Article

The impact of victimisation: Findings from the British crime survey

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Abstract

This paper looks at the impact of victimisation for victims of burglary and car theft, drawing on findings from the first and second sweeps of the British Crime Survey. It examines what sort of emotional and other effects victims report, and discusses the persistence of effects of victimisation. It presents findings on victims' attitudes towards the punishment of 'their' offender. Finally it considers how the experience of victimisation affects perceptions of risk, assessments of crime seriousness and punitiveness.

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... This has important implications, particularly in a climate of steadily increasing violence. The British Crime Surveys (Hough, 1983;Hough & Mayhew, 1985) have confirmed the magnitude of this 'dark figure' of unrecorded crime, though medical data may indicate more accurately the true incidence of severe injury resulting from domestic and street violence. ...
... Designed and carried out by Home Office Researchers, the BCS comprises interviews of one person over the age of 16 years in each of 11000 randomly selected households in England and Wales and 5 000 homes in Scotland. The purpose is to record crimes committed during the previous 12 months, to record details of particular offences and to investigate how respondents' life-styles affected their chances of becoming a victim (Hough, 1983;Hough & Mayhew, 1985). Though the BCS depends upon respondents reporting all offences affecting them, and therefore still tends to undercount crimes, results demonstrate that police crime statistics include only one quarter of woundings and sexual offences, and only about one in ten robberies (Hough & Mayhew, 1985). ...
... Fear of crime can lead to increased punitiveness and a reduction in appeal for more liberal criminal justice policies (Hough, 1985;Ouniment & Coyle, 1991), and it has detrimental psychological effects among those living in poorer neighborhoods (White, Kasl, Zahner, & Will, 1987). It is important that policymakers working in the arena of criminal justice and crime prevention understand the ways in which new media are shaping public perception around this social problem if police departments and lawmakers continue to utilize social media as a platform for information dissemination and public engagement. ...
Thesis
With internet connectivity and technology becoming increasingly more mobile and personalized, more people are turning to social media for news and information. With this has come concern over fake news, echo chambers, filter bubbles and, more recently, threats to the democratic process. At issue as well is the potential impact these new technologies may have on perceptions of prominent social problems such as crime. The present study builds upon existing literature in the areas of criminology and media effects by exploring the relationships between social media use, political ideology and fear of crime, perceived risk of victimization, and use of precautionary behaviors among college students attending non-residential college campuses. Consistent with previous literature, results indicate that gender was a predictor of fear of crime and perceived risk. Results suggest that perceived community cohesion is a significant predictor of decreased levels of fear of crime and perceived risk, but also that social media use and political ideology were not significant predictors of fear of crime, perceived risk of victimization or use of precautionary behaviors among respondents. Implications for future research and policy are discussed.
... Some of the best known studies related to the role of direct experience on learning are field studies that have examined the impact of personal experience on preventive behavior, such as seat-belt use (Svenson, Fischhoff, & Macgregor, 1985;Weinstein, 1987), crime preventive behavior (DuBow, McCabe, & Kaplan, 1979;Hough, 1985;Parker, Brewer, & Spencer, 1980;Skogan, 1987;Svenson et al., 1985;Tyler, 1980;Weinstein, 1987), and preparedness for natural disasters (Halpern-Felsher et al., 2001;Kunreuther, 1978;Lindell & Perry, 2000;Schiff, 1977). ...
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Standard models of choice assume that the weight given to information from different sources depends exclusively on its diagnosticity. In this paper we study whether directly experienced information influences behavior more strongly than vicariously obtained information. We conducted two experiments that, unlike prior studies, maintain content, format and relevance of the information constant, while varying only its source. The experiments consisted of repeated games in which groups of players were randomly reassigned into groups every round and were informed of the behavior of all players. As predicted, subjects' behavior was more strongly influenced by the actions of players they directly interacted with than by those they only observed.
... Most recent studies of workplace violence have focused on dramatic events such as mass shootings (Classen, Koopman, Hales, & Spiegel, 1998;Fergusson & Horwood, 1987;Hough, 1985;North, Smith, McCool, & Shea, 1989;North, Smith, & Spitznagel, 1997;North et al., 1999;Schwartz & Kowalski, 1991;Smith, North, McCool, & Shea, 1990;Trappler & Friedman, 1996). These studies have documented considerable psychological impact on victims, witnesses, and families. ...
