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Collective Efficacy, Deprivation and Violence in London

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 53 Issue: 6 Dated: November 2013 Pages: 1050-1074
Alex Sutherland; Ian Brunton-Smith; Jonathan Jackson
Date Published
November 2013
25 pages
This paper examines the importance of neighbourhood context in explaining violence in London.
This paper examines the importance of neighborhood context in explaining violence in London. Exploring in a new context Sampson's work on the relationship between interdependent spatial patterns of concentrated disadvantage and crime, the authors assess whether collective efficacy (i.e. shared expectations about norms, values and goals, as well as the ability of members of the community to realize these goals) mediates the potential impact on violence of neighborhood deprivation, residential stability and population heterogeneity. Reporting findings from a dataset based on face-to-face interviews with 60,000 individuals living in 4,700 London neighborhoods, the authors found that collective efficacy is negatively related to police-recorded violence. But, unlike previous research, the author found that collective efficacy does not mediate the statistical relationship between structural characteristics of the neighborhood and violence. After finding that collective efficacy is unrelated to an alternative measure of neighborhood violence, the authors discuss limitations and possible explanations for the results, before setting out plans for further research. (Published Abstract)