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Collective efficacy and crime in London: The importance of neighbourhood consensus Brunton-Smith, Ian


Compelling evidence now exists that collective efficacy - âsocial cohesion among neighbors combined with their willingness to intervene on behalf of the common goodâ - plays an important role in shaping the patterning of crime, disorder, and perceptions of victimization risk across local areas. But existing studies have largely ignored the importance of consensus in residentsâ assessments of collective efficacy. Yet there are good reasons to believe that this will also differ across neighborhood and, moreover, that such differences will be consequential for individual and community responses to crime and normâviolating behaviour. Using data from a large random survey of London residents, I examine withinâneighborhood heterogeneity in collective efficacy ratings as a function of characteristics of not just neighborhoods but also the individual raters themselves. In addition to describing the patterning of consensus across and within neighborhoods, I also assess whether and how this heterogeneity shapes individualâlevel fear of crime, risk avoidance behavior, and the experience of violent victimization.

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