skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 114602 Find in a Library
Title: Explaining Fear of Crime: Evidence From the 1984 British Crime Survey
Author(s): M Maxfield
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
Research and Planning Unit
Information Section
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 78
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London, SW1H 9AT, England
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Data from the 1984 British Crime Survey forms the basis of this analysis and testing of a model showing the most probable sources and consequences of citizens' fear of crime.
Abstract: The analysis showed that people who believe themselves to be at higher risk of victimization worry more often about crime and more often feel unsafe when out alone at night. People also overestimate both the neighborhood and personal risks of burglary and mugging. However, some perceptions are accurate. For example, citizens view property crime as more prevalent than personal crime, and people living in the areas with the most recorded crime perceive the highest risks of victimization. Worry about burglary most closely followed the model's predictions in that people who felt that burglary was a serious crime and believed their risks of victimization to be higher were more inclined to worry about the possibility of being burglarized. Fear was linked to behavior and anxiety about personal safety on the streets at night and prompted many people to take precautions against crime. However, older people and women both feel least safe on neighborhood streets and normally go out less at night for leisure activities. Findings strongly supported the desirability of providing the public with accurate information about the actual risks of crime, because this information is likely to reduce fear. Figures, tables, 16 references, and a list of other Home Office research reports.
Main Term(s): Fear of crime
Index Term(s): Citizen crime precautions; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Public Opinion of Crime; Victim program surveys
Note: Research and Planning Unit Paper 43
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.