Neighborhood disadvantage and reliance on the police

Lonnie M. Schaible, Lorine A. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Contemporary theories suggest that, due to limited access and generalized distrust, residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods are relatively unlikely to report matters to police. Although existing studies reveal few ecological differences in crime reporting, findings may be limited to victim/offense subsets represented in aggregated victimization data. Using calls-for-service (CFS) data from a Pacific Northwest city, this study assesses the degree to which neighborhood block groups (N = 164) vary in incidents reported to police overall and subsequent to the elimination of a major nonemergency-reporting mechanism. Two hypotheses are assessed: First, CFS rates will vary inversely with neighborhood disadvantage, net of the effect of objective levels of crime and other control variables; second, CFS originating in affluent neighborhoods will exhibit greater year-to-year decreases relative to disadvantaged neighborhoods following reduction of local reporting services in 2004. Findings from spatial analyses indicate that residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods tend to rely on police for assistance as much as, if not more than, people elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-274
Number of pages30
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • calls for service
  • crime reporting
  • neighborhood disadvantage
  • police

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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