Perception and Data on Violent Hot Spots

Wenona Rymond-Richmond, Northwestern University

ABSTRACT
A limited amount of research has been conducted to connect crime data with crime perception at the neighborhood level. Not only is there a disconnect between perception and data research, but there is also a lack of joint quantitative and qualitative data. This poster will visually display violent hot spots in and around a public housing development in Chicago. Resident's perceptions of dangerous locations will be compared and contrasted with block level crime data. Although there is a correlation between perception of dangerous places and crime data, it is not a perfect correlation. Residents might describe a particular intersection in their neighborhood to be the most dangerous, while crime data points to the same interestion as a low crime location. This research will demonstrate first, that locations that residents consider as the most dangerous areas are often rigidly avoided. This avoidance decreases the violent crime statistics in this location. Hence, residents might describe a particular interesection in their neighborhood to be the most dangerous, while crime data points to the same interesection as a low crime location. Second, this research demonstrates that combing perception of crime with crime data gives a more accurate depiction of violent hot spots than if one relies exlusively on crime data.

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Updated 05/20/2006