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Community Perceptions of Criminality: The Case of the Maltese Walled City of Bormla


  • JosAnn Cutajar

    () (Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta, Room 253, Old Humanities Building (OH), University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, Malta)

  • Saviour Formosa

    () (Department of Criminology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta, Humanities A (Laws, Theology, Criminology), Msida MSD 2080, Malta)

  • Trevor Calafato

    () (Department of Criminology, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta, Humanities A (Laws, Theology, Criminology), Msida MSD 2080, Malta)


This paper explores the situational factors that explain why crime in Bormla occurs in certain areas and not others. Bormla, one of the oldest cities in Malta, is the fifth crime hotspot on the Maltese Islands. The objective of this paper is to find out whether socio-demographic aspects and/or other contextual aspects are linked with the rate and type of crime that takes place within this city. A multi-method approach was adopted for the purposes of this paper. Statistics issued by the Malta police were analysed to find out which criminal offences occur there, and in which location. This analysis took place with the help of Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Qualitative and quantitative data collected through a needs assessment exercise conducted with a sample of Bormla respondents in 2009 and 2010 was also analysed to find out whether residents concurred with this official picture of what type of crime takes place there, and where it occurs. Residents were also asked whether they felt safe living in this crime hotspot, when and where they felt safe, and why.

Suggested Citation

  • JosAnn Cutajar & Saviour Formosa & Trevor Calafato, 2013. "Community Perceptions of Criminality: The Case of the Maltese Walled City of Bormla," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(2), pages 1-16, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:2:y:2013:i:2:p:62-77:d:25028

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. L. Randall Wray & Stephanie Bell, 2004. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Credit and State Theories of Money, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Philippe Robert-Demontrond & R. Ringoot, 2004. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00081823, HAL.
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    More about this item


    criminality; social cohesion; geographical information systems; needs assessment; perceptions of crime; Malta;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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