Disasters and crime: The effect of flooding on property crime in Brisbane neighborhoods

Renee Zahnow, Rebecca Wickes, Michele Haynes, Jonathan Corcoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the effects of a significant flood event on levels of property crime across 400 neighborhoods in a capital city in Australia. It considers the degree to which postflood property crime deviates from expected trends in neighborhoods characterized by different sociodemographic profiles. After conducting time series analysis of property crime at the city level, we classify neighborhoods by disaster vulnerability and employ time series analyses to examine postflood property crime trends, on average, in flooded and nonflooded neighborhoods in each cluster. Though results of the citywide analysis suggest that the flood was associated with significant increases in property crime across Brisbane, closer examination indicated that citywide increases were driven by property crime trends in nonflooded, affluent neighborhoods. The results of our research suggest that in affluent Brisbane neighborhoods, disaster-related property damage in flooded neighborhoods may have led to displacement of property crime into nonaffected areas where target availability remained high.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-877
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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