Managing Fear of Crime

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


It is frequently argued that one of the fundamental components of criminology is its role of providing useful information to inform crime prevention policy (e.g. Cozens et al., 2001; Koskela and Pain, 2000). Crime prevention policies and procedures are those designed to reduce actual and perceived levels of crime (Wagner, 1997). The responsibility of addressing fear of crime generally falls upon police services but is recognized as a serious issue for many other organizations. While Stanko (2000) suggests crime and fear reduction is the responsibility of individuals, the focus of this chapter is to examine collective crime prevention initiatives. A collective response to crime involves any ‘activity in which unrelated individuals act jointly to do something about crime’ (Dubow et al., 1979). In the context of fear of crime, the challenges to successful collective action are diverse and complex. Research suggests that community involvement in fear-reduction strategies can help reduce the fear of crime experienced by members of the public and that the responsibility of addressing fear of crime should be taken up by a range of organizations.


Crime Prevention Gated Community Situational Crime Prevention Police Brutality Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design 
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. Adams, R. E., W. M. Rohe, et al. (2005). “Awareness of community-oriented policing and neighborhood perceptions in five small to midsize cities”. Journal of Criminal Justice 33(1): 43–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amnesty International. (1996a). “USA: police brutality widespread problem in New York City”. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from
  3. Amnesty International. (1996b). “United States of America: police brutality and excessive force in the New York City Police Department”. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from
  4. Ashby, D. I. and P. A. Longley (2005). “Geocomputation, Geodemographics and Resource Allocation for Local Policing”. Transactions in GIS 9(1): 53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baker, T. and L. Wolfer (2003). “The crime triangle: alcohol, drug use and vandalism”. Police Practice and Research 4(1): 47–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bennett, T. (1991). “The effectiveness of a police-initiated fear-reducing strategy.” British Journal of Criminology 31(1): 1–14.Google Scholar
  7. Blakely, E. J. and M. G. Snyder (1997). Fortress america: gated communities in the United States. Washington, DC, The Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  8. Borooah, V. and C. Carcach (1997). “Crime and fear. Evidence from Australia”. The British Journal of Criminology 37(4): 635–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowling, B. (1999). “The rise and fall of New York murder: zero tolerance or crack’s decline?”. The British Journal of Criminology 39(4): 531–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brantingham, P. L. and P. J. Brantingham (1993). “Nodes, Paths and Edges – Considerations on the Complexity of Crime and the Physical-Environment”. Journal of Environmental Psychology 13(1): 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bratton, W. J. (1995). Great expectations: how higher expectations for police departments can lead to a decrease in crime. Paper presented to the National Institute of Justice Policing Research InstituteMeasuring what matters conference”. Washington DC, 28 November.Google Scholar
  12. Bratton, W. J. (1996). Cutting crime and restoring order: what America can learn from New York’s finest. Heritage Lecture 573.Google Scholar
  13. 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
  14. Cameron, D. (2002). “News and features – respect family – Moroney’s crime fighting motto” The Sydney Morning Herald, July 2, 2002.Google Scholar
  15. Centre for Problem-Oriented Policing (CPOP). (2003). “What is Problem-Oriented Policing?” Retrieved 19/04/2006, 2006, from;;;
  16. City of San Diego. (2011). “Police Department: Mission Statement”. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from
  17. Cordner, G. W. (1986). “Fear of crime and the police: an evaluation of a fear reduction strategy”. Journal of Police Science and Administration 14(3): 223–233.Google Scholar
  18. Cozens, P., D. Hillier, et al. (2001). “Crime and the design of residential property – exploring the perceptions of planning professional, burglars and other users part 2”. Property Management 19(4): 222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Crank, J. P., A. Giacomazzi, et al. (2003). “Fear of crime in a nonurban setting”. Journal of Criminal Justice 31(3): 249–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Crowe, T. D. (1991). “Safer Schools by Design”. Security Management 35(9): 81.Google Scholar
  21. Davis, M. (1990). City of quartz: excavating the future in Los Angeles. New York, NY, Verso.Google Scholar
  22. Davis, M. (1998). Ecology of fear: Los Angeles and the imagination of disaster. New York, NY, Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
