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Response Models for Predicting Fear of Crime

NCJ Number
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology Volume: 14 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 1999 Pages: 66-80
A. Steven Dietz
Date Published
15 pages
This article explores methods for identifying which segments of the population are most in fear of crime and discusses what specifically drives this fear.
The study attempts to determine specific drivers/predictors of perception of safety from crime in one's home by using response modeling techniques generally applied in fields other than criminology and criminal justice. The effectiveness of an organization in addressing an issue, such as "fear of crime," can be increased by focusing more specifically on a facet of fear of crime that the police can impact and then identify the "drivers" of the issue. This study examines the effectiveness of the quality of police service, police presence, other indicators of safety, and citizen perceptions of crime as predictors of citizen perception of safety while at home. The method used to conduct the research was the analysis of data collected in a telephone survey of residents of Austin, Tex., during the spring of 1994. Five hundred residents were surveyed with an instrument that solicited responses pertinent to predictors of fear of crime. This article uses the response models as a starting point for developing police strategies that either help people change their perception of safety or reduce fear of crime. 10 tables and 15 references