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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82908 Find in a Library
Title: Urban Structure and Victimization
Author(s): D L Decker; D Shichor; R M O'Brien
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 116
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book examines the relationships between structural characteristics of 26 major U.S. cities and 1973-74 victimization rates from the National Crime Surveys (NCS), with special discussions of crimes against juveniles and the elderly.
Abstract: The authors trace the growth of victimology as an established discipline and review 19th- and 20th-century studies on the ecological patterns of crime. A comparison of the validity of crime rates based on the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the NCS notes the limitations of both approaches, concluding that the NCS is probably more accurate. The book outlines a three-category classification of criminal victimization using NCS data: property crimes with contact between offender and victim, property crimes without contact, and nonproperty assaultive crimes. When this framework was applied to relationships between criminal victimizations and population density no positive correlations were found. The study also investigated the relationship between victimization rates and the number of police per capita and population density. Correlations depended on the type of offense, but suggest that increasing the size of the police department could reduce property crimes without contact and nonproperty assaultive crimes. An analysis of the rates of victimization of juveniles in the NCS cities showed that population density was negatively linked to household larceny, burglary, personal theft, and motor vehicle theft, perhaps because of the increased visibility that occurs in high-density areas. A similar examination of household victimization rates among the elderly revealed that three characteristics were tied to victimization: population density, socioeconomic conditions, and percentage of residents on public assistance. The final chapter explores the implications of these findings for research and social policy. Tables, more than 230 references, and an index are provided. The appendixes contain a description of the NCS design, definitions of crimes used in the UCR and NCS, and a table comparing NCS and UCR rates and characteristics of the 26 cities.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Crimes against the elderly; Frequency distribution; Geographic distribution of crime; High crime areas; Urban area studies; Victimization surveys
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