Visualising property crime in Gauteng: Applying GIS to crime pattern theory

  • Alexandra Hiropoulos City University of New York (CUNY)
  • Jeremy Porter City University of New York (CUNY)
Keywords: Property crime, Gauteng, GIS, crime pattern theory, South Africa


While the high rate of crime in South Africa has received much international attention, mainly focused on violent crime, the vast majority of offences reported to the South African Police Service concern property and other non-violent offences. The present study explores the relationship between one of the most frequently reported property crimes (thefts out of motor vehicles) and the environment in which they occur, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Utilising the framework of crime pattern theory, crime generators and attractors are visually examined in order to determine whether they can explain concentrations of crime. We argue that when used in conjunction with relevant social theory aimed at the examination of the determinants of crime and criminality, GIS can be a powerful practical tool in the presentation of crime data.

Author Biographies

Alexandra Hiropoulos, City University of New York (CUNY)

 John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center

Jeremy Porter, City University of New York (CUNY)

The Graduate Center

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