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: 70006 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Fear in the Neighborhoods - An Investigation of the Impact of Crime
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(July 1980)  Pages:160-189
Author(s): D A Lewis; M G Maxfield
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 76-NI-AX-0057
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Residents in four Chicago neighborhoods were surveyed by field observations and by telephone to determine the relationship between fear of crime, official crime rates, and indicators of incivility.
Abstract: Data were derived from three principal sources: (1) field observations in each neighborhood over 14 months in 1976-77, (2) telephone surveys of random samples of residents in each neighborhood conducted in the fall of 1977, and (3) official crime rates in the neighborhoods for 1976 for the crimes of rape, assault, robbery, and burglary. Interviews designed to provide street-level knowledge of neighborhood characteristics and problems were conducted with residents, officials, and community leaders in each neighborhood. In addition to the qualitative information from the field observations, the demographic characteristics of the neighborhoods were compared using data provided by respondents to the telephone survey. Results showed several anomalies. Citizens' perceptions of dangerous areas in their neighborhoods matched for the most part official records of crimes committed there. However, assessments of neighborhoods' specific crime problems and personal risks did not consistently correspond with official statistics. Consequently, it is contended that citizens' perceptions of crime are shaped not so much by the neighborhood conditions reflected in the crime statistics, but rather by the level of incivility in their communities. Indicators of incivility are abandoned buildings, vandalism, drug use, and loitering teenagers. A correspondence between levels of fear and concern about incivility is demonstrated. It is suggested that fear of crime is triggered by a broad range of neighborhood conditions; and that attempts to understand and control that fear should look beyond serious crime incidents as the sole source of the problem. Tables, figures, footnotes, and 15 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Citizen crime tolerance; Crime rate studies; Fear of crime; Illinois; Urban area studies
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.