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Describes a model of collaboration between business leaders and mental health clinicians in developing programs and strategies to prevent violence, handle acute crises, and cope with recovery and rebuilding in the aftermath of a workplace violence incident. Sections address the following: (1) demographics, costs, and risk factors and warning signs of workplace violence; (2) workplace violence prevention policies, including hiring, discipline, and termination practices; (3) responses to emergencies, such as potentially dangerous situations, violent episodes, and guns or weapons in the workplace; and (4) strategies for recovery following workplace violence that involve mental health and law enforcement mobilization, dealing with the media, assisting employees and families, legal issues, identification and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and follow-up procedures. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... However, the first conclusion drawn in the 1980s was that much fear of crime was irrational, and that the best policy solution would be to deal with this uncertainty and ignorance. (Gottfredson 1984) By implication, it could be argued that perceptions of the "crime problem" were exaggerated and political or personal critiques of government policy and police practice should moderate. A second, and linked, conclusion was that since statistical risks of experiencing serious crime are every low (for example, that there is less than one percent probability of being a victim of assault resulting in injury in any given year) then those who do experience crimeespecially repeat experiences -are in some sense contributing to their victimization.. ...
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While risk has only recently become a significant topic in criminology, risk techniques have been penetrating criminal justice since the 1970's, and have roots going back as far as the 1930's. This paper examines the development of risk in this domain, and suggests that the directions taken by risk technologies, as well as their prominence and centrality in justice, is highly variable and unpredictable. Accordingly, while it is possible to see risk currently and increasingly being applied to areas as diverse as police work, sentencing and crime prevention, it should not be assumed that there is an inevitable march of risk to dominance. There are serious obstacles to risk’s spread, ranging from judicial resistance through popular punitiveness, as well as the persistence of welfare state professional knowledges and orientation that have already modified and diluted the place of risk in significant ways.
... For example, there is no evidence that personal experience with accidents influences seat-belt use (see e.g. Svenson et al., 1985;Weinstein, 1987), there is mixed evidence as to whether direct experience with crime leads to an increase in crime-preventive behaviors, such as leaving doors locked or purchasing an alarm (DuBow et al., 1979;Hough, 1985;Parker et al., 1980;Skogan, 1987;Svenson et al., 1985;Tyler, 1980;Weinstein, 1987) and there is robust evidence that direct experience with a natural disaster increases preparedness for future disasters (see e.g. Halpern-Felsher et al., 2001;Kunreuther, 1978;Lindell and Perry, 2000;Schiff, 1977). ...
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Standard economic models assume that the weight given to information from different sources depends exclusively on its diagnosticity. In this paper we study whether the same piece of information is weighted more heavily simply because it arose from direct experience rather than from observation. We investigate this possibility by conducting repeated game experiments in which groups of players are randomly rematched on every round and receive feedback about the actions and outcomes of all players. We find that participants' actions are influenced more strongly by the behavior of players they directly interact with than by those they only observe.
... Theory suggests that those who have experienced prior victimization are expected to perceive higher levels of risk and, thus, fear compared to those who have not been crime victims (Ferraro, 1995). There is abundant research that supports the notion that experiences with prior victimization cause people to be more fearful of crime (Akers et al., 1987;Balkin, 1979;Box, Hale, & Andrews, 1988;Culbertson, Vik, & Kooiman, 2001;Hough, 1985;Karakus et al., 2010;Lawton & Yaffe, 1980;G. R. Lee, 1983;Lurigio, 1987;McConnell, 1997;Ollenberger, 1981;Scott, 2003;Skogan, 1987;Skogan & Maxfield, 1981;M. ...
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Fear of crime research has primarily focused on fear of crime in general or on fear of specific types of violent crimes. This study builds from this line of research by focusing exclusively on the night fear of six types of property crimes, including fear of burglary while away from home, vehicle theft, bicycle theft, property theft, vandalism, and vehicle burglary. This study examines the effects of victimization, vicarious victimization, and perceived risk on fear of property crime. Survey data from college students reveal that victimization and vicarious victimization were not significant predictors of fear of property crime, whereas perceived risk was a consistent and significant predictor of fear of all property crimes.
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Fear is exposed as a subtle emotion with diverse causes and unpredictable effects. It impinges on a wide range of urban affairs and, as such, is particularly suited to scrutiny by the diverse expertise and undervalued eclecticism found within human geography. -after Author
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In modern societies the violation of personal values (personal property, health, honor, liberty) is widely regarded as a violation of social values. While personal values are primarily protected by civil law, criminal law with its penalties is supposed to defend the same values inasmuch as they are defined to be of social relevance. This distinction, of course, is not obvious. In early Germanic and Frankish law the concept of negative sanctions covered both restitution and vengeance, restitution predominating over and even superseding vengeance (Schafer, 1968; Schmidt, 1965).
