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Do neighbourhoods generate fear of crime? An empirical test using the British Crime Survey

Brunton-Smith, Ian and Sturgis, Patrick (2011) Do neighbourhoods generate fear of crime? An empirical test using the British Crime Survey Criminology, 49, (2), pp. 331-369. (doi:10.1111/j.1745-9125.2011.00228.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

For a long time, criminologists have contended that neighborhoods are important determinants of how individuals perceive their risk of criminal victimization. Yet, despite the theoretical importance and policy relevance of these claims, the empirical evidence base is surprisingly thin and inconsistent. Drawing on data from a national probability sample of individuals, linked to independent measures of neighborhood demographic characteristics, visual signs of physical disorder, and reported crime, we test four hypotheses about the mechanisms through which neighborhoods influence fear of crime. Our large sample size, analytical approach, and the independence of our empirical measures enable us to overcome some of the limitations that have hampered much previous research into this question. We find that neighborhood structural characteristics, visual signs of disorder, and recorded crime all have direct and independent effects on individual-level fear of crime. Additionally, we demonstrate that individual differences in fear of crime are strongly moderated by neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics; between-group differences in expressed fear of crime are both exacerbated and ameliorated by the characteristics of the areas in which people live.

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Published date: 2011
Keywords: fear criminal victimization multilevel neighborhood effects
Organisations: Social Statistics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 182577
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/182577
ISSN: 0011-1384
PURE UUID: 022ad4c3-2841-473c-8be8-984817da51fe

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Date deposited: 28 Apr 2011 09:07
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:57

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Contributors

Author: Ian Brunton-Smith
Author: Patrick Sturgis

University divisions

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