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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 210368 Find in a Library
Title: Randomized Experimental Study of Sharing Crime Data with Citizens: Do Maps Produce More Fear?
Journal: Journal of Experimental Criminology  Volume:1  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2005  Pages:87-115
Author(s): Elizabeth R. Groff; Brook Kearley; Heather Fogg; Penny Beatty; Heather Couture
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 29
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compared three formats for disseminating police crime data to the public, using a randomized experimental design to measure residents' fear of crime and their perception of the safety of different areas of Redlands, CA.
Abstract: Participants were 314 residents of Redlands who were at least 18 years old. They were recruited from a weekly outdoor evening event held on a main street of the city, from the University of Redlands campus, from the Redlands community center, and from local senior citizen centers. The data presented to the participants included the Uniform Crime Report Part I crimes of robbery and aggravated assault over the period from July 1, 2002, to September 30, 2002. Three types of maps were used to present the data: graduated symbol, density, and orientation; however, the orientation map did not depict any crime data and functioned only as a reference companion to the crime statistics, so as to enable participants to view the geographic extent of the areas for which statistics were provided. Respondents were asked to rate how worried they would be that someone might attempt to attack or assault them while in two specified areas of the city. For these same areas, participants were also asked how concerned they would be that someone might rob or steal something from them. Two major findings emerged. First, using maps to report crime data did not consistently cause participants to be more fearful than they would be in viewing the same information presented in a statistical format. Second, the maps did not stigmatize high-crime areas of the city. 2 tables, five figures, 15 notes, 38 references, and appended survey questions and maps
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime Statistics; Fear of crime; Police community relations programs; Police reports; Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program
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