Risk Terrain Modeling: Seasonality and Predictive Validity

Szkola, J., Piza, E. and Drawve, G. (2021)

Justice Quarterly, 38(2): 322-343


This study focuses on crimes involving firearms in Baltimore, Maryland to answer three research questions concerning the effect of seasonality: 1) Do changes in the seasons affect which spatial factors are significantly related to crime?; 2) Does Risk Terrain Modeling have predictive validity on a short-term basis?; and 3) Are the same areas high-risk throughout the year? To accomplish this, the authors ran twelve monthly risk terrain models and one yearly risk terrain model. The study found that risk factors vary by month and that monthly and yearly spatial risk factors do not necessarily overlap. The study also found that risk terrain models retain their predictive validity on a short-term basis. The results are further discussed in relation to whether the same areas are high-risk throughout the course of the year.

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