Offenders, Victims and Crime-Mapping in the City of Lisbon, Portugal

Maria Lobo-Antunes, University of Maryland at College Park

In 1999, the Centre of Public Opinion Surveys (CESOP) of the Portuguese Catholic University, in collaboration with the Mayor of Lisbon's Security Department formed the Lisbon Safety Observatory--LSO. The Centre was to conduct a series of annual surveys aimed at assessing victimization and safety issues in the city of Lisbon. Methodological advancements during the following years incorporated into the surveys a detailed section on the crimes identified thus capturing information pertaining to location, time, season, perceived offender characteristics. In an attempt to broaden the knowledge collated on crime in the city, a crimne location system was also included whereby victims precisely identified the place whether they had been victimized. Through this location system and the subsequent geographical identification of crime points, researchers were able to employ spatial analyses on the data obtained, leading to the implementation of a crime-mapping unit. The present paper examines the findings of the 2001 victimization surveys and resulting crime-mapping. Evidence is presented concerning not only cross-national differences in victimcharacteristics, but also the location fo crime events. Results show that on average approximately 40-50% of victims are victimized within their community, but analyses also demonstrate that there is a relationship between crime location, crime type and victim.

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Updated 05/20/2006