Understanding the causes of the fear of crime in Fryerns, Basildon, Essex, with the intention of developing fear of crime reduction strategies.

Mason, Maurice (2009) Understanding the causes of the fear of crime in Fryerns, Basildon, Essex, with the intention of developing fear of crime reduction strategies. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Even though crime has fallen over the past 25 years, people have perceived crime to be increasing (Cabinet Office, 2008, p. 94). Before effective fear of crime policing strategies can be implemented, it is necessary for the causes of fear of crime within a particular area to be understood. Once an understanding has been achieved then tailored policing strategies can be implemented to reduce fear of crime levels. There has been much debate as to what causes fear of crime, including victimisation (Skogan, 1987 ; Agnew, 1985 ; Miethe & Lee, 1984), vulnerability (Killias, 1990), psychological behavioural traits ( Gabriel & Grieve, 2003), media amplification (Pidgeon, Kasperson & Slovic, 2003), levels of social cohesion and disorder (Warr & Stafford ,1983 ; Sampson & Raudenbush, 1997; Tulloch, 2003) and physical environment (Wilson & Kelling, 1982; Innes ,2004a ; Jackson, 2004 ;Warr, 1990). This research will utilise the academic theory as a foundation to understand the causes of the fear of crime in Fryerns, Basildon, Essex. It involved postal, telephone and doorstep surveys together with semi-structured interviews and incorporated the collation and analysis of secondary crime and disorder data. The surveys and interviews investigated the causes of fear of crime, and respondents were asked what policing strategies they would like their local police to adopt to maximise feelings of security. The research suggests victims of burglary and vehicle crime are more fearful. Women are more fearful than men except when the fear of crime is localised in which case parity exists. The media contributes to enhanced fear of crime, together with people who are anxious by disposition. Community efficacy and networks reduce fear levels but the perception of strangers stimulates fear of crime levels. People worry more about anti-social behaviour than serious crimes, and anti-social behaviour was respondents’ main policing priority. Environmental factors such as poor lighting and dog fouling stimulate fear levels but the presence of graffiti did not. Confidence in the police to do a good job was found to reduce fear of crime levels. Building on this analysis recommendation will be made to assist with the development of fear of crime strategies that meet the needs of the Fryerns community.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/754

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