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Schools as Criminal "Hot Spots": Primary, Secondary, and Beyond

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Review Volume: 32 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2007 Pages: 339-357
Paula M. Kautt; Dennis W. Roncek
Date Published
December 2007
19 pages
The purpose of this research study was to examine the effect of primary and middle schools on burglary in the surrounding residential areas.
Net of other relevant factors, the presence and enrollment of public elementary schools, serving grades K-5, ages 5 through 10 years, significantly increased the probability of burglaries on the block with the school and those immediately surrounding it. These results have clear implications. Targeting patrol to the areas immediately surrounding such schools at various times of day should significantly decrease their burglary rates. Additional research is warranted based on these findings through a closer examination of the relationship between the presence of elementary schools and burglary rates. Research indicates that crime is concentrated in small areas called “hot spots,” often centered on locations integral to the offender’s routine activities. Schools are one focal point for the routine activities of youth. Studies have documented that areas near public high schools have higher crime levels than other residential areas. However, lower level schools have been largely ignored as crime facilitators. Using Tobit analysis of block-level burglary rates, this research examined the importance of different types of schools as focal points of acquisitive crime. Specifically, the research examined whether, public and private, elementary and middle schools affected burglary rates for the block with the school and those blocks directly adjacent to it. References


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