One thing many people expected to happen during the recent economic crisis was that crime would increase. For the most part, that hasn't happened. Even given the dire state of the economy, crime continued to decline in most parts of the country.
However, there was a story over at The New York Observer that points to one consequence of the economy that seems to be effective crime at least on a local level. The piece looked at a study that found a correlation between home foreclosures in a neighborhood and an increase in crimes in the immediate vicinity.
But the correlation between foreclosures and crime in New York, even given the city’s active street life, its declining crime rates and its far-from-abandoned neighborhoods, is noteworthy. For each property receiving a foreclosure notice, the immediate neighborhood saw a 0.7 percent increase in total crime, a 1.5 percent increase in violent crime and a 0.8 percent increase in public order crime, according to the report. However, significant increases in crime only occurred on blocks where there had been three or more foreclosures. Neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of foreclosures and existing crime rates saw the biggest upticks.
This might be a good reason for police departments to track foreclosures in their communities. Knowing what neighborhoods have foreclosed homes should help agencies get ahead of crimes that may pop up due to these distressed properties.
Has your agency experienced crime problems related to distressed, foreclosed or abandoned properties? What strategies has your agency had success with in mitigating these types of problems?