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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220174 
Title: Urbanization and Urban Crime: Dutch Geographical and Environmental Research (From Crime and Justice in the Netherlands, P 453-502, 2007, Michael Tonry and Catrien Bijleveld, eds. -- See NCJ-220164)
Author(s): Gerben J.N. Bruinsma
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 50
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter reviews Dutch geographic and environmental criminology, which concerns the influence of environment and geography, namely, urban/rural characteristics, on the prevalence and types of crime.
Abstract: Despite the distinctive features of Dutch cities and social milieus, the overall findings of Dutch geographical and environmental research parallel those of America's early Chicago school. Rural residents experience less crime than urban residents because of higher levels of social cohesion and informal social control, as well as lower offending rates in well-ordered physical surroundings. Dutch criminologists, along with American criminologists, have found that the social and economic changes associated with urbanization disrupt the number, stability, and quality of social relations. This facilitates the development of behaviors that lack the influence of normative moral values traditionally integrated into the behaviors of children and youth through strong, uniform parental influence reinforced by positive peer influences. In the four largest cities of the Netherlands, the number of violent and property crimes is approximately five times higher than in rural areas. Smaller urban environments also show relatively higher violent and property crime statistics. In order to identify the specific environmental factors that exert varying levels of influence on behaviors, Dutch criminology needs valid data on variables such as social cohesion and informal social control. More data are needed on how and why residents live with each other and how they organize social cohesion and social control under various economic and social structures. More data are also needed on why and how offenders commit various types of crime in different environments, as well as what is involved in their selection of victims. 3 tables, 1 figure, and 31 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Environmental influences; Foreign criminal justice research; Geographic distribution of crime; Informal social control; Informal support groups; Netherlands; Rural urban comparisons; Urbanization
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