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Putting Fear of Crime on the Map

Since first emerging as an issue of concern in the late 1960s, fear of crime has become one of the most researched topics in contemporary criminology and receives considerable attention in a range of other disciplines including social ecology, social psychology and geography. Researchers looking the subject have consistently uncovered alarming characteristics, primarily relating to the behavioural responses that people adopt in relation to their fear of crime. This book reports on research conducted over the past eight years, in which efforts have been made to pioneer the combination of techniques from behavioural geography with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in order to map the fear of crime. The first part of the book outlines the history of research into fear of crime, with an emphasis on the many approaches that have been used to investigate the problem and the need for a spatially-explicit approach. The second part provides a technical break down of the GIS-based techniques used to map fear of crime and summarises key findings from two separate study sites. The authors describe collective avoidance behaviour in relation to disorder decline models such as the Broken Windows Thesis, the potential to integrate fear mapping with police-community partnerships and emerging avenues for further research. Issues discussed include fear of crime in relation to housing prices and disorder, the use of fear mapping as a means with which to monitor the impact of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and fear mapping in transit environments.
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Table of Contents

Foreword and dedication Chapter 1: Introduction The emergence of fear of crime as an area of research The paradoxical nature of the fear of crime Research into the fear of crime in different sites and situations Current trends in fear of crime research Chapter 2: Why is fear of crime a serious social problem? Individual reactions Hypothesised inks between the fear of crime, disorder and crime Economic impacts of behavioural responses to fear of crime Chapter review: problems not to be ignored and a need for spatially-explicit research Chapter 3: What causes fear of crime? Criminal opportunity and risk of victimisation theories Demographic theories explaining fear of crime Social theories explaining fear of crime Environmental theories explaining fear of crime Chapter review: an opening for pertinent environmental studies Chapter 4: Managing fear of crime Policing fear of crime Social solutions to fear of crime Environmental design and fear of crime Chapter review: police, community and government cooperation Chapter 5: Investigating the fear of crime Defining fear of crime Measuring fear of crime Analysing fear of crime data Chapter review: a new direction with avoidance mapping Chapter 6: The Wollongong Study The goals of the Wollongong study Research Setting Fear of crime survey and analysis Discussion of spatial outputs Discussion of activity diary analysis: The discrepancy between emotion-based fear in relation to daily routines and global measures of fear Integrating the key spatio-temporal findings with police and community initiatives in Wollongong: the degree of institutional involvement Assessments of techniques and approaches developed in the Wollongong Study Chapter 7: The Kings Cross Study The goals of the Kings Cross study Research Setting Fear of crime survey and analysis Results and discussion The dissonance between traditional global measures and crime-specific avoidance-based questions Where are people afraid of crime? Safe areas and cognitive barriers Implications for policy, planning and practice Chapter 8: Future avenues for fear mapping: potential applications and improvements Has collective avoidance behaviour change in Wollongong and Kings Cross? Investigating behavioral responses in relation to different types of crime Further avenues for investigating links between fear, crime and disorder Broken Windows theory in the transit context Fear mapping in and advances in spatial technology

About the Author

Dr Bruce Doran is a lecturer at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University. His research interests relate to the applied use of GIS-based techniques to investigate urban and biophysical problems, with a particular focus on strategic management and Decision Support Systems (DSS). Over recent years he has been developing techniques to investigate spatio-temporal links between the fear of crime and the actual occurrence of crime. Dr Melissa Burgess completed a PhD looking into spatio-temporal patterns of avoidance in Kings Cross, Sydney. She has worked as a spatial analyst with the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and is currently working for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Bangkok, Thailand.

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