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Offender perceptions of criminal opportunities in vulnerable residential areas: a case study in a U.K North West inner city

Coulton, J, Jackson, W, Jeffery, R and Patel, T 2010, Offender perceptions of criminal opportunities in vulnerable residential areas: a case study in a U.K North West inner city , in: Stockholm Criminology Symposium, 14-16 June 2010, Stockholm, Sweden. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper details an academic study, commissioned by police and local authority practitioners, and the challenges faced therein, within a vulnerable residential area of an inner city in the UK. This area was identified as a site for study because of several key factors: abnormally high crime rate, diverse residential population including a large student population, geographical proximity to the city centre, and its status as a site of both inward investment and continued police concern. This study utilised qualitative research methods, employing focus groups and semi-structured interviews with a sample of ex-offenders and students, many of whom live or study in this location, and who are believed to constitute a significant proportion of victims and/or the market for stolen goods. This method was also supplemented by geographical mapping of the locale and use of the visual image as illustration. Key findings of this study include the role of the built environment in urban disorganisation, the lack of community cohesion between the varying residential groups, problematic police-community relationships and attitudes, and the marked income inequalities within such a residential population. These factors intertwined with one another to create a space where the occurrence of particular type of crime(s) was viewed as necessary and for some, an acceptable response to their State allocated position of neglect and marginalisation. In this paper we utilise direct narratives to offer a criminological commentary on the experiences of crime in such vulnerable areas. In doing so we highlight that they are often associated with financial survival, the need to support substance dependency, and frustration born of a lack of opportunities and access to resources, and from dissatisfaction with formal State agencies and experienced abuses of power.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Health and Wellbeing
Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences > Centre for Social Research
Refereed: Yes
Depositing User: TG Patel
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2011 10:36
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 18:16
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/18744

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