Routine Activity Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Burglary in Detroit, March, 2020




Felson, Marcus K.
Jiang, Shanhe
Xu, Yanqing

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The spread of the coronavirus has led to containment policies in many places, with concomitant shifts in routine activities. Major declines in crime have been reported as a result. However, those declines depend on crime type and may differ by parts of a city and land uses. This paper examines burglary in Detroit, Michigan during the month of March, 2020, a period of considerable change in routine activities. We examine 879 block groups, separating those dominated by residential land use from those with more mixed land use. We divide the month into three periods: pre-containment, transition period, and post-containment. Burglaries increase in block groups with mixed land use, but not blocks dominated by residential land use. The impact of containment policies on burglary clarifies after taking land use into account.



disaster effects, burglary rates, urban crime distribution, crime pattern theory, routine activity, Criminal Justice and Criminology


Felson, M., Jiang, S., & Xu, Y. (2020). Routine activity effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on burglary in Detroit, March, 2020. Crime Science, 9(1), pp. 1–7.


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