Contributor Perspectives

Building a Better Picture of Crime in Guatemala City

Lino Miani
Board of Contributors
May 11, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Police inspect one of four buses attacked by alleged gang members July 13, 2018, in Guatemala City.

Police inspect one of four buses attacked by alleged gang members July 13, 2018, in Guatemala City. At least six units of public transport were attacked allegedly by gangs dedicated to extortion this week.

(JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

While the utility of data on crime in a given city cannot be denied, its lack of precision can create problems. Presenting an entire zone of a city as safe ignores dangerous areas that exist in every sector, while some zones known to struggle with violence do have some well-developed, relatively safe areas that offer lucrative opportunities. While finding good data on crime can prove challenging, the void can be filled by tapping an unconventional and often-overlooked source: Package delivery services, taxi companies and fast-food restaurants that deliver have access to large data sets based on the direct observations of their staffs....

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