The Spatial Concentration of Illegal Residence and Neighborhood Safety
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ABSTRACT: Has the spatial concentration of illegal residence in urban environments become a relevant determinant of objective and subjective neighborhood safety? Using quantitative data from various sources on four large metropolitan areas in The Netherlands, this explorative study shows that the elevated levels of fear of crime and violence reported by residents in neighborhoods where illegal residence is spatially concentrated cannot be attributed to the presence of illegal migrants. At the same time, there is a modest positive correlation between the rate of illegal residence and covert property crimes in particular. Qualitative fieldwork in two neighborhoods helps explain why the spatial concentration of illegal residence appears to have different effects for different aspects of neighborhood safety, and why the negative effects tend to be limited.