Operationalizing the spatial influence of the risk factors behind the open-air drug markets in Durham region
The social cost of illegal drugs has reached a very high point both in Canada and around the world. The efforts to control the global flow of illegal drugs have not achieved to compensate these costs. This thesis examines the relatively neglected approach of controlling open-air drug markets in an administrative region in Southern Ontario-Canada. The study is guided by a framework that views the results of controlling wholesale drug networks to be difficult due to their clandestine nature, their expense and their disappointing outcomes. The results are based on the use of the Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) to explore tile spatial factors behind the open-air drug markets. In particular, the spatial influences of the criminogenic features, which are alcohol outlets, bus stops, street robbery, and prostitution areas on open-air drug dealing are operationalized through RTM. The geographical approach to open-air drug markets is assessed to understand better whether it can help authorities to make cost-effective decisions that control the drug markets. Findings suggest that open-air drug markets exist more in the areas close to alcohol outlets and bus stops, and where street robbery incidents and prostitution areas aggregate.