British Journal of Criminology vol:51 issue:1 pages:1-20
Previous research has indicated that various deprivation indicators have a positive impact on crime rates at the community level. In this article we investigate the impact of deprivation indicators on crime in Belgian municipalities (n=589) for the period 2001-2006. A spatial regression analysis demonstrates that unemployment figures have a strong and significant impact on crime rates, and this effect is stronger than the effect of income levels. Income inequality has a significant positive impact on property crime rates but a negative impact on violent crime. Crime is heavily concentrated in the urban centres of Belgium, but we also observe some important regional variations. Demographic structure was not related to crime levels, while spatial analysis shows there is a spill over effect to neighbouring communities for property crime, but not for violent crime. We close with some theoretical and policy considerations on the relation between unemployment and crime.