Crime prevention through community empowerment: An empirical study of social capital in Kyoto, Japan

Crime prevention activities led by neighborhood associations are common throughout Japan and exemplify the idea in environmental criminology that communities can be kept safe by residents themselves. In this study, we surveyed neighborhood associations in Kyoto to test a theoretical model for social...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:International journal of law, crime and justice
Main Author: Matsukawa, Anna (Author)
Other Authors: Tatsuki, Shigeo (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2018
In:International journal of law, crime and justice
Year: 2018, Volume: 54, Pages: 89-101
Online Access: Resolving-System
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Summary:Crime prevention activities led by neighborhood associations are common throughout Japan and exemplify the idea in environmental criminology that communities can be kept safe by residents themselves. In this study, we surveyed neighborhood associations in Kyoto to test a theoretical model for social capital and community based crime prevention that we developed as part of our earlier work in Kobe. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) based on survey data and police records for street crimes and residential burglary suggest that specific efforts by community residents can enrich social capital and lead to community safety and security both subjectively and objectively. Social capital had a significant effect on the reduction of street crime, although not for burglary, and our findings suggest that social capital reduces the fear of crime and increases a sense well-being for families and seniors. Although these well-being measures are subjective, emotional change is important in a context where there is no association between actual crime rates and fear of crime. Our research may offer practical insights for the development of universal methodologies that can contribute to the prevention of crime and sense of security through community empowerment.
DOI:10.1016/j.ijlcj.2018.03.007