Perceptions Of Crime, Fear Of Crime, And Defensible Space In Fort Worth Neighborhoods
Grohe, Bonnie R
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This research used descriptive, written scenarios to test the perceptions of crime, fear of crime, and defensible space of residents in three Fort Worth, Texas, neighborhood associations. The survey instrument included two different measures of fear of crime: 1) fear of crime in hypothetical scenarios, and 2) fear of crime in resident's own neighborhoods to examine whether residents who were fearful in their own neighborhood also reported high levels of fear in hypothetical neighbor¬hoods. The instrument also tested whether residents perceived certain neighborhoods as defensible and if residents recognized what crime prevention scholars defined as "safe" environments. The multiple regression models controlled for actual crime by asking about personal crime victimization and acquaintance crime victimization. Numerous demographic characteristics were also regressed on fear of crime in hypothetical neighborhoods, and perceptions of defensible space in hypothetical neighborhoods. The results suggested that the presence of adequate maintenance, presence of signs of community investment, and gender were the most significant variables in explaining fear of crime in hypothetical scenarios. In terms of defensibility of the space, the most significant predictors were maintenance, signs, marital status, and education. Policy implications were discussed as well as suggestions for future research.