The spatial concentration of bias: An examination of the community factors that influence residents’ perceptions of bias crime

Michelle L Sydes, Rebecca L Wickes, Angela Higginson

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Emerging scholarship indicates that bias crimes are concentrated in particular types of places. Currently, only a small number of studies consider the ecological factors that influence official reports of bias crime. Results from these studies indicate that the community processes and structures associated with the occurrence of non-bias crime may operate differently for bias crime. We use administrative and survey data from approximately 4000 residents living across 148 communities in Brisbane, Queensland to examine the ecological drivers of bias crime. Using multi-level logistic regression, we examine the community and household factors associated with residents’ perceptions of bias crime. Here, we focus not only on the structural demographics of the community, but also on the degree to which community cohesion influences whether or not residents perceive bias crime as a problem in their community. We find that poverty and ethnic diversity are positively associated with residents’ perceptions of bias crime. Further, residents living in communities with higher levels of community cohesion are less likely to perceive bias crime as a problem in their community. The level of community cohesion fully mediates the impact of ethnic diversity and partially mediates the effect of poverty on residents’ perceptions of bias crime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-428
Number of pages20
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • bias crime
  • community
  • ethnicity
  • social cohesion

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