Sara K. Thompson
Most criminological theory and research on the black homicide victimization is grounded in the American context, which raises important generalizability issues given the exceptional level of lethal violence that is used as the standard in this inquiry. This case study examines the social and spatial distribution of black homicide victimization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada between 1988 and 2003. Results suggest that, as in American cities, blacks in Toronto are over-represented as homicide victims and offenders, but there are important differences in the spatial distribution and ecological correlates of this violence. These findings highlight the importance of cross-national research when investigating the generalizability of findings from U.S.-based research on racially disaggregated homicide rates.
Understanding the Distribution of Crime Victimization Using “British Crime Survey” Data: An Exercise in Statistical Reasoning
This chapter focuses upon understanding the data-generating process that gives rise to the frequency distribution of crime victimization count data sampled from the British Crime Survey (BCS). Having described the form of this data, it introduces the problem of explaining the overdispersion of the distribution. It discusses and compares various models of the data that make assumptions about the data-generation process, including risk-heterogeneity, state-dependency, conditional probability, the double hurdle model, and the spells model. Its principal conclusion is that the crime victimization frequency distribution found in BCS data is the heterogeneous product of the mixing of two probability distributions: one concerns victim-prevalence, where zero-inflation predominates; the other concerns victimization-frequency, expressing the long-tail of high-frequencies. This conceptualization sheds new light on some persistent difficulties that might point the way towards future progress in understanding and remedying the distribution of crime victimization among citizens.