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Etwa ein bis zwei Jahre nach der Wende und spätestens seit den Wahlkämpfen im Jahre 1994 begannen die Kriminalität und die Kriminalitätsfurcht in der öffentlichen Diskussion eine herausragende Rolle zu spielen. Wie so oft, wenn viel über Kriminalität geredet wird, haben nicht so sehr differenzierende Beurteilungen, sondern Dramatisierungen und Vereinfachungen Konjunktur. So sind „Kriminalität“, „Strafbedürfnisse“ und insbesondere das „Unsicherheitsgefühl in der Bevölkerung“ zentrale Elemente im Begründungsmuster einer konservativen Kriminalpolitik, das im wesentlichen wie folgt lautet: Die Bevölkerung und insbesondere die Opfer von Straftaten seien über die wachsende Kriminalität beunruhigt und verlangten deshalb nach härteren Strafen. Hierauf müsse die Politik reagieren. Durch eine konsequentere Strafverfolgung könne die Kriminalität gesenkt und ein Rückgang der Kriminalitätsfurcht herbeigeführt werden (siehe z. B. CDU 1993; Kanther 1993). Das Kriminalitätsthema ist freilich schon seit längerem keine Domäne konservativer Politik mehr. Es steht inzwischen auch bei Sozialdemokraten und Liberalen — bei den GRÜNEN bleibt die weitere Entwicklung noch abzuwarten — ganz oben auf der politischen Agenda, natürlich mit im einzelnen unterschiedlichen Positionen. So wird zum Beispiel die Massenkriminalität in weiten Bereichen für nicht mehr bekämpfbar gehalten und eine stärkere Verfolgung der sog. sozialen, d. h. Ungleichheitsverhältnisse reproduzierenden Kriminalität, wie (familiäre) Gewalt- oder Wirtschaftsdelikte, gefordert (SPD 1993; Bull 1994). Aber für wohl alle Kriminalpolitiker steht insbesondere die Kriminalitätsfurcht im Mittelpunkt des „neuen“ Kriminalitätsbewußtseins. Vor allem ihretwegen sollen neue Mittel der kommunalen und polizeilichen Prävention zum Einsatz kommen (z. B. die bürgernahe, gemeinwesenorientierte Polizeiarbeit), um den Bürgern ein stärkeres Gefühl der Sicherheit vermitteln zu können.
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Since the very beginnings of research on the fear of crime in the early 1970s, authors have emphasized the need for theoretical clarification of the meaning and measurement of the concept. The present article outlines a theory of fear of crime from the psychological perspective. In particular, psychological concepts of emotions, most notably the state/trait distinction and the notion of emotions as involving multiple components, are applied to fear of crime. The outcome of this conceptual clarification is a two-dimensional taxonomy which can be used to differentiate between instruments applied to assess fear of crime. Finally, taking into account the results of psychological research on survey methodology, the practical value of this taxonomy for the assessment of fear of crime is discussed.
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provide a critical overview of theory, assessment, and treatment pertaining to victims of crime / present the theories of victim reactions that have influenced assessment and treatment approaches / examine assessment issues, including trauma assessment, diagnostic assessment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other comorbid disorders including depression, substance abuse, and panic disorder / specific treatment approaches are summarized / these will include crisis intervention, stress inoculation therapy, prolonged imaginal exposure, and cognitive processing therapy / a case study [of a 35-yr-old male suffering from both] PTSD and panic disorder is presented theories of victim reactions [crisis theory, learning theory, information-processing theory, cognitive constructivist theory] (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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To help patients who have been the victims of violent crime or who have lost loved ones to homicide, psychotherapy must emphasize both concrete, practical helping strategies as well as subtle, reconstructive and integrative modalities. This article reviews the literature on psychotherapy of crime victims and offers recommendations for helping adult and child survivors recover from the traumatizing effects of human malice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The increase in burglary crimes, along with the rise in the citizens’ worry about burglary crimes, has brought new challenges to the criminal justice systems in developed nations over the last decade. Crime surveys often point to a substantial dissonance between the actual likelihood of burglary and the perceived likelihood of victimization. This paper utilized data from the British Crime Survey to examine the relationship between (actual and perceived) probabilities of burglary and respondents’ worries about burglary by means of a system of two-stage least squares models. The empirical results show a strong relationship exists between households’ worries about burglary and their actual likelihood of being victimized by burglars in England and Wales. These findings suggest that households’ worries about burglary may not, afterwards, be misplaced.
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This paper examines the spatial and social distribution of the fear of crime and the relationships of such fear with aspects of the environment. Through an analysis of a questionnaire survey conducted in a variety of areas in Stoke-on-Trent in the English Midlands, it considers both the causes of the fear of crime and the associations that have been identified with other dimensions shaping vulnerability. It concludes by offering some guidance on how to address the differences between those populations who fear crime most and those who are most vulnerable.
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Mental health professionals have focused attention on the psychiatric sequelae of criminal victimization. This article compares the experience of white collar and violent crime victims on several parameters including statistical risk of victimization and psychiatric outcome after victimization. Emphasis is given to data obtained from interviewing 77 victims of a fraudulent financial scheme.
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