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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Location of Violent Crime Relative to Trauma Resources in Detroit: Implications for Community Interventions


Introduction: Detroit, Michigan, is among the leading United States cities for per-capita homicide and violent crime. Hospital- and community-based intervention programs could decrease the rate of violent-crime related injury but require a detailed understanding of the locations of violence in the community to be most effective.

Methods: We performed a retrospective geospatial analysis of all violent crimes reported within the city of Detroit from 2009-2015 comparing locations of crimes to locations of major hospitals. We calculated distances between violent crimes and trauma centers, and applied summary spatial statistics.

Results: Approximately 1.1 million crimes occurred in Detroit during the study period, including approximately 200,000 violent crimes. The distance between the majority of violent crimes and hospitals was less than five kilometers (3.1 miles). Among violent crimes, the closest hospital was an outlying Level II trauma center 60% of the time.

Conclusion: Violent crimes in Detroit occur throughout the city, often closest to a Level II trauma center. Understanding geospatial components of violence relative to trauma center resources is important for effective implementation of hospital- and community-based interventions and targeted allocation of resources.


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