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NCJ Number: 74024 Find in a Library
Title: Area-Images and Behavior - An Alternative Perspective for Understanding Urban Crime (From Crime - A Spatial Perspective, P 193-204, 1980, Daniel E Georges-Abeyie and Keith D Harries, ed. - See NCJ-74011)
Author(s): R L Carter; K Q Hill
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Columbia University Press
New York, NY 10025
Sale Source: Columbia University Press
562 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Conceptual models of the criminal's environment-behavior system are described, and evidence to support the prevalent environment-behavior model is examined.
Abstract: Carter and Brantingham have offered similar conceptual models which describe the network of environment-behavior relationships which might account for the property criminal's choice of crime locale. In summary, the model suggests a strong probabilistic relationship between the criminal's mental image of the differential opportunity structure of the city and his/her eventual criminal activity patterns. To date, little systematic scholarship exitst which directly addresses the adequacy of this conceptual approach. There are, however, threads of supportive evidence in some past scholarship, and the authors are preparing an extended analysis of some aspects of the environment-behavior model. There are three broad categories of research which offer some evidence: (1) ecological analyses of crimes within cities, (2) autobiographical reports from offenders, and (3) the authors' research on the utility of the environment-behavior model based on the study of interview data from 83 property criminals. The authors' research has found that property offenders' images of discrete areas of the city can be summarized into a small number of 'dimensions of evaluation' which are themselves patterned in ways consonant with some theoretical expectations; for example, separate evaluative dimensions of familiarity and strategy emerge. Components of the area image matrix were also found to be systematically related to criminals' choice of locales for crimes. Black criminals' crime patterns were predominantly influenced by familiarity evaluations, whereas whites were influenced about equally by perceived ease of committing offenses in given areas and familiarity with areas. The relevance of the environment-behavior model to policy is discussed. Graphic data and 19 notes are provided. For related articles, see NCJ 74011.
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Burglary; Crime analysis; Decisionmaking; Geographic distribution of crime; Models; Urban area studies
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