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Hot spots is a term used to describe places that experience a large number of crimes or places where there is a higher than average risk of crime victimization. Crime tends to cluster in small areas such as street blocks or addresses. These clusters of crime are commonly referred to as hot spots.

It has long been known that crime is not randomly distributed across space. Some of the earliest writers on criminology acknowledged this, including Adolphe Quetelet in the 1800s. Much early research focused on cities or neighborhoods within cities. In a 1989 work that spoke of hot spots, Lawrence Sherman, Patrick Gartin, and Michael Buerger found that “crime is both rare and concentrated,” with 50% of all crime occurring at just 3% of ...

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