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Crime, Grime, Fear, and Decline: A Longitudinal Look, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1999
12 pages
Publication Series
This study attempts to determine whether incivilities in the past are at the root of heightened neighborhood fear and crime and a structurally weakened neighborhood.
Although physical conditions in selected Baltimore, MD, neighborhoods deteriorated over the period 1981 to 1994, residents did not report that physical or social problems were significantly worse, nor were residents living in significantly more fear. Earlier deterioration did not cause a neighborhood to "go downhill" faster. Incivilities made no independent impacts on changes in house value, home ownership or education levels. Incivilities did, however, shape later changes in poverty and vacancy rates. Neither residents' reports of incivilities in 1982 nor incivilities assessed in 1981 contributed independently and substantially to changes in fear of crime in the neighborhoods between 1982 and 1994. Far more influential was earlier neighborhood status. Tables, figure, notes

Date Published: July 1, 1999