Combining the New and Old Measures of the Fear of Crime: Exploring the 'Worried-Well'
London School of Economics & Political Science: Department of Methodology
University of Sheffield
Experience & Expression in the Fear of Crime Working Paper No. 4
In this paper, the fourth in our series of working papers on the fear of crime, we will start to explore in more depth the relationship between our two styles of measuring the fear of crime. The top-line results explored in working paper 3 showed that, when asked the standard questions, a relatively large proportion of the population of England and Wales reported being worried about being robbed (around one-third), being burgled (just under one-half), and having their car stolen (just under one-half of car owners). However, when fielded the new questions, a smaller proportion had actually worried during the previous 12 months (robbery 16%, burglary 32%, and car crime 32%); an even smaller proportion had worried more than once a month (robbery 5%, burglary 11%, and car crime 12%). Intriguingly, the data thus shows that surprising proportions of people who say they worry about crime have not actually worried about crime recently. In actual fact, worry seems to be a relatively infrequent occurrence among the general English & Welsh population. Overall, our findings suggest that the old measures are tapping into some aspect of the fear of crime that includes the frequency of its experience, but is also 'something else.' Herein we attempt to throw further light upon what this 'something else' may be.
Keywords: Fear of Crime, Methodology, Everyday Emotions, Criminology, Policy
JEL Classification: I18, I31, I38working papers series
Date posted: September 6, 2007 ; Last revised: May 23, 2012
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