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July 1, 2022

Busy Businesses and Busy Contexts: The Distribution and Sources of Crime at Commercial Properties.

Tillyer, Marie Skubak; Walter, Rebecca J. (2019). Busy Businesses and Busy Contexts: The Distribution and Sources of Crime at Commercial Properties. Journal Of Research In Crime & Delinquency, 56(6), 816 – 850.

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Objective: Examine the distribution and sources of crime across freestanding businesses in San Antonio. We test hypotheses about the main and interactive effects of neighborhood and business characteristics on crime at the business, with a focus on busy contexts and busy businesses. Method: Police crime incident data are spatially joined to study area business parcels. Additional data sources include Infogroup USA Business Data, the American Community Survey, and an Environmental Protection Agency traffic activity indicator. Multilevel negative binomial regression models are estimated to observe the main and interactive effects of census block group and business variables on crime at the parcel. Results: Businesses located in block groups with more commercial property and high levels of vehicular traffic experience more crime. In addition, crime is higher at busy businesses, as indicated by employee size, sales volume, and square footage. Busy contexts and busy businesses do not appear to interact to increase crime at the parcel beyond their main effects. Conclusions: Crime is clustered at relatively few businesses, and this variation cannot be explained by business type alone. Both neighborhood and business characteristics are associated with crime at freestanding businesses, with busy businesses and those within busier block groups experiencing more crime.


Business Enterprises; Commercial Real Estate; Crime; Businesses; Busy Places; Crime And Place; Crime Concentration; Infogroup Usa (company); United States. Environmental Protection Agency; Social-disorganization; Routine Activities; Street Segments; Micro Places; High-schools; Hot-spots; Criminology; Neighborhoods; Facilities; Multilevel; Companies; Law Enforcement; Business; Protection; Traffic; Police; Census; Trade; Sales; Environmental Protection; Commercial Property