First Advisor

Kathryn Wuschke

Date of Publication

Spring 6-28-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology and Criminal Justice


Local transit crime, Burglary -- Oregon -- Portland -- Statistics, Robbery -- Oregon -- Portland -- Statistics, Crime -- Environmental aspects, Bus stops, Crime analysis



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 51 pages)


The relationship between mass-transit and the concentration of burglary and robbery crimes is inconsistent within the available literature in environmental criminology. A number of studies have provided evidence of crime concentration at and near mass transit locations where paths intersect, referred to as a node. These empirical studies bring in environmental criminology theory with the idea that crime is clustered, and the pattern of the concentrations is substantially influenced by how and why people travel and move in a city. It is suggested that public transit allows for a large proportion of the population to move around the community along a restricted number of destinations and paths; therefore, this concentration of population frames opportunities, and increases overall concentrations of crime. Establishments and environments surrounding transit nodes may act as crime generators or attractors, as a high influx of people are drawn to the area via nearby transit services. More recent literature has identified contrasting results, finding that crime does not concentrate near mass transit areas. In some cases, transit facilities appear to act as protective nodes, with lower counts of crime occurring in and around these locales.

Given the conflicting results of existing research about crime at and near transit nodes, this study advances work in environmental criminology by analyzing the concentration of burglary and robbery events in Portland, Oregon. Recognizing that crime concentrations may vary depending on the level of analysis, this study explores crime concentrations at multiple levels of analysis. At the macro-level, this study examines burglaries and robberies across Portland as a whole to determine whether these events concentrate around mass transit nodes, when compared to other areas of the city. The meso-level examines within the broad category of mass transit, to explore whether burglary and robbery events cluster differently around different types of mass transit. Finally, the micro scale investigates the five highest-crime transit nodes to explore how burglary and robbery events concentrate in close proximity to these important locations. This study finds that while crime concentrates at higher levels surrounding mass transit nodes within Portland, the patterns of this concentration changes as the spatial level of analysis changes.

Persistent Identifier