The recent renaissance of ecological research in criminology has brought with it a renewed interest in the relationship between crime and social control in local communities. While several researchers have noted that the police are a critical part of the community crime‐control puzzle, there is very little research and no theory that addresses variation in police behavior across physical space. In an attempt to further understand police operations in local communities, this article offers a theory that explains how levels of crime and other forms of social deviance in communities affect police action. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the theory for understanding how police behavior varies across physical space and how crime patterns develop and are sustained in local communities.
Criminology – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1997
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