This article is an area study on the hypothesis that violent crime is linked to a subculture of violence, social disadvantage, or land uses such as rental, retail/office/commercial, or public/institutional property. Rates and types of reported violent crimes are related to neighborhood characteristics available through U.S. Census data and the county planning commission's geographical information office. The research design called for the geocoding of 26,467 violent reported crimes, which were aggregated by census block group. Variables in the analysis of these spatial units include frequency and characteristics of reported violent crimes, rates of violent crime, indicators of social disadvantage, housing types, housing values, and land use. Analysis employed multiple regression, with simple assault, aggravated assault, homicide, and robbery as the dependent variables. Variables helpful in the prediction of violent crime rates were also placed as map layers on data maps. Results indicate that assault in neighborhoods is associated with social disadvantage and the land uses of retail/office/commercial and public/institutional. Robbery is associated with recreational, retail/commercial/office, renter, and public/institutional land uses. Both percentage of renters and percentage of African Americans fail to predict violence when controlling for social disadvantage. Implications concern issues of theoretical criminology related to routine activities theory, the southern regional subculture of violence, and social disorganization theory. Land use planning and crime are also discussed.
Social Science Computer Review – SAGE
Published: May 1, 2007
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