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Introduction

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

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

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