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06.26.12 News
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Remapping Gang Turf: Math Model Shows Crimes Cluster On Borders Between Rivals

A mathematical model that has been used for more than 80 years to determine the hunting range of animals in the wild holds promise for mapping the territories of street gangs, a UCLA-led team of social scientists report. "The way gangs break up their neighborhoods into unique territories is a lot like the way lions or honey bees break up space," said lead author P. Jeffrey Brantingham, a professor of anthropology at UCLA. Further, the research demonstrates that the most dangerous place to be in a neighborhood packed with gangs is not deep within the territory of a specific gang, as one might suppose, but on the border between two rival gangs. In fact, the highest concentration of conflict occurs within less than two blocks of gang boundaries, the researchers discovered.
Image credit: TerraMetrics