American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 147–168 | Cite as

Emotional Fear of Crime vs. Perceived Safety and Risk: Implications for Measuring “Fear” and Testing the Broken Windows Thesis

  • Joshua C. Hinkle


Despite being a widely researched topic, there is a lack of consensus across studies in how fear of crime is measured. Scholars have often used perceived safety or risk as proxies for fear of crime, without acknowledging that these may be distinct constructs (which warrant their own study), and thus may not be adequate measures of emotional fear of crime. The current study examines the prevalence, frequency, and magnitude of “fear” estimated by a measure of emotional fear compared to measures of perceived safety and risk. In addition to comparing these measures, and providing a replication of work that to date has only been conducted in the UK, the current study specifically explores the implications of using different proxies of fear of crime for testing the broken windows thesis.


Fear of crime Perceived safety Perceived risk Broken windows Disorder Collective efficacy 



This research was supported in part by grant no. 2007-IJ-CX-0047 from the National Institute of Justice.


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Copyright information

© Southern Criminal Justice Association 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice and CriminologyGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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