Crime Clusters and Safety in Underground Stations

Abstract: The objective of the thesis is to explore ways to assess safety in an urban context and intransport nodes. The thesis is composed of articles which aim at assessing whether safety levels vary within a city, at a public transportation network, particularly at stations, and finally making suggestions to increase safety in these environments. The analysis makes use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), statistical techniques and combines several different data sources. Fieldwork supports the data sources by presenting an investigation of the current environment at and around the underground stations in Stockholm. Regression models were used to assess the (strength) relationships between levels of crime and the socialand physical environment at underground stations.Findings show that urban crime in Stockholm municipality concentrates in stable hotspots, however, varying by type of crime, in different places at different times. A majority of the hotspots were located close to underground stations. The environment at underground stations has a significant impact on the crime levels at these transport nodes. For instance, low guardianship opportunities were related with higher crime rates, while well-illuminated and open stations showed lower crime rates. An open lay-out would provide better opportunities for guardianship, which in turn may decrease crime levels. The surrounding socio-economic composition of neighborhoods and the physical and social environment surrounding the stations affected crime levels similarly. For instance, mixed land-uses surrounding the station could be linked to increased crime rates. However, crime levels showed a varying distribution over time and space. Different stations showed different levels of crime at different times of the day, moreover, this also showed to be depended on crime type. For instance, theft wouldconcentrate at central stations at peak hours, when it is most crowded. The results include suggestions for policymakers and organizations dealing with urban safety, planning and public transportation, such as police, transportation companies and municipal planners.The results suggest that crime interventions should take into account the dynamic patterns of crime and adopt a more holistic approach taking into account the station and its surroundings.