PMSI Research Leader and Associate Professor of Criminology, Rebecca Wickes has been invited to present the keynote address at this year's Crime Prevention & Communities conference ‘Translating evidence into practice'. With a research track record and expertise on demographic changes in urban communities and their influence on social relationships, community regulation, victimisation, crime and disorder over time, Rebecca will present her keynote titled ‘Informal social control and crime prevention: Do the actions of ordinary citizens reduce crime?'
Her keynote abstract is presented below,
A century of research demonstrates that crime concentrates in particular neighbourhoods. This concentration is considered to be, at least in part, a function of the inability or unwillingness of local residents to regulate unwanted behaviour. Indeed this is one of the central propositions of traditional and contemporary social disorganisation theory. Yet we know little about the factors that influence residents’ responses to crime. Further, whether or not the actions of ordinary citizens reduce crime remains largely unexplored. This presentation places what residents do in response to crime at the centre of inquiry. Drawing on unique longitudinal survey data and case studies from the Australian Community Capacity Study, I consider how residents perceive and respond to neighbourhood problems and whether local residents’ actions influence local crime rates over time. By examining the individual, household, and community level predictors of crime control actions and the kinds of actions residents employ in response to local problems, I reveal the limits of informal social control and identify important insights and future directions for community crime prevention policy, practice and research.
The Crime Prevention and Communities conference is hosted in partnership between the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Department of Justice and Regulation, State Government of Victoria. It will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from June 7-8, with Rebecca's keynote to be delivered at 1pm in the afternoon of June 7. See the conference website with full program details here.