  23. Department for Transport Urban Planning and the Arts (DTUPA) (2002). Crime prevention through environmental design and urban design: Design Issues for safe neighbourhoods. Adelaide.Google Scholar
  24. Dietz, A. S. (1997). “Evaluating community policing: quality police service and fear of crime”. Policing 20(1): 83.Google Scholar
  25. Ditton, J. (2000). “Crime and the city.” The British Journal of Criminology 40(4): 692–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dixon, J. (1995). Creating safer communities. Australian violence: contemporary perspectives II. D. Chappell and S. Egger (Eds.). Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra: 339–346.Google Scholar
  27. 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
  28. Dubow, F., E. McCabe, et al. (1979). Reactions to crime: a critical review of the literature. US department of justice and LEA administration. Washington, DC, Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  29. Garofalo, J. (1979). “Victimisation and the fear of crime”. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 16: 80–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Glenorchy City Council. (2011). “Police Tasmania – Launceston”. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from
  31. Glensor, R. W. and K. Peak (1996). “Implementing change: Community-oriented policing and problem solving”. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 65(7): 14.Google Scholar
  32. Goldstein, H. (1979). “Improving Policing: A Problem Oriented Approach”. Crime and Delinquency 25: 236–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Grabosky, P. N. (1995). “Fear of crime, and fear reduction strategies”. Current Issues in Criminal Justice 7(1): 7–19.Google Scholar
  34. Greene, J. (1999). “Zero Tolerance: A case study of police policies and practices in New York City”. Crime and Delinquency 45(2): 171–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Harcourt, B. E. (1998). “Reflecting on the subject: a critique of the social influence conception and deterence, the broken windows theory, and order maintenance policing New York style”. Michigan Law Review 97(2): 291–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Helsley, R. W. and W. C. Strange (1999). “Gated communities and the economic geography of crime”. Journal of Urban Economics 4: 80–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Herbert, D. and N. Davidson (1994). “Modifying the built environment: the impact of improved street lighting”. Geoform 25(3): 339–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Innes, M., N. Fielding, et al. (2002). Signal crime and control signals: Towards an evidence based framework for reassurance policing. Guilford, University of Surrey.Google Scholar
  39. Jackson, J. and E. Gray (2010). “Functional fear and public insecurities about crime.” British Journal of Criminology 50(1): 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Jacobs, J. (1961). The death and life of Great American cities. New York, NY, Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  41. Jeffery (1971). Crime prevention through environmental design. Beverly Hills, CA, Sage.Google Scholar
  42. John Howard Society of Alabama (JHSA) (1999). Fear of crime. Alabama, John Howard Society of Alabama.Google Scholar
  43. Katz, C. M., V. J. Webb, et al. (2003). “Fear of gangs: A test of alternative theoretical models”. Justice Quarterly 20(1): 95–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 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
  45. Kenney, D. J. (1987). Crime, fear and the New York subways: the role of citizen action. New York, NY, Prager.Google Scholar
  46. Kitchen, T. (2002). “Crime Prevention and the British Planning System: New Responsibilities and Older Challenges”. Planning Theory and Practice 3: 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 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
  48. Lawton, B. A., R. Taylor, et al. (2005). “Police officers on drug corners in Philadelphia, drug crime, and violent crime: intended, data fusion, and displacement impacts”. Justice quarterly 22(4).Google Scholar
  49. Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). (2011). “The Mission Statement of the LAPD”. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from
  50. Lymes, D. (1997). “The fortification of suburbia: investigating the rise of enclave communities”. Landscape and Urban Planning 39: 187–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Millie, A. and V. Herrington (2005). “Bridging the gap: understanding reassurance policing.” The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 44(1): 41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Milton Keynes Police. (2011). “MK Police Intro – Police Aims”. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from
  53. 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
  54. New York Police Department (NYPD). (2011). “About NYPD – Mission and Values”. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from
  55. Newman, O. (1972). Defensible space: crime prevention through urban design. New York, NY, Macmillan.Google Scholar
