has just published a new article from Dr. Robert Lipton, faculty member of the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center and University of Michigan Injury Center. The publication, “The Geography of Violence, Alcohol Outlets, and Drug Arrests in Boston,” details how Dr. Lipton and his colleagues identified and mapped violent crime “hot spots” in Boston. Using 2006 alcohol, illegal drug, crime, and socioeconomic data, the researchers identified the areas of Boston with the greatest amount of violent crimes. These same areas also had the greatest number of alcohol outlets (such as bars and liquor stores) and illegal drug arrests, both of which were found to be predictive of violence.
The findings suggest an important strategy for violence prevention. The ability to use geographic alcohol and illegal drug data to predict neighborhoods at the greatest risk for violent crimes can help police and policy makers direct their efforts to the areas that need it most. MI-YVPC is beginning to analyze relevant data in order to map the violent crime “hot spots” in Flint.
Lipton, R., Yang, X., Braga, A. A., Goldstick, J., Newton, M., & Rura, M. (2013). The geography of violence, alcohol outlets, and drug arrests in Boston. American Journal of Public Health. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300927
Read the press release from the University of Michigan Health System for more information: