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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220705 
Title: British Crime Survey and the Fear of Crime (From Surveying Crime in the 21st Century, P 223-241, 2007, Mike Hough and Mike Maxfield, eds., -- See NCJ-220695)
Author(s): Jason Ditton; Stephen Farrall
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Press/Willow Tree Press
Monsey, NY 10952
Sale Source: Criminal Justice Press/Willow Tree Press
P.O. Box 249
Monsey, NY 10952
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The chapter examines the British Crime Survey (BCS) as the lead provider of national fear of crime data in the United Kingdom since 1982.
Abstract: There are three basic problems with the type of questions used in the BCS: too many questions yield only nominal or qualitative data which is impossible to test the association of it with other data, except by assessing the probability that an association is by chance; second, the attitudes are measured with single questions; and third, the BCS questionnaire commits the most basic sin of design as it frequently asks the respondent to do the analysis. Fear of crime has never been adequately conceptualized and measurement methods appear increasingly outmoded. The BCS has been more data-driven than theory guided. Some steps towards the development of a coherent testable model were taken initially and are being explored with considerable success. The collection on data regarding fear of crime were analyzed by experts on fear rather than by experts of crime who determined that there is no perfect survey question, and that there are a number of routinely encountered problems relating to those questions that ask about the fear of crime. The chapter outlines deficiencies in the BCS, suggests more sophisticated questions that might remedy the situation in the future, and explains the essential need to develop more sensitive measures of fear since it has become a Key Performance Indicator for the police and others. Alternatives to the repeat cross-sectional approach are suggested and the benefits outlined. New subjects for future questioning are discussed. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Crime surveys; Fear of crime; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Survey texts
Index Term(s): Crime measurement; Evaluation measures; Performance Measures; Testing and measurement
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