Crime & Justice Policy

A spatial and temporal examination of housing demolitions on crime in Los Angeles blocks

Kim, Y.A.; Wo, J.


The current study examines the associations between demolition and crime in Los Angeles blocks. Also, the current study examines how different types of demolitions (residential and commercial) can have different effects on crime in place. We utilized a weekly dataset of demolitions and crime in the city of Los Angeles, California from 2013 to 2016. We estimated longitudinal logistic regression models including measures of completed and permitted demolitions, while accounting for other structural characteristic measures. We found that completed demolitions in the focal block are not associated with most types of crime, while demolition permits have a crime-reducing effect on burglary, but crime-enhancing effect on larceny. We also found that the notice of a residential demolition permit reduces burglary one week later, but not for a commercial demolition permit. The current study contributes to the extant literature by revealing the nuances surrounding the demolition and crime process in blocks, in terms of demolition stages (permitted and completed), demolition type (residential and commercial), and crime types.