Formative crime in Worcester. – do perceptions of crime

Formative Assessment – Literature review. (1200 words)


Perceptions of crime in Worcester. – do perceptions of crime differ between older generations and the younger (uni students).

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How do they differ between the range of ages that live in Worcester?


Rough notes


 Zimring (1997) argued that violent crime is most fear-inducing, which implies that neighbourhoods with more violent crime should induce a greater perception of crime among residents. On the other hand, Skogan and Maxfield (1981) argued that property crime events will have a stronger overall effect on perceptions of crime given their relatively greater frequency. Nonetheless, the empirical evidence addressing this issue is quite limited.


How could this statement relate to my research project?


·      This relates to my project as I will be looking at crime that happens in the residential area of Worcester st johns.

·       Students however may have different perceptions on property crime due to their younger mentality?



Recent scholarship in this field has moved further back the causal chain in specifying perceived risk as a mediator between various individual or neighborhood characteristics and a fear of crime That is, residents arguably need to perceive that they are at risk of having violence inflicted on them to report a visceral fear of crime. Of course, this need not be a monotonic relationship, as some residents may perceive that they are relatively at risk of experiencing violence but not report the emotional response of fear. Note that this still focuses on the individual’s perception of threat simply to themselves.


Additionally, we can move one step further back in the causal chain and ask about the role of a general perception of crime as a problem leading to an individual’s perceived risk, which further leads to the emotional response of fear. This allows the resident to take into account the possibility that there may be a risk of violence to others in the neighbourhood, without a perceived risk to themselves. This suggests that these constructs are different, and therefore, some individuals may perceive a relatively high prevalence of crime and consider it a problem, but not personally feel unsafe. Additionally, some individuals may report a high prevalence of crime and a perception of feeling unsafe, but not report feeling the more emotion-laden perception of fear. For instance, a relatively healthy young male may perceive little individual risk and hence fear, but be aware that older or weaker residents may be at more risk. This can change their assessment of possible neighbourhood crime without a concern for their own safety. Thus, it is important to highlight that the present study focuses on the perception of crime in the neighbourhood rather than individuals’ own perception of risk or fear. We also move beyond the focus on households, and conceptualize this as a neighbourhood-level process, as described in the next section.