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NCJ Number: 134299 Find in a Library
Title: Local Crime as a Nature Hazard: Implications for Understanding the Relationship Between Disorder and Fear of Crime
Journal: American Journal of Community Psychology  Volume:18  Issue:5  Dated:(1990)  Pages:619-641
Author(s): R B Taylor; S A Shumaker
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 23
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Local crime rates are similar to natural hazards in several objective and subjective features which may help to explain the loose relationship between crime and fear of crime at the local level.
Abstract: Common objective characteristics of local crime and natural hazards are rarity, ecological patterning in terms of space and time, unpredictable intervals between events, and an inverse relationship between the seriousness and frequency of the event. However, natural hazards differ from crime in that victims can sometimes be forewarned and the damage occurs to a large number of people during a short time period. Perceptions of hazards and crimes also contain several similarities. Thus, rare and memorable events are overestimated, common and minor events are underestimated, and people are unrealistically optimistic regarding their risks of victimization. These points and the empirical results on the subject indicate the need for policymakers to be aware that focused crime prevention efforts may increase fear levels and that an approach focused on social problems may be more useful in higher crime areas than are victimization prevention strategies such as Block Watch. Footnotes, figure, and 61 references
Main Term(s): Fear of crime; Risk management
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Disaster procedures; Public Opinion of Crime
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