Women's Fear Of Crime

1926 Words 8 Pages
Crime is part of everyday life; on average a crime is committed every 5 seconds in England and Wales alone. Many statistics show that many people are living in the fear of being victimized by crime. Due to the extent of crime it has been a popular topic among academics. Academics have been interested in how crime has changed throughout time and why people actually commit crime. This literature review will be exploring crime within four different categories: youth and crime, women and crime, the geography of crime and the policing of crime.
Women and Crime
Since the rising interest and concern of women’s fear of crime in the 1980s, it has prompted many academics to write literature on the topic. A constant topic seen throughout the literature
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All women fear sexual violence but it has been argued that women of a high class are able to deal with the effects and danger more easily (Gordon and Riger 1989; Stanko 1990; Valentine 1989). It has been suggested that the lower classes have a lack of acceptance socially and are socially marginalized which increases their fear of crime. Women’s fear has also been said to have stemmed from images of crime, (Madriz 1997; Mesch 2000) these images portray who is most likely to commit crime and where crime is most likely to happen. This portrayal of images can have effects on where women go and move through the city (Valentine 1989). Valentine goes on to explain the routes that women take are “coping strategies” as they have to take a certain route to reduce the fear of being victimised. This may include taking a longer route purely because the area is more lit up or in a more populated area. Kinsey (1984) talks about the concept of a “virtual curfew” some women may have when going to some urban areas at night. This highlights the fact the fear of crime has taken over the lives of some women and they have to change their daily …show more content…
However this increase had been argued to be from more effective and efficient reporting and recording techniques (Rutter and Giller, 1984). This increase however did prompt a change in the response to crime (Heal, 1992). Neighbourhood watch is said to be one of the most effective crime prevention programmes. It was first launched in the United Kingdom in 1983, with now over 74,000 neighbourhood watches around the country. The popularity of the scheme can be seen in Hough and Mayhew’s work, (1985) whereby if residents found a neighbourhood watch were to start in their area 62 per cent of them would be willing to join. Not all academics believe neighbourhood watch is the most effective scheme, Bennett (1992) notes that there is no scientific evidence to suggest it is effective. He also argues that the scheme is all about “positive thinking” to encourage residents to take part and believe that they are doing something positive for their community. Another crime prevention strategy is the theory of broken window policing. The theory was first spoken about by Wilson and Kelling (1982) as they note serious crime only happens when the little things in a community are not being looked after. For example if a city has broken windows it shows a loss of social control within the city therefore more serious crimes are bound to happen. If criminals are arrested for smaller crimes, in theory larger problems

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