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Crime risk in urban and rural neighbourhoods: an experimental analysis of insurance data

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mike Coombes, M Charlton, David Atkins


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The geography of crime risk is a major concern of the public and of policymakers, but it is notoriously difficult to 'map' convincingly in Britain. Along with some unresolved issues Of interpretation, there is a major problem of inadequate information. The official crime statistics are shown here to be inadequate when assessed against the three key criteria which are identified as the prerequisites before any data source can provide valid comparisons of crime rates in local urban and rural areas. The authors argue that the main issue for local analysis is crime risk, and that this is also the concern of insurance companies. Consequently, insurance rates-which are based on detailed analysis of past crime incidence-provide a plausible proxy data source on crime risk. This suggestion is explored empirically, with the sample region of North West England and postcode district insurance rate values for both 1988 and 1991.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coombes MG, Wong C, Charlton ME, Atkins DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning B: Planning & Design

Year: 1994

Volume: 21

Issue: 4

Pages: 489-504

Print publication date: 01/07/1994

ISSN (print): 0265-8135

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3417

Publisher: Pion Ltd.


DOI: 10.1068/b210489


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