Fear Of Crime

Improved Essays
Outline and discuss how fear of crime is greater than the reality of crime. Use examples in your answer.

The fear of a crime can be felt by anyone at any age. However what type of ‘crime’ we fear or what we believe we should be afraid of depends upon a person’s determining contexts. However, the majority of people have minor experiences of serious criminal victimization. Meaning that our fears of crime are higher than the reality of crime; due to misconceptions, manipulated headlines and statistics, labelling and the smokescreen effect. This can affect people’s lives in different ways; making the fear of ‘crime’ become a greater ‘crime’ itself. Being fearful of crime is influenced by various, “social and demographic variables- perceptions
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It is important to understand in today’s society that what we are made to fear is not we should be fearing. As fear does not parallel the risk of a ‘crime’ happening. The State and the media cover up issues and particular crimes with a smokescreen effect, which is what we should be fearing the most. The smokescreen effect also obscures the crimes of the powerful. This effect also gains more political support for issues which we should be disagree with; such as white collar crimes. The mechanism of the state is arguably to condition society’s view of ‘crime’ and ‘criminality’. Our fears and worries about ‘crime’ is highly managed by powerful groups; which may also give justifying reasons as to why the police exist.
The study of the ‘fear of crime’ is relatively new and was created after moral panics. It also stems from victimology; a physiological effect after their experience. After the first victim study was taken by Sparks in 1997. The information that society is given about ‘crime’ is very much contradictory. At the same time what makes us fearful of the world, also fascinates, making us want to know more about ‘crime’. This relates to deHaan’s information paradox, meaning that the more knowledge one holds about crime, the more interested and fascinated they are by the deviance of
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There is also a slight moral panic that sticks with society that women should not be alone at night or even walk anywhere alone. Although men are more likely to experience violence and crime, especially from a known perpetrator; being domestic abuse.
“On the political left, it has been that the media increase fear of crime, encouraging political acquiescence to the status quo, strengthening support for control and containment.” (Geer, C; Hale, C. 2013:146). Anyone which challenges the government 's ideologies; creates a moral panic. Potentially state’s way of creating a smoke screen effect; focusing our attention onto others who we believe are deviant. When something is created into a moral panic, it then requires a greater demand for social control.
Determining contexts play a major role in why we fear ‘crime’ whether this be of the criminal or the individual who is scared. For instance society may fear youth, as they are stigmatised to be troublesome and dangerous. Someone who is elderly may believe they should fear them due to their determining context of being

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