Prior studies have largely focused on socioeconomic and demographic correlates of neighborhood crime rates. A largely distinct literature has highlighted the criminogenic influence of the built environment. Recently, Drawve and Thomas (2016) cross-pollinated these literatures and demonstrated that, controlling for structural socioeconomic disadvantage, an aggregated neighborhood risk of crime (ANROC) measure capturing the influence of the built environment has a strong and robust influence on neighborhood crime rates.
Instead of viewing variation in crime as a product of social factors or characteristics of the built environment, Thomas and Drawve’s (2018) new study explores an interactive model viewing crime as a product of social factors and the built environment. Results of their block-group level analyses of a single city suggest that the influence of the ANROC measure is contingent upon levels of socioeconomic disadvantage in the neighborhood at-large.