Neighbourhoods’ influence on victimisation and perception of crime
An empirical test of new ecological approaches in Santiago neighbourhoods
|journal||GERN (ISSN: )|
|issue||2. Desistance, social order and responses to crime|
|publicatie datum||1 août 2014|
Social Disorganisation Theory (SDT) states that in poor and unstable neighbourhoods, residents may have difficulty developing and maintaining social order, due to the weaknesses of their social networks and the infrequent exercise of informal control. As a consequence, criminal victimisation and perception of crime increase and persist over time. Latin American poor neighbourhoods, often characterised by high residential stability, dense informal networks, strong social cohesion, and yet high levels of crime, constitute a challenge for SDT. Recently, studies from new ecological approaches have asserted that even if informal networks are weak, neighbours can engage in preventive actions when the intervention is secure and executed in a partnership with public control institutions. Thus, a general distrust of police and local authorities, and a weak nexus between police and community, may reduce residents’ incentives to be involved in community issues, increasing the risk of victimisation and perceptions of crime severity.