Fear of crime

From talking to other people about it to discussing the issue in sociology crime and power units it is obvious to me that fear of crime more than crime itself is a major issue, particularly for young female like me and my friends.

Left realist sociologist highlight the effect and immensity of crime as a real problem for people however they do not take into account fear of crime as well as criminal acts themselves. It is clear to me that in our modern society fear of crime is a major issue whether it’s fear of fraud and cyber crimes or more violent crimes such as being attacked. Therefore I think this fear needs to somehow be tackled to reduce our fear of crime.

It is possible of course that fear of crime is partially instinctive, a primary influence that attempts to keep us out of danger. But it is likely there are other influences that create this fear that stem from our socialisation and the media that surrounds us in modern society.

Girls above all fear crime and this fear can control how they live there lives. When coming home late at night girls often walk together in large groups to protect one another whilst some women fear going out at all. So should we be asking why girls and women have such fear of crime.

I think this fear first stems from primary socialisation in the family in which girls are socialised to be passive whilst their male counterparts are encouraged to be active therefore more able to protect themselves. Secondly as identified by sociologist Heidensohn girls often face more control over their social life, including earlier curfews and more surveillance when they are out for example parents requesting to be called or text when the arrive somewhere etc. it could be argued this adds to the sense of helplessness when this control is withdrawn and girls became adults.

Alternatively the media could be a factor in the increased fear of crime in modern society. Sensationalising of violent crimes in the media may well create more fear of crime for people.

Whatever the cause for the increasing fear of crime I think it can be agreed that fear of crime itself is a major issue not only in women but often in men too. Therefore I believe it is important as a wider society and as smaller communities that we attempt to tackle fear and make people feel safer.



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