Estimating crime in place: Moving beyond residence location

Alexandru Cernat, David Buil-Gil, Ian Brunton-Smith, Jose Pina-Sánchez, Marta Murrià-Sangenís

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We assess if asking victims about the places where crimes happen leads to estimates of “crime in place” with better measurement properties. We analyze data from the Barcelona Victimization Survey (2015–2020) aggregated in 73 neighborhoods using longitudinal quasi-simplex models and criterion validity to estimate the quality of four types of survey-based measures of crime. The distribution of survey-based offense location estimates, as opposed to victim residence estimates, is highly similar to police-recorded crime statistics, and there is little trade off in terms of the reliability and validity of offense location and victim residence measures. Estimates of crimes reported to the police show a better validity, but their reliability is lower and capture fewer crimes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2061–2091
Number of pages31
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number11
Early online date30 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2021


  • Measurement error
  • Reporting
  • Crime mapping
  • Police data
  • Crime surveys
  • Barcelona
  • measurement error
  • police data
  • crime mapping
  • crime surveys
  • reporting


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