Functional Fear and Public Insecurities About Crime

J. Jackson, E. Gray
2009 British Journal of Criminology  
Word count: 9,987 (including title, abstract, keywords, references and footnotes) Revise and resubmit: British Journal of Criminology Functional Fear and Public Insecurities about Crime Abstract Fear of crime is widely seen as an unqualified social ill, yet might some level of emotional response comprise a natural defence against crime? This paper differentiates between a dysfunctional worry that erodes quality of life and a functional worry that motivates vigilance and routine precaution. A
more » ... ne precaution. A London-based survey shows that one-quarter of those individuals who said they were worried about crime also viewed their worry as something akin to a problem-solving activity: they took precautions; these precautions that made them feel safer; and neither the precautions nor the worries reduced the quality of their lives. Fear of crime can be helpful as well as harmful: some people are both able and willing to convert their concerns into constructive action. [120 words]
doi:10.1093/bjc/azp059 fatcat:hl7w7sssrfhkzizoyyanja65ca