Crime Rates and Abandoned Buildings the Research Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Crime Rates and Abandoned Buildings

The research question will help to focus the study and determine the long-term effects of crime rates and abandoned buildings. It includes:

Is there a direct relationship between crime rates and abandoned properties inside a community?

This allows actuaries to concentrate on how these trends are developing and the long-term effects on different regions.

The hypothesis will show that there is a direct correlation between various crime rates and the large number of abandoned buildings inside specific areas. The theory that will be tested includes:

There is a connection between large numbers of abandoned buildings and increases in crime rates. This is having an adverse effect on the quality of life inside neighborhoods and the ability of cities to adjust with critical challenges. These problems are occurring from a declining revenue base and increased demand for more services. (Shane, 2012) (Gau & Pratt, 2010)

These findings will correlate the fact that crime rates and economic blight are interchangeable inside many large cities.

The null hypothesis will show the opposite effect of the hypothesis. This includes:

There is no direct relationship between crime rates and abandoned buildings in urban areas. This is because many communities and local governments will use these locations for economic redevelopment. When this happens, crime rates will remain stable or decrease.

This will refute the hypothesis and illustrate that there is no relationship between crime rates and abandoned properties.

The results will show that there is a direct correlation between crime rates and abandoned buildings. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than observations from Spelman (1993). He found that abandoned properties are a haven for criminal activities. This is because they are lacking security and the police do not have the resources to continuously monitor these locations. Over the course of time, this will result in an increase in crime. (Spelman, 1993) (Shane, 2012)

According to Spelman these relationships are directly connected to each other with him saying, "The study found that 41% of abandoned buildings could be entered without use of force. Of these open buildings, 83% showed evidence of illegal use by prostitutes, drug dealers, property criminals, and others. Crime rates on blocks with open abandoned buildings were twice as high as on matched blocks without open buildings. Even if 90% of the crimes prevented are displaced to the surrounding area, the securing of abandoned buildings is apparently a cost- effective crime-control tactic for distressed neighborhoods." This is showing how crime rates and the number of abandoned properties inside an urban area are directly related. (Spelman, 1993)

Moreover, a study by the city Boston determined that there is a correlation between abandoned buildings and economic prosperity. This is because people will leave areas when there is a major economic downturn or the closure of large employers. In many cases, this causes property values to decline dramatically. For progressive families, they are forced to relocate other areas in order to find work. Those who remain behind are left with diminishing economic opportunities. This causes the standard of living to decrease and it encourages criminal elements to operate more actively inside specific neighborhoods. ("2001 Building Survey," 2001) (Shane, 2012)

A good example of this can be seen with observations from the report which states," Even though Boston's number of abandoned buildings is relatively small, the existence of any represents the loss of a commercial or residential resource. In addition, property abandonment is the most visible sign of a community in distress. At best, these buildings are an eyesore. At worst, they discourage the upkeep of adjacent buildings and become the focus of drug dealing and other crime, creating a downward spiral that can radically alter an entire street and its neighborhood." This is illustrating how there is a direct relationship between abandoned buildings and crime rates inside various neighborhoods. ("2001 Building Survey," 2001)

As a result, the findings of the study will more than likely show how there is a correlation between them inside specific communities. This is because it is a signal of larger economic challenges impacting these areas. These factors will lead to a decline in property values and it invites a mass exodus of the most progressive people in neighborhoods. When this happens, these cities are left with declining tax revenues and rising demand for services. This places strain on their resources and the community's ability to attract new industries. ("2001 Building Survey," 2001) (Shane, 2012)

Research Design

The research design that will be utilized is the mixed method approach. This is when quantitative and qualitative resources will be used to understand the overall scope of the problems and the trends that are occurring. The way that this will be achieved is by examining different pieces of literature on the subject. This will establish the key challenges and how it is impacting a variety of cities. At the same time, there will be a focus on conducting an independent survey. This will corroborate or refute the findings from the different resources that were examined. (Joffrion, 2010)

The dependent variable will be the types of crimes that are committed in communities with a large number of abandoned properties. The independent variable will concentrate on if abandoned buildings and urban blight are the primary causes of crime inside a particular city. Moreover, this will highlight how economic events are impacting these communities and the standard of living inside them. (Joffrion, 2010)

The way that the independent and dependent variable will be measured is by conducting a survey of different pieces of literature on the subject and its long-term effects. This will be accomplished by looking at various pieces of government data, scholarly resources and community information. Furthermore, a survey will take place of 25 community leaders, business executives, law enforcement officials and ordinary citizens. (Joffrion, 2010)

For instance, the dependent variable will be those communities with highest levels of crime. While the independent variables, will be the number of abandoned buildings in these cities and illegal activities that are occurring. The analysis of this information will take place after a sample is taken of 25 respondents. The basic idea is to compare their responses with the findings from the trends that were identified in the research. This allows actuaries to survey community leaders, ordinary citizens, law enforcement officials and business leaders. (Joffrion, 2010)

Analysis Procedures

The procedure that will be used to analyze the results are descriptive statistics, scatter plot analysis and bivarite correlation. Descriptive statistics is when there is a focus on the coefficients of different sources of data with one another. During this process, there will be several tools that will help to improve actuaries understanding of the results to include: the mean, median, mode and standard deviation. Scatter plot analysis is graphing the results in the form of coordinates. This establishes a connection between the various pieces of data. Bivariate correlation measures the relationship between two variables. This will tell actuaries the nature of these variables, but not the direction of the relationship. These approaches were selected to help everyone objectively analyze the data. ("Understanding Descriptive Statistics," 2012) (Hoffe, 2007)

The findings will be contrasted with each other using comparative analysis. This is when the trends from other sources will be examined in conjunction with each other. These techniques were chosen based upon the fact that this can improve objectivity by requiring an assessment that is looking at all of the different variables. When this happens, everyone is able to more effectively determine if there is a direct relationship between crime rates and the total number of abandoned buildings inside various communities. (Pickvance, 2001) (Hoffe, 2007)

Limitations and Feasibility

The biggest weakness of this study is that a one size fits all approach could be taken. This is because many cities are facing similar challenges. However, there are some which have used unique solutions to deal with these problems. In certain situations there is a probability that these areas may not have a direct correlation between abandoned buildings and criminal activity. Instead, these challenges are isolated to specific issues inside the community. Those who are able to address them will be more effective in dealing with the root causes. (Pickvance, 2001) (Hoffe, 2007)

The validity issues should be minimized using the mixed method approach. However, there are different strategies utilized by various cities in combating crime and dealing with urban blight. This can cause some of the findings to be inaccurate by failing to understand how the strategies are addressing the primary causes of the problem. (Bratton, 2009) (Pickvance, 2001) (Hoffe, 2007)

For example, in New York City many of the issues with high crime rates were directly attributed to the police not enforcing vagrancy and panhandling laws. Under Rudolph Giuliani, these levels decreased dramatically from more aggressive enforcement. In this aspect, some of the findings could show that high crime rates are attributable to other factors. (Bratton, 2009)

There are no reliability problems. This means that the findings will be similar, but with…

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