The influence of community characteristics on police performance in a deeply divided society: The case of Israel

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Abstract

This study investigate the effect of community characteristics on police performance in a deeply divided society. Conflict theories argue that crime control rises as minority size increases. In communities in which minorities become visible, the clearance rate will be higher. However, when minorities are highly segregated, segregation becomes an instrument of social control and the clearance rate will be lower. Functionalist theories argue that the police are reactive to the seriousness of offenses. Therefore, when community characteristics are controlled, clearance rates will be related to the community rate of property and violent crime. In this paper both theories are tested in the context of a highly segregated residential society. Using a sample of 118 Israeli Arab and Jewish communities, differences in clearance rates between the two types of communities were studied. It was found that those community characteristics affecting police performance are similar in Jewish and Arab communities. However, comparison reveals that the level of clearance rates for Arab communities is much higher than for Jewish communities. Implications of these results for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-248
Number of pages16
JournalSociological Focus
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)

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