USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Kristen N. Berg

First Advisor

Barnali Dixon, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Geography and Environmental Policy, Geo-Spatial Lab

Second Advisor

Richard J. Ferner, Jr. MSM, MBA, MPA, MS, CAPM Senior Management Methods Analyst of the SPPD


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



This study sought to analyze the spatial patterns of drug and gun related crimes in the City of St. Petersburg, Florida by using Geographic Information Systems procedures. Hot Spot analysis and crime density were employed as two alternative measures of crime rates. Using ArcGIS, the records of drug and gun related crimes from August 1, 2010 to August 1, 2011, of St. Petersburg, Florida, were mapped. Data was provided by the St. Petersburg Police Department. Using this data we analyzed which census tracts have the most gun and drug activity associated with them. An overall density map of crime was compiled. After mapping the crime points, the police patrol records were mapped, to see where the most patrols have been done in the census tracts, and where they were intersecting with the crime points. Hot Spot analysis identified Census Tracts that are prone to high drug and gun crime. Demographics of these identified Hot Spot Census Tracts were evaluated, to determine any patterns. Areas of high minority population and low income were found to Areas of high minority population and low income were found to exhibit greater crime density than other areas of the City of St. Petersburg with a lower proportion of minority and low income residents This information on gun/drug crime relationships could be used by the St. Petersburg Police Department to conduct proactive policing to prevent further drug and gun activity in the indicated ‘hotspot’ areas.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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