Vania Ceccato et al. – Eurocrim2021

Malignant Mixes: The Overlap of Motor Vehicle Crashes and Crime in Stockholm, Sweden

Vania Ceccato, Professor of urban and community safety, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm


Ned Levine, Ned Levine & Associates, Houston, TX, USA


Vania Ceccato. Photo: Private.

Places that concentrate both motor vehicle crashes and crime in Stockholm, Sweden were examined for common socio-economic, land use, and neighborhood characteristics.

Using vehicle crash (N=3,700) and non-traffic crime (N=605,052) data from 2016 to 2018, hot spots of these two sets of events and their overlap were identified.  Crash hot spots captured 14% of the crashes in only 0.5% of Stockholm’s area while crime hot spots captured 27% of the recorded offences in less than 1% of the area.  There was overlap in these hot spots for 7% of the crashes and 10% of the crimes.

To model predictors, the events were allocated to roadway segments (N=5,511) and tested using a Poisson-Gamma-CAR spatial regression model.  Both crashes and crimes exhibit a clear center-periphery pattern that varies over time and by type of crashes and crimes.
Crashes tended to occur on roadways with higher average daily traffic (ADT) while crimes tend to occur on roadways with lower ADT with around half occurring on residential streets.

Both types of incidents tended to be higher in lower income neighborhoods.  Land uses common to both types of harm were the location of underground stations, ATM machines, and alcohol-serving businesses—places where people and cars converge at particular times. The effect of these events on police, emergency, and medical services is discussed.

In short, traffic crashes and crimes need to be viewed as common problems that affect our society rather than separate phenomena that are treated separately, at least from a public sector perspective.