Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Fear of Crime - My Final Year Project

After a gruelling last week or so I've finally finished my final year project for university, I just handed it in a few minutes ago.
My study looked at fear of crime, but more specifically, what situational and environmental factors led people to feel vulnerable to crime. Moreover, the study also looked at fear in relation to distinct crime types rather than just as a broad entity - to do this it looked at one property crime (burglary), one violent crime (assault), one serious crime (terrorism) and one fairly trivial 'crime' anti-social behaviour.
This was done through a questionnaire (simply because there were so many things i was examining it wasn't worth doing a qualitative study). Each crime type was given two potential locations (one which was associated with the crime and one which had very similar features but wasn't associated). These each had four environmental factors (presence of crime prevention measure, presence of a familiar person, presence of a unknown person (and potential offender) as well as the physical condition of the area.
The major findings were that people feel vulnerable differently for each crime type, and that the situational factors related to thsi also vary, so for example people doing security checks in a cinema increases vulnerability to becoming a victim of terrorism.
The main important finding was that there are many social factors related to fear of crime that a more caring world could solve, for me fear of crime is intimately bound up with capitalist alienation and only a socialist world can solve it.

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