Hunting Park is a community park in North Philadelphia, PA that has a history of crime in and around the park. In an attempt to mitigate crimes and bring more community members into the park, The Food Trust and The Fairmount Park Conservancy have partnered with the community to undertake a park revitalization. The master plan was presented in October 2009, and phase 1 began in 2010 and went until 2013. The Food Trust and The Fairmount Park Conservancy have requested crime analysis to further determine the impacts of the revitalization on the crime rates in the park and surrounding area.
Three types of crime displacement were examined to determine the effectiveness of the Hunting Park Revitalization Project to minimize crime rates in and around the park. These included geographical and temporal displacement, as well as changes in crime type. A half mile buffer was established around the park to encompass the park and surrounding community. Only crimes that occurred within this buffer were accounted for in analysis. The total number of crimes was graphed from 2006 to 2013, showing a decline overall and an 89% decrease from 2009 to 2013. Changes in types of crimes were graphed from 2009 to 2013, showing a decrease in prostitution and drug violations, which were prevalent in the park before the revitalization. A predictive model was created, and a hot spot analysis was completed to show where most of the crimes were occurring and to see if this was statistically significant. The crime dispersal from the park as well as the eastern and northern neighborhoods is apparent, while there continues to be a crime hot spot to the west of the park.
From analysis of the crime data between 2006 and 2013, it appears that the park revitalization has led to a decrease of crime in the park itself as well as the surrounding community. The revitalization is still in progress, and further studies are needed to determine how the crimes in the community will change in the subsequent years. However, this analysis supports the community’s theory that crime has gone down in the park, particularly visible crimes of concern.