Crime mapping Indianapolis

CRIME MAPPING: An in-depth look at where Indy’s homicides are happening

Crime Mapping

(Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — As Indianapolis leaders look for ways to address violent crime, we decided to take a look at the areas where homicides are happening.

This comes as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is taking its own look at data to help them with their preventative policing efforts.

“We used to identify zip codes and then we got smaller than that and we identified beats and then we identified some blocks,” Dep. Chief Craig McCartt explained. “As we looked closer, we would identify really just a very small location, you might call them micro hot spots.”

We were able to take a look at the data on the 2020 census tract level. This is an area roughly equivalent to a neighborhood used by the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze populations. Each census tract contains a population between 2,500 and 8,000 people.

The benefit of using census tracts to analyze data, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is that they are relatively permanent, though they do change over time.

By taking a look at this data, we were able to identify three tracts that have had 25 or more homicides since 2014. We decided to delve into the census data, along with data from the mapping software Esri, to give a profile of each district.

Areas of interest

To compare districts, we took a look at the data that the City-County Council is using for their crime prevention grant program. IUPUI’s Polis Center program, SAVI provided each councilor with a profile of their district which included the violent crime index along with the factors likely leading to violent crime.

The determinants include poverty, unemployment, households receiving public assistance, undereducation, and single-parent households. Researchers also measured race segregation for each district.

Using Esri’s violent crime index, we were able to provide each census tract with their own personal crime index score along with index scores for the violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery and assault.

We also looked into the data for poverty, unemployment, education and single-parent households. While the Esri data did not have measures for racial segregation, they do have a diversity index that measures the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different race or ethnic groups.

Here is a look at the three census tracts that have experienced the most homicides over the last 8 years.

Census Tract 3308.03

This census tract is within District 14 in Indianapolis’ Far East Side neighborhood. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 3,816 people call this area home. This area’s population is 53% male and 47% female with the following breakdown:

This area has seen 32 homicides since 2014, making it the census tract with the most homicides in the city.

Taking a look at Esri’s Personal Crime index, a resident living in this area is almost 6 times as likely to be a victim of a personal violent crime than the average American. Here is a breakdown of each of the measures that go into the Personal Crime Index score.

Social Determinants of Violent Crime

The poverty index for this area is 272.48. Of the 1,971 housing units in this area, there are 449 households below the poverty level and 91 households receiving public assistance.

The average unemployment rate for this area is 22.9% compared to the national average of 13%. There are 1,436 people over the age of 16 in the workforce.

According to the latest census information, there are 258 adults in this area with some high school education without a degree while 84 adults do not even have a high school education.

In this area, there are 147 households where a man has children under the age of 18 present with no spouse present compared to 813 households where a woman has children under the age of 18 with no spouse present. In comparison, there are 597 households where there are children under the age of 18 with a married couple family.

If you selected two people at random in this census tract, on a scale from 0 – 100, the likelihood they are from a different race or ethnic group is 63.3. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial breakdown of this census tract is as follows:

Census Tract 3506

This census tract is within District 9 and District 17 split Indianapolis’ Martinsdale-Brightwood, Meadows and Forest Manor neighborhoods. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 5,336 people call this area home. This area’s population is 44% male and 56% female with the following breakdown:

This area has seen 31 homicides since 2014, making it tied for the census tract with the second most homicides in the city.

Taking a look at Esri’s Personal Crime index, a resident living in this area is almost 4 times as likely to be a victim of a personal violent crime than the average American. Here is a breakdown of each of the measures that go into the Personal Crime Index score.

Social Determinants of Violent Crime

The poverty index for this area is 258.47. Of the 2,388 housing units in this area, there are 695 households below the poverty level and 57 households receiving public assistance.

The average unemployment rate for this area is 18.9% compared to the national average of 13%. There are 1,447 people over the age of 16 in the workforce.

According to the latest census information, there are 737 adults in this area with some high school education without a degree while 178 adults do not even have a high school education.

In this area, there are 52 households where a man has children under the age of 18 present with no spouse present compared to 558 households where a woman has children under the age of 18 with no spouse present. In comparison, there are 535 households where there are children under the age of 18 with a married couple family.

If you selected two people at random in this census tract, on a scale from 0 – 100, the likelihood they are from a different race or ethnic group is 14.7. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial breakdown of this census tract is as follows:

Census Tract 3526

This census tract is within District 17 in Indianapolis’ Near Eastside neighborhood. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 3,671 people call this area home. This area’s population is 44% male and 56% female with the following breakdown:

This area has seen 30 homicides since 2014, making it tied for the census tract with the second most homicides in the city.

Taking a look at Esri’s Personal Crime index, a resident living in this area is 7 times as likely to be a victim of a personal violent crime than the average American. Here is a breakdown of each of the measures that go into the Personal Crime Index score.

Social Determinants of Violent Crime

The poverty index for this area is 320.91. Of the 1,989 housing units in this area, there are 594 households below the poverty level and 39 households receiving public assistance.

The average unemployment rate for this area is 19.1% compared to the national average of 13%. There are 1,172 people over the age of 16 in the workforce.

According to the latest census information, there are 500 adults in this area with some high school education without a degree while 235 adults do not even have a high school education.

In this area, there are 30 households where a man has children under the age of 18 present with no spouse present compared to 873 households where a woman has children under the age of 18 with no spouse present. In comparison, there are 414 households where there are children under the age of 18 with a married couple family.

If you selected two people at random in this census tract, on a scale from 0 – 100, the likelihood they are from a different race or ethnic group is 74.6. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial breakdown of this census tract is as follows:

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