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Spatial Impact of Burglar Alarms on the Decline of Residential Burglary

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 26 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2013 Pages: 180-198
Seungmug Lee; Harry Wilson
Date Published
April 2013
19 pages
This article discusses one private security application, burglar alarm systems to crime reduction and prevention.
Private security could be given a greater role in the crime prevention infrastructure. The growth of private security industry has raised new challenges for researchers and policymakers over years. Its contribution to crime prevention has been under-utilized, under-researched and underestimated. In particular, the deterrent effect of burglar alarms and their impact on crime have not been adequately researched. The data of residential burglary incidents and residential burglar alarm permit records are integrated with a geographical information system program to analyze a spatial impact of alarms on burglary at the city-wide level. The current study focuses on data pertaining to Newark, New Jersey and shows that (i) dense concentrations of alarm installations exist, (ii) these concentrations are in considerable proximity, and (iii) they are isolated from the hotspots of burglary incidents. Such a pattern is taken as evidence of 'diffusion of benefits', suggesting that residential alarms have a beneficial impact by decreasing burglary incidents. (Published Abstract)