Jurisdictional boundaries and crime analysis: policy and practice

Mark R. Leipnik, Xinyue Ye, Ling Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


All data on crime rates, crime incident locations, crime hot spots, deployment of law enforcement personnel and facility distribution are circumscribed by the boundaries of law enforcement jurisdictions. How these boundaries are defined and change over time has a critical impact on the apparent rates and foci of crime. There are also a range of issues that arise near and spanning law enforcement jurisdiction boundaries. Different law enforcement agencies have different authorities, and there are examples of both conflict and co-operation across jurisdictional divides and in areas with overlapping or convoluted jurisdiction. In this paper the authors demonstrate in a variety of specific cases the importance of boundaries on the spatial analysis of crime data and the conclusions that can be drawn from that analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-65
Number of pages21
JournalRegional Science Policy and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • K49
  • R50
  • authority
  • crime
  • jurisdictional boundary
  • law enforcement
  • space


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