U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Citizen Participation in Community Crime Prevention

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1982
8 pages
This paper questions the conventional wisdon that individuals participate in collective behavioral responses to crime as a result of some special fear of crime or concern about crime.
Survey data are used to reject hypotheses that posit an association between participation and crime-related perceptions. Using survey data from 3 cities and field research from 10 neighborhoods within those cities, the study finds that most community groups undertake some form of collective responses to crime and that most of these are multiissue groups. In addition, most people do not become involved with a group because of crime concerns, and most people who are involved with a group that has an anticrime program participate in the anticrime efforts. Survey data are used to develop a model that argues that participation in community anticrime activities stems primarily from the individual's involvement in a community group that has as an anticrime program, thereby providing structure of opportunity for participation. General involvement is shown to be related to social integration. Diagrams, tables, and about 30 references are included. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1982