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A winning BID? The effects of a BID-inspired property owner collaboration on neighbourhood crime rates in Malmö, Sweden

Abstract

The business improvement district (BID) model has spread rapidly worldwide and has recently caught the eye of Swedish politicians and practitioners as a feasible approach to reduce crime in urban neighbourhoods. Research on the crime-preventive effects of BIDs is, however, limited to a handful of US studies, and there is a lack of research from European contexts. The aim of the present study is to fill gaps in knowledge by examining the crime-preventive effects of a BID-inspired property owner collaboration (BID-Malmö) implemented in a residential neighbourhood in Malmö, Sweden. Based on the use of a difference-in-difference estimator and weighted displacement quotients, our results demonstrate a significant reduction in crimes reported to the police in the intervention neighbourhood relative to control areas, with signs of spatial diffusion of benefits rather than displacement of crime to adjacent areas. This result is, however, mainly driven by a decrease in reported incidents of vandalism, while no effect is observed in regard to violent crime in public places. Implications of the findings and further research are discussed.

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Notes

  1. Depending on the specific focus of a given improvement district, they have been labelled inter alia City, Community, Neighbourhood and Tourism Improvement Districts.

  2. This claim is, however, dependent on the existence of national or regional BID legislation which regulates the creation and continuation of the organisation.

  3. For a more detailed review of contemporary research on BIDs and crime, see Han et al. (2017).

  4. There have, however, been discussions at the highest political level regarding the legal structure of possible national regulations regarding BIDs [Motion 2017/18:363 (Parliamentary Private Members Bill)].

  5. All the generalised linear models in the main analysis have also been fitted using Poisson models, which resulted in identical outcomes to those produced by the negative binomial regressions (data not shown). All models were also fitted using ordinary least square regressions, and the results confirm both the general differences observed in the main analysis and the statistical significance of the results. A full account of these analyses can be sent upon request.

  6. A drawback of the WDQ is the lack of examining statistical significance of displacement or diffusion. An alternative test with this possibility is the weighted displacement difference (WDD) proposed by Wheeler and Ratcliffe (2018). However, as the WDD calculation is based on differences in absolute crime counts (and WDQ on relative differences), one main assumption of the WDD is that the intervention and control area must have similar levels of crime (Wheeler and Ratcliffe 2018). As this is not the case in the present study, the WDD test is not applicable.

  7. This while keeping the outer rim of the control area and, consequently, changes in displacement area resulted in a larger, respectively, smaller control area.

  8. According to Insurance Sweden (2018), almost all (96%) households have home insurance, and according to the Swedish Crime Survey, approximately 90% of all residential burglaries are reported to the police (Söderström et al. 2018).

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Funding

The study has in part been funded by The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (ref 5.1-0212/15).

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Correspondence to Karl Kronkvist.

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Kronkvist, K., Ivert, AK. A winning BID? The effects of a BID-inspired property owner collaboration on neighbourhood crime rates in Malmö, Sweden. Crime Prev Community Saf 22, 134–152 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41300-020-00088-5

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Keywords

  • Business improvement district
  • Crime prevention
  • Property owner collaboration
  • Residential neighbourhood