Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 265-276.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003332

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The Spatial Pattern Changes of Pyramid Selling Crime Sites in Wuhan City and the Factors Influencing the Built Environment

Tiantian Gong1,2(), Shuangyu Xie1,2(), Haonan Zhao3   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Geographical Process Analysis & Simulation of Hubei Province, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
    2.Wuhan Branch of China Tourism Academy, Wuhan 430079, China
    3.College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
  • Received:2020-10-27 Revised:2020-12-21 Online:2021-04-27 Published:2021-04-27
  • Contact: Shuangyu Xie;


In the past ten years, public-related economic crimes have shown an explosive and blowout development trend along with the rapid development of the financial market. A Pyramid Selling Crime (PSC) is a public-related economic crime and a social problem that needs to be solved urgently. PSC includes a strong spatial decision-making process. Whether its spatial distribution is related to specifically built environmental elements is a typical geographic issue and is worthy of being included in the study of criminal geography. However, research on PSC is relatively scarce, and more analyses of its causes, methods, and legal issues are needed. There is little research on the temporal and spatial pattern evolution and its influencing factors from a geographical perspective. This study took Wuhan city as an example and was based on the PSC data of the China Judgment Document Network and the Point of Interest (POI) data related to the urban built environment. The nearest neighbor index method and nuclear density estimation method were used to study the changes in the spatial patterns of PSC sites in Wuhan from 2012 to 2019. Thereafter, the geographic detector method was used to analyze the built environment factors influencing the distribution of PSC sites to grasp the temporal and spatial laws of Wuhan PSC sites and their relationship with the built environment. In addition, this method provided a reference for the efficient prevention and control of PSC in Wuhan. The results were as follows: 1) PSCs in Wuhan were concentrated and distributed spatially presenting a characteristic concentration in the city center and having three centers in Dongxihu District, Huangpi District, and Hongshan District. These centers were mainly urban commercial centers, transportation hubs, urban villages, and urban-rural junctions, which are basically similar to the distribution characteristics of high-risk areas of robbery, snatch and theft crime in Wuhan. PSCs had the same characteristics as general crimes and conformed to the "law of concentration of crimes." However, the spatial distribution of PSCs also had its particularity. For example, PSCs included places associated with science, education, culture, financial insurance, etc., showing a trend of high-quality and high-yield. 2) During the 2012-2019 period, the distribution of PSC sites in Wuhan changed from a small number and constant change in the early stage to a large number and relative stability in the later stage, stably concentrating in transportation hubs, commercial centers, or universities surrounding suburban areas where there is a large flow of people and a complex social environment. At the same time, with the expansion of the city, PSC presented a trend of moving from the city center to periphery areas. The urban-rural fringe area also became a high incidence area of PSC. 3) The spatial pattern of PSC sites in Wuhan correlated with multiple built environmental factors, especially the facilities of sports and leisure, shopping malls, companies and enterprises, and commercial residences. The interaction and influence among the various facility factors were greater and more significant, indicating that the formation of the spatial pattern of PSC sites in Wuhan was the result of the combined effects of multiple factors. Based on these conclusions, some suggestions and measures were proposed for Wuhan to effectively prevent PSC.

Key words: pyramid selling crime sites, built environment, spatial distribution, city function facilities, Wuhan City

CLC Number: 

  • D917.3