Across developed polities, there is growing evidence of the spatial reordering of poverty and of its detrimental impact on the life chances of poorer people. This paper extends this body of research, via a comparative case study of two cities in the United Kingdom, by unravelling the interplay of policies shaping the changing morphology of poverty. It progresses to examine the significance of the changing centralisation and segregation of poverty on neighbourhood inequalities in the exposure to crime, probing the relevance of urban criminological tool sets to account for the spatial patterning of crime.

It achieves this through interweaving fifteen years of data on poverty and police recorded crime with accounts of the policies and interventions that have sought to reshape and address their manifestation. Though the cities exhibit distinct trajectories, we find evidence of both the decentralisation of poverty and of decreasing segregation in contrast to previous studies. Poverty and crime patterns are converging in the neighbourhoods closest to, but less so in the neighbourhoods furthest away from, city centres. We discuss the relevance of these findings for research seeking to understand the spatial reordering of poverty and neighbourhood inequality in the exposure to crime.

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