• Bruce J. Doran
  • Melissa B. Burgess
Part of the Springer Series on Evidence-Based Crime Policy book series (SSEBCP)


To varying degrees, the fear of crime is something that all people have to contend with. For some it impacts upon their lives on a daily basis, while for others its influence is more intermittent. Researchers have consistently found the fear of crime to have a disturbing influence on society at the individual and community levels. Fear of crime prompts people to adopt protective and avoidance behaviours to cope with the perceived threat of crime. These responses have a direct bearing on the quality of people’s lives. One of the most frequently quoted statements used to describe the negative influence of fear of crime is that it results in people becoming prisoners in their own homes. The influence of fear of crime, however, goes far beyond this. By restricting their activities to times and places in which they feel safe, people forego opportunities be they financial or recreational. When these behavioural responses are viewed in a broader context, they constitute a social and physical withdrawal from the community. This has a range of implications, one of the most significant being the creation of conditions under which crime itself has the potential to flourish. In essence, the fear of crime can be seen as a form of social exclusion because it restricts members of society from accessing resources and opportunities to which they have a right. As such, it is deserving of the substantial attention it has received to date in research and policy circles.


International Crime Victimization Survey Public Opinion Poll Policy Circle Paradoxical Nature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Balkin, S. (1979). “Victimization rates, safety and fear of crime”. Social Problems 26(3): 343–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borooah, V. and C. Carcach (1997). “Crime and fear. Evidence from Australia”. The British Journal of Criminology 37(4): 635–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Box, S., C. Hale, et al. (1988). “Explaining fear of crime”. The British Journal of Criminology 37(4): 340–356.Google Scholar
  4. Brooks, J. (1974). “The fear of crime in the United States.” Crime and Delinquency 20: 241–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, M. and K. Polk (1996). “Taking fear of crime seriously: the Tasmanian approach to community crime prevention”. Crime and Delinquency 42(3): 398–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chadee, D. and J. Ditton (2003). “Are older people most afraid of crime? Revisiting Ferraro and LaGrange in Trinidad”. The British Journal of Criminology 43(2): 417–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, J. (2003). “Fear in fear-of-crime”. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 102(267–282).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clemente, F. (1977). “Fear of crime in the United States: a multivariate analysis”. Social Forces 56(2): 519.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, L. E. and M. Felson (1979). “Social change and crime rate trends: a routine activity approach”. American Sociological Review 44: 588–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Conklin, J. E. (1971). “Dimensions of community response to the crime problem”. Social Problems 18: 373–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Covington, J. and R. B. Taylor (1991). “Fear of crime in urban residential neighbourhoods: implications between – and within – neighbourhood sources for current models”. The Sociological Quarterly 32(2): 231–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doeksen, H. (1997). “Reducing crime and the fear of crime by reclaiming New Zealand’s suburban street”. Landscape and Urban Planning 39(2–3): 243–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Erskine, H. (1974). “The polls: fear of violence and crime”. Public Opinion Quarterly 38(1): 131–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Farrall, S., J. Bannister, et al. (1997). “Questioning the measurement of the ‘fear of crime’: findings from a major methodological study”. The British Journal of Criminology 37(4): 658–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Farrall, S., J. Bannister, et al. (2000). “Social psychology and the fear of crime”. The British Journal of Criminology 40(3): 399–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fishman, G. and G. S. Mesch (1996). “Fear of crime in Israel: a multidimensional approach”. Social Science Quarterly 77(1): 76–89.Google Scholar
  17. Furstenberg, F. F., Jr. (1971). Public reaction to crime in the streets “The American Scholar”. The fear of crime. J. Ditton and S. Farrall (Eds.). Ashgate, Aldershot: 3–12.Google Scholar
  18. Garofalo, J. (1981). “The fear of crime: causes and consequences”. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 72(2): 839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grabosky, P. N. (1995). “Fear of crime, and fear reduction strategies”. Current Issues in Criminal Justice 7(1): 7–19.Google Scholar
  20. Hale, C. (1996). “Fear of crime: a review of the literature”. International Review of Victimology 4: 79–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hanson, R. F., D. W. Smith, D. G. Kilpatrick and J. R. Freedy (2000). “Crime-related fears and demographic diversity in Los Angeles county after the 1992 civil disturbances”. Journal of Community Psychology 28(6): 607–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hartnagel, T. F. (1979). “The perception and fear of crime: implications for neighbourhood cohesion, social activity and community affect”. Social Forces 58(1): 176–193.Google Scholar
  23. Hollway, W. and T. Jefferson (1997). “The risk society in an age of anxiety: situating fear of crime”. The British Journal of Sociology 48(2): 255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Joseph, J. (1997). “Fear of crime among black elderly”. Journal of Black Studies 27(5): 698–717.Google Scholar
  25. Karakus, O., E. F. McGarrell, et al. (2010). “Fear of crime among citizens of Turkey.” Journal of Criminal Justice 38(2): 174–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keane, C. (1998). “Evaluating the influence of fear of crime as an environmental mobility restrictor on women’s routine activities”. Environment and Behavior 30(1): 60–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kelling, G. L. and C. M. Coles (1997). Fixing broken windows: restoring order and reducing crime in our communities. New York, NY, Touchstone.Google Scholar
