Click on the links below to download a copy of the charts from this video. Once the new window opens right-click on the image and select "Save image as...".
The maps presented here detail the locations of all street robberies in Portland by year from 1995 to 2010. This information can be used to identify areas in the city that experience higher numbers of this crime. While this information does say something about the relative dangers of different areas, it is important to remember that this sort of mapping does not control for underlying population differences. Downtown, for example, consistently shows a high number of street robberies as compared to other geographic areas. Although this initially suggests that downtown is “riskier” overall, on a per person basis the actual risk could be less than some other areas of the city because there are more people living in, travelling through, and spending time downtown. Unfortunately, the population and transit data needed to more accurately quantify risk across different geographic areas are not available. As such, we urge caution when interpreting these maps.
Turning to the maps themselves, you will see locations in the video where the robberies seem to progress in a straight line. These lines result from the fact that street robberies often happen on major thoroughfares. For instance, slightly to the left of I-205 a line of incidents running from north to south can be seen. This is 82nd avenue. It is also important to remember that major roadways like 82nd avenue can appear to have a large number of street robberies simply because there are large numbers of people travelling through the area. This may create additional opportunity for crime but does not necessarily indicate that any specific person moving through the area is at greater risk.
Another important pattern seen with the maps is that the number of robberies over time is decreasing considerably (i.e. there are fewer “dots”). Between 1995 and 2010 street robbery decreased by 60%. This decrease has not been distributed equally. For instance, Northeast Portland (just west of I-5 on the map) has experienced significant decreases in street robbery and this can be observed with the decreasing number of “dots” in this area.