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On the Association Between Routine Activities and the Decline in Stranger and Acquaintance Violence

Wed, Nov 18, 3:30 to 4:50pm, Hilton, Jefferson East, Concourse Level


Crime rates have fallen dramatically over the past two decades. This phenomenon is typically referred to as the crime drop. What still remains puzzling, however, is why most crimes – including violent crimes – have fallen in recent years. The current gap in knowledge impedes violence reduction opportunities not just in the UK but across the world.
To understand better why violence has fallen in the past decades, the current study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Secondary Data Analysis Initiative Phase 2, investigates the relationship between changes in routine activities and the decline in stranger and acquaintances in the past two decades. In particular, insights from the routine activity theories will be used (Cohen & Felson, 1979) to explain the decline in both types of violence. To examine violence trends, the study uses rich data stemming from the Crime Survey for England & Wales (CSEW). Findings show that an important relationship exists between changes in routine activities and the fall in violence.