Crime Rates And Abandoned Buildings Is There Essay

Length: 5 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #97455983 Related Topics: Crimes, Broken Windows, Organized Crime, Windows 7
Excerpt from Essay :

Crime Rates and Abandoned Buildings

Is there a relationship between crime rates and abandoned buildings?

Theoretical background

A vast portion of research on crime and its relation with location is centered at either validating or refuting 'broken window theory'. The theory states that disorders such as graffiti, litter, and broken windows may encourage or cause increase in other disorders and petty crime. The theory by virtue of its title, research objectives, and conclusions does not merit our research question regarding relationship of abandoned building and crime rate. Most policing and preventive efforts for curtailing crime in the U.S. And elsewhere have also been based on broken window theory. Disorder does not imply that any serious crime will take place at a place and serious crimes are neither taking place at littered or disordered places. Policing activities are focused on securing the abandoned buildings and how far is that helped by such actions is questionable. Immergluck and Smith (2006) conducted a study in which they tested the hypothesis that increment in violent crime increase was correlated to increase in foreclosures of single family mortgages. Violent crime was reported to have increased by 2.33% if a full one percent increase in foreclosures took place. The study helps address the vital question of linkage between crime rate and increase n abandoned building.

Bragaand Bond (2008) mentioned that abandoned buildings attracted offenders to carry out their activities as these buildings are not monitored. However, the study concludes that easy criminal opportunities are denied to criminal minded people by securing the abandoned buildings. There are no such studies that directly relate the question of increase in criminal offences of serious nature such as murder, drug or human trafficking, and rape cases being reported to have taken place at the abandoned buildings. One such incident that took place in the south side of Chicago in which six murders took place in abandoned building did bring the gangs. Another distinction that theory of 'window breaking' does not address is that disorder and crime are not explicitly defined and their incidental possibilities not discussed. Nonetheless, the discussion on theory did expedite the process of research and investigation into abandoned buildings and their relationship to criminal activities.

It is also unclear in the existing literature being published on the subject that whether misdemeanor arrests or situational strategies being employed have resulted in controlling crime that arises due to abandoned buildings.The methodology employed by Braga and Bond (2008) is scanning, analysis, response, and assessment (SARA) model. The policing efforts are the focus of this research. Different steps were employed to decrease the crime rate in the area. Situational strategies provided by the most effective means to decrease the crime rate. Since the perception of offenders regarding vacant buildings was changed, by means of securing the abandoned buildings, there was observed to be somewhat moderate reduction in the crime percentage of the area.

Abandoning a building is considered to part of incivilities that governments are bound to reduce. Therefore, studies such as those conducted by Braga and Bond (2008) as well as Immergluck and Smith (2006) provide a framework to address the limitations of the previous researchers specifically that of landmark study conducted by Wilson and Kelling in 1982. Since there still exists considerable ambiguity regarding the use of words such as 'disorder' in the policing efforts, the researchers have also emphasized the need that all the U.S. states shall employ less broad base definitions of terms such as disorder.

Prior Research

Immergluck & Smith (2006) have studied the impact that abandoned and extendedly vacant properties create on the rate of crime in an area. The authors have firstly established the link between abandoned buildings and the likelihood of crimes taking place by explaining physical disorder situations. Sing of decay and negligence are attributed as indications of abandoned properties. It is explained as a more sustained condition as opposed to being an eventful occurring. Social disorder and physical disorder are explained as being different whereas physical disorder is more organized and…

Sources Used in Documents:


Braga, A.A., & Bond, B.J. (2008). Policing crime and disorder hot spots: A randomized controlled trial. Criminology, 46(3), 577-607.

Harcourt, B.E., & Ludwig, J. (2006). Broken windows: New evidence from New York City and a five-city social experiment. The University of Chicago Law Review, 271-320.

Immergluck, D., & Smith, G. (2006). The impact of single-family mortgage foreclosures on neighborhood crime. Housing Studies, 21(6), 851-866.

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