Inventing Fear Of Crime: Criminology And The Politics Of Anxiety

by msecadm4921

Author: Murray Lee

ISBN No: 1-843921-74-X

Review date: 29/11/2023

No of pages: 232

Publisher: Willan

Publisher URL:

Year of publication: 11/09/2012


Private security and CCTV - to be exact, the sellers of those security services - are among those in the dock in a study of fear of crime.

The concept of ‘fear of crime feedback loop’ – in plain English, the idea that fear of crime feeds on itself – is advanced by Sydney academic Murray Lee. Insurers, newspapers, gated communities, the law and order lobby, besides private security, are charged with having a stake in fear of crime. The concept is of interest to site security managers as much as police and politicians. If staff fear working late, or customers fear walking to their parked cars after dark, business suffers. As Lee has shown, fear of crime is slippery. He has ranged over the subject, taking in 7-7, besides Australian examples. Yet he has overlooked all those that want to play down fear of crime, including buyers of security. To recall Mark Button’s study of security officers at a harbour-side leisure complex, some told him that the site managers chose to avoid a police presence, in the name of not putting off customers with sights of violent arrests. And what of the social injustice (as Button mentioned) between the rich owners of a leisure complex paying to top up their security, whereby a nearby housing estate has only the state’s bare minimum of policing? People don’t fear crime for no reason.


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