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Las Vegas Crime Zones

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    In crime prevention, punishment in varying forms and degrees are implemented with the impression that such actions are a social and moral deterrent to criminal behavior which will thereby limit violence in a society. In the last 20 years, several approaches were advanced in an effort to provide behavioral modification to a multi-disciplinary approach that prevents the incidence of criminal deviation. Before a certain crime occurs in a society, authorities are enhanced to take action instead of allowing punishable behavior to prosper.

    Criminal justice functions in a way that promotes concern for everyone by lodging on preventive theories and focusing on the individual capacity to control and restrain errant behavior. This is the essence of a healthy society that does not disregard common morals and conventions for personal gain or for retribution. Intelligence operations has indulged and expanded to have a better control over security measures that ensure the civilian safety. In the face of a diverse population this might be quite impossible however achievable with the help of certain theories that focus on the consequences of urbanization relative to crime patterns and incidence.

      Parks and Burgess’ Concentric Zone Theory of cultural group invasion, dominance and succession describe the contemporary urbanization of American cities.  These five concentric zones when applied to Las Vegas lay the central business district. Without necessarily following the circular pattern of a Concentric Zone, Zone II will consist of a huge number of lower-income migrants in a high level of transition area. This area will easily be identified as the outlying suburbs where crowded housing exists closer to the where the industrial jobs are.

    The middle class will lived respectively in Zones III and IV with rich families moving outward into Zone V and avoiding an industrial expansion.  Park and Burgess’ work were focused on the process and results of city growth, but using this theory in the interest of crime-identification may present features that will link to crime incidence.  Using this theory and in analysis, we will be determined to understand that highest rates of delinquency is relatively increased in areas around the  center of downtown Las Vegas and in between Nellis Air Force Base and Cheyenne Avenue where poverty and ethnic heterogeneity exists. Shaw (1972) found that external social structure and cultural factors showed delinquent crime was correlated to places, rather than to the people who lived there.

     As industrialization sets in more people are attracted to industrial jobs and so many Americans and ethnic groups migrated to underlying urban areas looking for factory work.  Las Vegas, as a well-planned neighborhood never originally constructed to house many people but is currently stretched to accommodate newcomers. Crime-laden areas in North Las Vegas lie nearer to the downtown portion along Craigmont Villas and the Freemont. Prostitution abound coupled with narcotics trading.

    Another identified crime zone would be the South Central area where robberies in this part of town are higher than anywhere else in the valley. Nearer to the hotel districts, such findings are relative to Shaw’s idea that the type of environment also affects the actions of criminal behavior. For law enforcement, declaring these known areas as an anti-crime zone would necessarily increase surveillance and alert around the questionable neighborhood. The neighborhood would also be alerted to criminal elements and would increase security and safety measures to life and property.

    A proposal to order crime suspects to leave a known crime zone residence is impossible but heightened police presence will necessary push the crime to another area. Crime often take incidence in a crime-conducive area, thereby making it less conducive to criminality should be the main goal of a police department aiming for social organization. Community structure would necessarily explain how poverty  is fostered near the downtown areas proximal to the new industrial zones however the presence of neighborhood organizations like schools which is abundant around Craig Road and Craigmont Villas question how crime abounds around a district where community-wide youth supervision is enhanced. The general principle around Parks and Burgess’s work along with Shaw may not fully and generally be applied to contemporary Las Vegas more particularly in the Northern part of the city.

    Shaw’s findings showed delinquency rates when moving away from the center of the zone. In Craigmont Villas, this area is applicable to Park and Burgess’ identification of an underlying area nearer to an industrial zone. The presence of supportive foundations for the youth around this crime district seeks to question how delinquency is abundant in this environment. Most likely, the presence of criminal elements around the neighborhood abound making it a district which could gain a positive change should a police network work hand in hand with neighborhood organizations like schools and church-based organizations that would help mediate against juvenile crime.

     Characteristics of criminal errant behavior has been described in Shaw as features of social disorganization brought about by weaker community structures such as poverty and delinquent behavior. Environment plays a major role where ethnic heterogeneity and residential mobility often provides a stable explanation over variations in crime and violence rates. In the first area, identified as the Northern part of Las Vegas,   criminal role models abound around the Craigmont Villas making the area quite conducive to criminality.  Residents in this area complain but do not work together to solve problems their existing problems which is making them a target for violence.

    The moral fabric of individuals around this area and not the social and economic structure of the society is the root of the problem. I believe that the crime incidence is brought about by the neighborhood level and belief. While crime incidence in the Southern part of Las Vegas is owed to economic relevance making an area appealing to robberies which is the main crime of the district.  I believe that any urban theory is out-of-date because Parks and Burgess’ concentric zones have diminished.

    Although the rule of nature may still apply in ecosystems of high concentration of people in a particular area coupled by similar characteristics of need and poverty, survival skills are still being employed where a common disorganization is observed. This may not necessarily lead to a deviant behavior but should be a common cause for concern among law enforcement when fielding surveillance authorities in problem areas. Police presence still ahs an important role of crime deterrent and the recognition of crime zones would best aid law enforcement to apply methods that promote a positive organized structure in the community. Works Cited   Park, Robert & Burgess, Ernest W.

    (1921). Introduction to the Science of Sociology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (3rd revised ed.

    1969).Park, Robert E., Burgess, Ernest W. & McKenzie, R.

    D. (1967). The City: Suggestions for Investigation of Human Behavior in the Urban Environment. Chicago: University of Chicago.

    Shaw, Clifford R. & Henry McKay. (1972). Juvenile delinquency and urban areas.

    Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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