When police patrols matter. The effect of police proximity on citizens? crime risk perception
Crime risk perception is known to be an important determinant of individuals? well being. Therefore, it is crucial, especially for governments, to understand its determinants and those (public) policies that can reduce it. Among those polices, resources devoted to police forces emerge as a key instrument not only to tackle criminal activity but also to impact on citizenship crime risk perception. In this set up, the aim of this paper is to analyze the determinants (both individual and neighborhood) of citizens? crime risk perception for the City of Barcelona (Spain) by means of a multilevel ordered logit model focusing on the effect of police proximity and taking into account spatial aspects of neighborhood characteristics. The results, once controlling for possible problems of endogeneity of police forces and crime risk perception and sorting of individuals across neighborhoods, reflect that crime risk perception is reduced when individuals (randomly) interact with polices forces, and that spatially lagged neighborhood variables, such as proxies for social capital and for the level of incivilities, as well as individual characteristics have an impact on individuals? crime risk perception.
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