Forensic Psychology: Fear of Crime
Hello, I hope that you've had a great week.
Today’s post is on the forensic psychology of the fear of crime in preparation for my Forensic Psychology book that I plan to release along with other psychology books towards the end of February 2020.
Fear of Crime:
The fear of crime is very interesting from a psychological standpoint and as a citizen because the fear of crime as I’ll explain more in the book it’s very irrational because the fear isn’t needed as much as everyone thinks.
In addition, crime and the fear of crime are very important in political contexts so governments can actively try to influence it as if the fear of crime drops then people think that the government is doing a good job so they are more likely to vote for them.
Fear of crime comes from:
· Mass media as they focus on serious crimes and this creates the sense that crime is worse than it is in the world as people can only see these horrific crimes and believe that these crimes happen more than it does.
· Direct knowledge about crimes in the immediate community and beyond- this is from your own experiences of crime and if you know someone who has been affected by crime.
· Aspects of our personality and social characteristics- this is were our own personality; like a fearful personality; and characteristics of ourselves. That makes us more fearful of crime.
Bazzargan (1994) found the following was all associated with an increase in the fear of crime:
· Feeling lonely
· Poor education
· The belief of untrustworthy neighbours
· Lack of vigilance
Fear-victimisation paradox (Clark, 2004)
Interestingly Clark (2004) found something called the fear-victimisation paradox that states that there are no clear relationships between the rates of crimes and victimisation.
Meaning that if crime is very high then it doesn’t mean that there are a high number of victims, so there is no or less of a reason to be fearful of crime.
Here’s an example:
Women are now fearful than men. (Stanko, 1995)
However, men are actually most at risk of attack by a stranger.
Crime phobia (Clark, 2004)
These findings suggest that having a fear of crime isn’t a phobia. This makes sense as having a fear of crime isn’t irrational and being fearful of crime isn’t dysfunctional.
Personally, I love forensic psychology and I love to learn and read about the relationship between fear, crime as well as the public.
I hope that you've enjoyed this brief overview of the fear of crime and I will explore this in a lot more depth in my forensic psychology book so please sign up for my mailing list and receive a FREE eBook to know when it’s available on pre-order.
Have a great week.
Kind regards Connor.