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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201572 Find in a Library
Title: Built Environment and Community Crime Risk Interpretation
Journal: Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:40  Issue:3  Dated:August 2003  Pages:322-345
Author(s): Pamela Wilcox; Neil Quisenberry; Shayne Jones
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using data on 4,456 individuals residing within 100 Seattle, (Washington) neighborhoods, this study estimated hierarchical logistic regression models of individual perceptions of community crime risk, focusing on the effects of citizen-reported public land use while controlling for individual-level victimization risk factors, community social structure, and community "objective" crime.
Abstract: The aim of the analysis was to determine the extent to which aspects of the physical environment, notably public land uses, served as a heuristic tool in shaping individual residents' perceptions of crime risk, net of individual-level differences, social structural conditions, and actual crime. The dependent variable was community crime risk perception. This was measured as a dichotomous variable, indicating whether or not the respondent felt that his/her neighborhood was unsafe at the time of the survey. Target suitability was measured with several variables, and previous victimization was also determined. The neighborhood-level variables of interest included poverty, minority concentration, stability, the presence of business places, the presence of schools, the presence of playgrounds, area burglary rates, and area rates of violent crime. To determine neighborhood-level public land use, nine dichotomous survey items asked respondents about the presence of various public land uses within three blocks of their homes. The findings indicate that the nonresidential uses of land for businesses, parks, and playgrounds increased individual perceptions of community danger, but these effects disappeared once neighborhood crime rates were controlled. The presence of schools in the community had no effect on subjective interpretations of community crime, regardless of whether or not actual area crime was considered. Future research might elaborate on these findings by examining how the effects of land use on the perception of community crime risk might be conditional. 3 tables, 11 notes, and 65 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Environmental design; Environmental influences; Fear of crime
Note: An earlier version of this article was presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Chicago, IL, August 2002.
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