Living near violence: How proximity to violence shapes perceptions of police effectiveness and confidence in police

Renee Zahnow, Lorraine Mazerolle, Rebecca Wickes, Jonathan Corcoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Living in close proximity to violent crime is associated with a number of negative outcomes including increased fear of crime and perceived risk of victimization. Living near violence may also undermine confidence in police. In this study we estimate fixed effects regression models to examine the association between spatial proximity to recent violence and perceptions of police while accounting for individual and neighborhood factors. Results indicate that living in close proximity to violence is associated with greater confidence in police and this relationship is mediated through perceived police effectiveness. We suggest people living closer to recent violent events are more likely to see police actively responding to crime and the coupling of seeing both the violence and police response results in people feeling more confident in police than those living further away from violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-144
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Police; Violence; Micro-environment

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