Do place-based interventions displace crime in cities? : an evaluation of two crime prevention strategies in Chihuahua, Mexico
Author(s)Mendoza Garcia, Jose Antonio
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Gabriella Yolanda Carolini.
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Scholars and practitioners have traditionally been skeptical of place-based crime prevention and reduction interventions because they can potentially displace crime to other times, locations, settings, or crime events. However, only few empirical studies have successfully demonstrated crime displacement, and when found it has tended to be less than the benefits of the intervention. Some scholars have even differentiated between benign and malign displacement, the former referring to socially acceptable redistribution of crime and the latter to producing worse outcomes than without the intervention. Existing scholarship in sociology and criminology has found that interventions more commonly produce a diffusion of benefits in the form of a reduction of crime in areas adjacent to the intervention, through deterrence or discouragement. This study analyzes crime displacement following both public and private place-based interventions in Chihuahua, Mexico, a city whose crime rates catapulted as a result of the Mexican War on Drugs. The first intervention considered here is that of gated communities, privately initiated responses that now house around a tenth of the total population of the city. The second intervention type studied centers on public sector initiatives. Here the thesis presents a spatial analysis of the National Program for the Social Prevention of Crime and Violence (PRONAPRED), a publicly funded situational-prevention strategy that transfers funds to local actors working on crime prevention. Using empirical evidence from these two intervention typologies, this thesis focuses on identifying whether or not there is spatial displacement of crime. The results of this study do not identify significant crime displacement nor diffusion of benefits from interventions to adjacent areas, except for pedestrian robberies, which increase around gated communities but decrease next to PRONAPRED interventions. However, controlling for other factors, it finds that marginalization levels and the presence of community-based interventions impact crime displacement.
Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 86-90).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.