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NCJ Number: 200353 Find in a Library
Title: Fear of Crime in a Nonurban Setting
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:31  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2003  Pages:249-263
Author(s): John P. Crank; Andrew Giacomazzi; Cary Heck
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses crime perceptions in a non-urban setting.
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to assess citizens’ attitudes toward crime and disorder in order to assist local law enforcement in the development of crime prevention strategies. The first hypothesis was that perceptions of drug and gang problems were associated with a wide variety of police order and crime problems. The second hypothesis was that increases in problem perceptions were associated with fears of victimization. The third hypothesis was that fears of victimization were associated with declines in social and recreational activity frequency. And the fourth hypothesis was that perceptions of a high degree of social infrastructure would mitigate the effects of victimization fears on recreational activity frequency. A random survey was conducted to assist the Idaho Sheriff’s Office in its efforts to move toward a community policing model of service delivery. Findings supported the first and third hypotheses, but were mixed for the second and fourth hypotheses. Results show that residents seem to generalize from specific incidents they saw to all categories of troubling behavior. Residents did not confuse television with perceptions of crime in the areas where they lived. There were weak linkages between perceptions of crime and disorder problems, residents’ fears of crime, and concerns over safety. This finding was inconsistent with a “broken windows” model, which proposed that the presence of neighborhood crime and disorder problems would stimulate concerns over personal safety and fears of victimization. Concerns over personal safety and fear of victimization affected the extent to which respondents left their houses for either recreational or social reasons. Respondents that believed in a strong social control infrastructure were more likely to feel safe out-of-doors in their neighborhoods, even in the face of concerns over crime and disorder. The findings support policies that use the police to promote neighborhood meetings aimed at crime prevention and other types of mutually shared activities. 1 figure, 4 tables, appendix, 4 notes, 49 references
Main Term(s): Fear of crime; Public Opinion of Crime
Index Term(s): Citizen crime tolerance; Citizen grievances; Citizen reactions to crime; Community crime prevention programs; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Reactions to crime
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