What you know or whom you know? Social capital and its influence on fear of crime and confidence in police

McNamara, Terence (2010) What you know or whom you know? Social capital and its influence on fear of crime and confidence in police. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Research has shown that it is perceptions of the physical and social environment that influence fear of crime rather than actual crime rates. This has led to the “reassurance gap” where fear of crime has remains high despite falling crime levels. Various policies, such as the National Reassurance Policing Programme, have been introduced in an attempt to close to close this gap and increase confidence in police forces. However, it would appear that both fear and confidence in police are closely linked to non-criminal factors within neighbourhoods, such as support networks, the strength of local institutions and shared values of trust and reciprocity. In other words, it is the level of “social capital” within communities that will determine levels of fear of crime and confidence in the police. This research consists of an examination of the influences on fear of crime and confidence in police through a critical analysis of the existing literature on the subjects. It will be argued that general satisfaction with one’s neighbourhood is an important predictor of fear of crime and confidence in police. Although government has a major part to play in addressing the systemic failings that cause dissatisfaction, such as inequality, police forces should, nonetheless, be an active part of the community, defending community values and norms and exploring initiatives for improving neighbourhood satisfaction within neighbourhood partnerships.

    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 12:49
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:16
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/921

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