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NCJ Number: 202332 Find in a Library
Title: Willingness to Report Crimes: The Role of Ethnic Group Membership and Community Efficacy
Journal: Crime & Delinquency  Volume:49  Issue:4  Dated:October 2003  Pages:564-580
Author(s): Robert C. Davis; Nicole J. Henderson
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examined the willingness of ethnic communities to report crimes to police.
Abstract: It has been suggested by police and other observers that those living in immigrant and ethnic communities are reluctant to report crimes to the police. A string of high-profile cases in which police have been accused of misconduct toward immigrants has fueled speculation of immigrant and ethnic group distrust of police. The authors interviewed 1,123 residents of 6 ethnic communities in New York City to examine their willingness to report crimes to the police. Interview questions focused on measures of willingness to report crimes, measures of community empowerment, measures of community efficacy, perceptions of police misconduct, perceptions of police competence, prior experience with police, and respondent characteristics. Results of multivariate analysis revealed that the majority of respondents would report break-ins, muggings, family violence, and to a lesser extent, drug dealing within their community. Willingness to report crimes to the police was associated with feelings of community empowerment and community efficacy. Communities characterized by feelings of helplessness were less likely to be willing to report crimes to the police. Study limitations include the fact that results were based on communities in New York City alone. Implications of the study are that simple civic responsibility advertisement campaigns are not sufficient to increase the willingness to report crimes. Instead, police departments and local governments should focus on promoting a community’s sense of empowerment and integration into the local political structure. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Immigrants/Aliens
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Ethnic groups; New York; Police community relations
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