Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 12-16-2022


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Michael D. Irwin

Committee Member

Ann Marie Popp


COVID-19, Gun Violence, Crime, Pittsburgh, Pandemic, Violent Crime


The goal of this research is to examine patterns of Part I crimes [including Part I Person/Violent: Homicide, Rape, Aggravated Assault, and Robbery, and Part I Property: Burglary, Larceny-Theft, Motor Vehicle Theft, and Arson, as defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Standards] in The City of Pittsburgh, framing the COVID-19 pandemic as a major stressor that Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory suggests may lead to increased opportunity for crime, due to the perceived unjustness of the associated lockdown orders and potential incentive for criminal coping (Agnew 1992). This descriptive analysis is based primarily upon UCR data obtained through The City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP). Projected violent crime trends, based on data measured between January 01, 2017 and March 1, 2020, show that Part I violent crimes post March 2020 adhered closely to the projected model, while homicides and Part I crimes involving firearms occurred at higher rates post March 2020 than projected, suggesting that the societal change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had a disruptive effect on projected decreases in such crimes. Additionally, we will explore the spatial distribution of these crimes and summarize the percentage changes in Part I crimes by neighborhood in The City of Pittsburgh. Insights from this study will be used to inform the PBP in their strategic response to violent crime and gun violence, in coordination with The City of Pittsburgh’s newly assembled Office of Community Health and Safety to support ongoing efforts to implement community-focused and data-driven policing.