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Functional and dysfunctional fear of crime in inner Sydney: findings from the quantitative component of a mixed-methods study

Lee, Murray, Jackson, Jonathan and Ellis, Justin R. (2020) Functional and dysfunctional fear of crime in inner Sydney: findings from the quantitative component of a mixed-methods study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. ISSN 0004-8658

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0004865820911994

Abstract

This article presents the quantitative findings from a mixed-method study of perceptions of crime in inner Sydney. A survey was deployed via Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview on a randomly selected sample of the inner Sydney population (n = 409). We find that less than half of the participants worry about crime but that a sizable minority (13%) indicated that they have some worry about a category of crime every week of the year or more. Building on a recent conceptual advance, we differentiate between functional and dysfunctional fear of crime. We find that greater direct and indirect experience of victimisation, believing one’s neighbourhood to be disorderly, and believing that collective efficacy is low, all predict moving up the scale from no worry, to functional fear, to increasingly frequent dysfunctional fear. The findings suggest gender and age are largely unrelated to worry about crime, controlling for perceptions of community disorder, perceptions of collective efficacy, direct victimisation experience and indirect victimisation experience. We conclude with some thoughts on the role of environmental cues in shifting people’s functional response to perceived risk to dysfunctional patterning of emotions in people’s daily lives.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/anj
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 09:24
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2020 08:21
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/103456

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