Table of Contents
Journal of Criminology
Volume 2014, Article ID 783461, 14 pages
Research Article

Are Adult Businesses Crime Hotspots? Comparing Adult Businesses to Other Locations in Three Cities

University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4020, USA

Received 9 September 2013; Revised 14 December 2013; Accepted 9 January 2014; Published 9 March 2014

Academic Editor: Paul B. Stretesky

Copyright © 2014 Christopher Seaman and Daniel Linz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study addresses three questions pertinent to the debate concerning the secondary crime effects of adult businesses. (1) Are adult businesses hotspots for crime? (2) How do adult businesses compare with controls with regard to crime? (3) What subclasses of adult business are most likely to be associated with crime? A study of three cities reveals that adult businesses tended to fall outside the heaviest concentrations of criminal activity. Further, adult bookstores were less related to crime than both cabarets and on-site liquor-serving establishments. While adult cabarets were associated with ambient crime, crime was generally equivalent to nonadult liquor-serving establishments. A weighted intensity value analyses revealed that crime generally was more “intense” around liquor-serving establishments than around adult cabarets across the municipalities. These findings suggest that the relationship between cabarets and crime is not due to the presence of adult entertainment per se but rather due to the presence of liquor service. This finding is consistent with central precept of routine activities theory that areas that contain public establishments that serve alcohol facilitate crime.