Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 575–590 | Cite as

Vulnerability and fear of crime among elderly citizens: what roles do neighborhood and health play?

  • Michael HanslmaierEmail author
  • Andreas Peter
  • Brigitte Kaiser


Research on fear of crime has often found that elderly are more afraid of crime. The present paper analyzes predictors of fear of crime among the elderly using the concept of vulnerability. With survey data from Munich, Germany, (N = 2203; ages 55–75 years) we can assess a broad range of physical and social vulnerability dimensions including the role of one’s neighborhood. The results show that females and persons with bad health feel less safe. Education and place attachment reduce fear. Perceived neighborhood disorder increases feelings of insecurity. Also the urban design of the neighborhood is related to fear, however, the explanation for these findings are only partly due to walkability and natural surveillance. The results make clear that the elderly should not be treated as a homogenous group, vulnerability dimensions seem to be more important for fear of crime than age. Furthermore, the findings stress the neighborhood as central place for measures to fight fear of crime.


Fear of crime Feelings of safety Disorder Vulnerability Health Neighborhoods Aging 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hanslmaier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas Peter
    • 1
  • Brigitte Kaiser
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Urban PlanningCity of MunichMunichGermany

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