Estimating Crime in Place: Moving Beyond Residence Location

Researchers assess if asking victims about the places where crimes happen leads to estimates of “crime in place” with better measurement properties. They analyze data from the Barcelona Victimization Survey (2015–2020) aggregated in 73 neighbourhoods using longitudinal quasi-simplex models and criterion validity to estimate the quality of four types of survey-based measures of crime. The distribution of survey-based offence location estimates, as opposed to victim residence estimates, is highly similar to police-recorded crime statistics, and there is little trade-off in terms of the reliability and validity of offence location and victim residence measures. Estimates of crimes reported to the police show a better validity, but their reliability is lower and capture fewer crimes.

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