UFII COVID-19 SEED Awardees Virtual Seminar Series
Examining the relationship between COVID-19 and crime – a pilot study in Florida by Dr. Yujie Hu
Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography
Friday, December 4, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has been seriously affecting the U.S. in many aspects especially the economy. Economic crises can have devastating social consequences, for example, rise in crime. However, the unprecedented restrictive measures such as social distancing and lockdown during COVID-19 have complicated the long-recognized connection between economy and crime. With most Americans at home, increases in crime rate may not be expected for all crime types, and routine operations of law enforcement agencies likely undergo changes.
This research aims to use data-driven methods for understanding the economic impacts of COVID-19 through the lens of crime and providing effective policy implications. Specifically, how has COVID-19 affected a region’s crime rate in the short term; and how will it affect a region’s crime statistics in the long term? Data science methods will be used to identify their statistical relationships, perform change detection on crime hotspots, and predict crime rates as COVID-19 cases escalate over space and time. Results from this research can help law enforcement agencies determine the best emergency response and resource allocation strategies.