A city-level analysis of property crime clearance rates

Jeffrey Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Theft, burglary, and vehicle theft are among the most frequently committed and least commonly cleared Part I offenses in the United States, but have received disproportionately little attention in the clearance literature. This study contributes to recent efforts to remedy this shortage by presenting offense-specific analyses of burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft clearance rates in a sample of 110 large US cities. Data were gathered from the Uniform Crime Report, the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey, and the American Community Survey. Independent variables comprised social disorganization measures (e.g. residential instability, poverty, etc.) and policing variables, including the use of broken windows policing. Although broken windows policing is related to higher clearance rates in a few prior studies, that effect was not observed in the present work. Racial diversity and police spending per capita (which were negatively associated with clearance rates) were the only variables that were significantly associated with the clearance of all three crimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
JournalCriminal Justice Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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