  56. Novak, K. J., J. L. Hartman, et al. (1999). “The effects of aggressive policing of disorder on serious crime”. Policing 22(2): 171–190.Google Scholar
  57. NSW Police Force. (2011). “Profile Of Wollongong Local Area Command”. Retrieved April 4th, 2011, from
  58. Oc, T. and S. Tiesdell (1997). Safer city centres: reviving the public realm. London, Chapman.Google Scholar
  59. 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
  60. Pollack, L. M. (1980). “Territoriality and fear of crime in elderly and nonelderly homeowners”. Journal of Social Psychology 111(1): 119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ross, C. E. and J. Mirowsky (1999). “Disorder and decay: The concept and measurement of perceived neighborhood disorder”. Urban Affairs Review 34(3): 412–433.Google Scholar
  62. Salmi, S., M. Gronroos, et al. (2004). “The role of police visibility in fear of crime in Finland”. Policing-an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 27(4): 573–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schweitzer, J. H., J. W. Kim, et al. (1999). “The impact of the built environment on crime and fear of crime in urban neighborhoods”. Journal of Urban Technology 6(3): 59–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sims, B., M. Hooper, et al. (2002). “Determinants of citizens’ attitudes toward police – Results of the Harrisburg Citizen Survey – 1999”. Policing-an International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 25(3): 457–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Skogan, W. G. (1986). Fear of crime and neighbourhood change. Communities and crime. A. J. Reiss and M. Tonry (Eds.). University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL: 203–230.Google Scholar
  66. Skogan, W. G. (1990). Disorder and decline: crime and the spiral decay in American neighbourhoods. Los Angeles, CA, University of California Press.Google Scholar
  67. Skogan, W. G. and S. M. Hartnett (1997). Community policing, Chicago style. New York and London, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Skogan, W. G. and M. G. Maxfield (1981). Coping with crime: individual and neighborhood reactions. Beverly Hills, CA, Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  69. Smith, S. J. (1987). “Fear of crime: beyond a geography of deviance”. Progress in Human Geography 11: 1–23.Google Scholar
  70. Spelman, W. (2004). “Optimal targeting of incivility-reduction strategies.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 20(1): 63–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Stanko, E. A. (1995). “Women, crime and fear”. Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science 539: 46–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stanko, E. A. (2000). Victims R Us: the life history of fear of crime and the politicisation of violence. Crime, risk and insecurity. T. Hope and R. Sparks (Eds.). Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  73. Steventon, G. (1996). “Defensible space: a critical review of the theory and practice of a crime prevention strategy”. Urban Design 1(3): 235–245.Google Scholar
  74. Taylor, R. B. and S. D. Gottfredson (1986). Environmental design, crime and prevention: an examination of community dynamics. Communities and crime. A. J. Reiss and M. Tonry (Eds.). University of Chicago Press, Chicago: 387–416.Google Scholar
  75. 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
  76. Tiesdell, S. and T. Oc (1998). “Beyond ‘fortress’ and ‘panoptic’ cities – towards a safer urban public realm”. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 25: 639–655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Tulloch, J. (1998). Quantitative Review. Fear of crime. J. Tulloch, D. Lupton, W. Blood, et al. (Eds.). National Campaign Against Violence and Crime (NCAVAC), Canberra.Google Scholar
  78. Wagner, A. E. (1997). “A study of traffic pattern modifications in an urban crime prevention program”. Journal of Criminal Justice 25(1): 19–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Walklate, S. (2000). Trust and the problem of community in the inner-city. Crime, risk and insecurity. T. Hope and R. Sparks (Eds.). Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  80. Weisburd, D. and J. E. Eck (2004). “What can police do to reduce crime, disorder, and fear?” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 593: 42–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wikström, P. H. (1995). Preventing city center street crimes. Building a safer society: strategic approaches to crime prevention. M. Tonry and D. P. Farrington (Eds.). University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL: 429–468.Google Scholar
  82. Wilson, J. Q. and G. L. Kelling (1982, March). “The police and neighbourhood safety: broken windows”. The Atlantic Monthly: 29–38.Google Scholar
  83. 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
  84. Xu, Y., M. Fielder, et al. (2005). “Discovering the impact of community policing: the broken windows thesis, collective efficacy and citizen’s judgement”. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 42(2): 147–186.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