Social Science


Sociological Explanation of Fear of Crime in Public Spaces Case Study Mashhad

Authors: Mahdie Rezvani

Fear of crime in public places is a social issue that reduces access to the public places and limits the interactions with these places. Fear has significantly affected the city appearance, civil design and spatial distribution of the residences. The conception of security in urban spaces is on one hand related to the crime and on the other hand to the concept of facing the crime (victimization) and fear of crime encountering. The research method is surveying and the information collection technique is through questionnaire. Probable span sampling (PPS) method is used. Sample population was 200 household which were selected randomly in five categorical clusters from Mashhad city. In addition to investigating structural factors, the purpose of the research is studying reactive components affecting fear of crime among people in public places inside and outside the neighborhood. Independent variable of the research includes two general classes of reactive and structural factors and the interaction between them which reactive factors consist of: Vulnerability, victimization, gender ratio of the place, age ratio of the place, mental image of the place, activity in the place, cumulative effectiveness, and residency duration in the place and perceiving the risk of the crime. Structural factors include: visual penetration of the place, variation of place usage, non-defensed areas and place rank. The interaction between subjective and structural factors is considered as independent variable which includes: disorder and effectiveness, gender ratio and vulnerability, age ratio and vulnerability, place rank and vulnerability. Place rank among all other structural factors has the greatest effect on the fear of crime in public places outside the neighborhood. It means that by increasing place's rank of people residential area their fear of crime is decreased. The presence of non-defended areas (as one of the structural characteristics of the place), the sense of the place (one of the mental images of the people from the place) and activity and participation of the individuals in the place are three basic factors forming the concept of a place which have significant effect on the fear of crime within the neighborhoods. The effect of social capital (trust and support) as another effective structural factor on fear of crime in public area within the neighborhoods is approved. Victimization experience is also recognized as a predictor of fear of crime in multi variable analysis of public places inside and outside the neighborhood. Spatial factor's effects on fear of crime in public places inside and outside the neighborhoods show that structural and spatial characteristics of the residence area also affect fear of crime significantly. There is a relation between fear of crime and spatial view and fear of crime is also affected by spatial configuration. Variable of spatial legibility has reductive effect on fear of crime in public places within the neighborhood. Visual accessibility and public place lighting for the people also reduce fear of crime among the people within the neighborhoods. The relation between the movement and the presence of people in the place with the fear of crime outside the neighborhoods is approved. Among social factors, economic-social position of the people has reverse relation with fear of crime. Among reactive factors, the more is the understanding of the people from the crime occurrence in their neighborhoods, the more is the fear of crime in public places outside the neighborhood. Variables of victimization, local legibility, social capital of the neighborhood, informal social control and gender ratio of the place among other reactive factors and variables of usage variation of the place, visual penetration of the place among other structural factors in the model of fear of crime in public places within the neighborhood have significant relation with fear of cri, in public places within the neighborhoods. Also the interaction between variables of vulnerability and gender ration of the place, of disorder and informal social control and of disorder and social capital of the neighborhood has no effect on fear of crime in public places within the neighborhoods. Finally, those variables of structural and reactive classes which are effective and significant are supported to reduce fear of crime.

Comments: 30 Pages.

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[v1] 2016-02-06 06:42:34

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