Searching for Safety: Violent Crime Control and Strain Reduction in the Era of Google
Megan Stubbs-Richardson, Austin Cosby, Karissa Bergene, and Arthur Cosby
The role of the Internet and its effect on crime trends is largely unknown. Researchers have documented how the Internet presents opportunities for cybercrime, with little research considering its role in crime prevention. However, one study found Google searches for crime prevention to be associated with property crime reduction in the U.S. (Stubbs-Richardson, Cosby, Bergene, & Cosby). Using the publicly available data sources Google Correlate and Uniform Crime Reports of violent crime, this work extends previous research by investigating whether crime prevention searches are associated with violent crime reductions at the state-level. The present study’s data collection is informed via situational crime prevention, community and crime, and General Strain Theory. Results show significant associations between violent crime reduction and crime prevention searches.