  28. Killias, M. and C. Clerici (2000). “Different measures of vulnerability in their relation to different dimensions of fear of crime”. The British Journal of Criminology 40(3): 437–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Koskela, H. (1999). “Gendered exclusions: women’s fear of violence and changing relations to space”. Geografiska Annaler 81B(2): 111–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Koskela, H. and R. Pain (2000). “Revisiting fear and place: women’s fear of attack and the built environment”. Geoforum 31(2): 269–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liska, A. E., A. Sanchirico, et al. (1988). “Fear of crime and constrained behavior specifying and estimating a reciprocal effects model”. Social Forces 66(3): 827–838.Google Scholar
  32. Lupton, D. and J. Tulloch (1999). “Theorizing fear of crime: beyond the rational/irrational opposition”. The British Journal of Sociology 50(3): 507–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mayhew, P. and P. White. (1997). “Home Office Research and Statistics Directorate Findings No 57: The 1996 international crime victimisation survey.” From
  34. McIntyre, J. (1967). “Public attitudes toward crime and law enforcement”. The Annals of the American Academy (November): 34–46.Google Scholar
  35. Mirrlees-Black, C. and J. Allen (1998). Concern about crime: Findings from the 1998 British Crime Survey. Research Findings No 83. London, Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate.Google Scholar
  36. Nair, G., J. Ditton, et al. (1993). “Environmental improvements and the fear of crime: the sad case of the ‘Pond’ area in Glasgow”. The British Journal of Criminology 33(4): 555–561.Google Scholar
  37. National Campaign Against Violence and Crime (1998). Fear of crime – summary volume. Canberra, NCAVAC.Google Scholar
  38. Oc, T. and S. Tiesdell (1997). Safer city centres: reviving the public realm. London, Chapman.Google Scholar
  39. Pain, R. (1991). “Space, sexual violence and social control: integrating geographical and feminist analyses of women’s fear of crime.” Progress in Human Geography 15(4): 415–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pain, R. (2000). “Place, social relations and the fear of crime: a review.” Progress in Human Geography 24(3): 365–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pain, R. H. (1997). “ ‘Old age’ and ageism in urban research: the case of fear of crime”. International Journal of Urban & Regional Research 21(1): 117–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Painter, K. (1996). “The influence of street lighting improvements on crime, fear and pedestrian street use, after dark”. Landscape and Urban Planning 35(2–3): 193–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Perkins, D. D. and R. B. Taylor (1996). “Ecological assessments of community disorder: their relationship to fear of crime and theoretical implications”. American Journal of Community Psychology 24(1): 63–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Poveda, T. G. (1972). “The fear of crime in a small American town”. Crime and Delinquency 18(2): 147–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice (1967). The Challenge of Crime in Free Society. Washington United States Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  46. Reid, L., J. T. Roberts, et al. (1998). “Fear of crime and collective action: an analysis of coping strategies”. Sociological Inquiry 68(3): 312–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Scarborough, B. K., T. Z. Like-Haislip, et al. (2010). “Assessing the relationship between individual characteristics, neighborhood context, and fear of crime”. Journal of Criminal Justice 38(4): 819–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Smith, S. J. (1987). “Fear of crime: beyond a geography of deviance”. Progress in Human Geography 11: 1–23.Google Scholar
  49. Smith, W. R. and M. Tortensson (1997). “Gender differences in risk perception and neutralising fear of crime”. The British Journal of Criminology 37(4): 603–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Taylor, R. B. and J. Covington (1993). “Community structural change and fear of crime”. Social Problems 40(3): 374–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Taylor, R. and M. Hale (1986). “Criminology: testing alternative models of fear of crime”. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 77: 151–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Thomas, C. and R. Bromley (2000). “City-centre revitalisation: problems of fragmentation and fear in the evening and night-time city”. Urban Studies 37(8): 1403–1429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Thomas, C. W. and J. M. Hyman (1977). “Perceptions of crime, fear of victimization and public perceptions of police performance”. Journal of Police Science and Administration 5(3): 305–317.Google Scholar
  54. Tulloch, M. (2000). “The meaning of age differences in the fear of crime.” The British Journal of Criminology 40(3): 451–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tulloch, J., D. Lupton, et al. (1998). Fear of crime volume one. Canberra, Centre for Cross Cultural Research.Google Scholar
  56. Valentine, G. (1989). “The geography of women’s fear”. Area 21(4): 385–390.Google Scholar
  57. van der Wuff, A., L. van Staaldiunen, et al. (1989). Fear of crime in residential environments: testing a social psychological model. The fear of crime. J. Ditton and S. Farrall (Eds.). Ashgate, Aldershot: 395–414.Google Scholar
  58. Walklate, S. (1998). “Crime and community: fear or trust?”. The British Journal of Sociology 49(4): 550–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Warr, M. (1984). “Fear of victimization: why are women and the elderly more afraid”. Social Science Quarterly 65(3): 681–702.Google Scholar
  60. Warr, M. (2000). “Fear of crime in the United States: avenues for research and policy.” Criminal Justice 4: 452–489.Google Scholar
  61. Warr, M. and C. G. Ellison (2000). “Rethinking social reactions to crime: personal and altruistic fear in family households”. American Journal of Sociology 106(3): 551–578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wilson-Doenges, G. (2000). “An exploration of sense of community and fear of crime in gated communities”. Environment and Behavior 32(5): 597–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zhang, L. N., S. F. Messner, et al. (2009). “Guanxi and fear of crime in contemporary urban China”. The British Journal of Criminology 49(4): 472–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fenner School of Environment & Society, The Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations