Spatial Analysis of Gunshot Reports on Twitter in Mexico City

Gustavo Fondevila, Profesor Investigador Titular de la División de Estudios Jurídicos del CIDE, Enrique García-Tejeda y Oscar S. Siordia escribieron el capítulo Spatial Analysis of Gunshot Reports on Twitter in Mexico City en la ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information.



The quarantine and stay-at-home measures implemented by most governments significantly impacted the volume and distribution of crime, and already, a body of literature exists that focuses on the effects of lockdown on crime. However, the effects of lockdown on firearm violence have yet to be studied. Within this context, this study analyzes reports of gunshots in Mexico City registered on Twitter from October 2018 to 2019 (pre-COVID-19) and from October 2019 to 2020 (during COVID-19), using a combination of spatial (nearest neighbor ratio, Ripley’s K function and kernel estimation) and non-spatial (Fisher’s exact test) methods. The results indicate a spatial concentration of gunshot reports in Mexico City and a reduction in frequency of reports during the pandemic. While they show no change in the overall concentration of gunshots during lockdown, they do indicate an expansion in the patterns of spatial intensity (moving from the west to the center of the city). One possible explanation is the capacity of possible victims of firearm crimes in certain municipalities to comply with lockdown measures and thus avoid exposure to such crimes.


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