Monday, September 25, 2006

More Empty Homes = More Murder

The link between empty homes and crime has often been made. Graffiti, fly tipping and vandalism are all common in empty homes. But this from a publication in Jacksonville reports something more sinister. A study in Chicago claims to show a link between increases in empty homes and increases in violent crimes including murder. The report they refer to is actually a year old and can be found here. For those with a strong interest in statistics it may make interesting reading. For me the one interesting fact I gleaned out of it was that the study found a 1% increase in foreclosures (homes empty because of repossession)was accompanied by a 2.23% increase in violent crime. There are no firm conclusions as to why this link exists but perhaps the answer lies in the zero tolerance theory – abandoned homes in the minds of petty criminals give the green light to vandalism, which itself makes more and more serious crime acceptable in the minds of criminals.

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