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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164149 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Victimization in European Cities: Some Results of the International Crime Victims Survey
Journal: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(1996)  Pages:9-21
Author(s): J J M van Dijk; J van Kesteren
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This study tests the urbanization-crime hypothesis by using international crime data that were collected through victimization surveys.
Abstract: The study first examines whether in Western Europe the proportion of the public victimized by crime is related to the level of urbanization. This issue is also addressed by analyzing the risk of individuals, i.e., the extent to which inhabitants of urban areas are more likely to be crime victims than others, regardless of other factors. The second part of the study explores the possible causes of the overrepresentation of crime in urban areas. It attempts to show that urban crime problems can be interpreted to be the result of a convergence in urban areas of socioeconomic strain among the lower strata of urban populations on the one hand and the presence of abundant criminal opportunities on the other hand. The data show that in Western Europe the inhabitants of larger towns are more likely to be crime victims than those living in small towns or villages. In most cities, a third of the population is victimized at least once a year. The interactionist model offers some guidance for crime prevention policies in urban areas. Governments should introduce financial incentives for the trend toward self- protective measures by urban residents. This might include subsidies or tax benefits to households and companies that install security equipment. In addition, governments should promote the hiring of functionaires who can exercise social control, such as caretakers, concierges, bus conductors, car park attendants, and city guards. Further, governments should address the high illiteracy and unemployment rates among young males in certain parts of urban areas. 5 tables, 3 figures, and 16 references
Main Term(s): Victimization surveys
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Europe; Urban area studies; Urban criminality; Urbanization
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