Excavating the Fear of Crime: Fear, Anxiety or Trust?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The central purpose of this article is to offer a critical examination of the fear of crime debate and to suggest a different conceptual framework through which what might be called the fear of crime might be understood. A critical appreciation of fear as the other, fear as rational/irrational, fear as safety and fear as anxiety will be offered. It will be argued that none of these ways of exploring the concept of fear has resonance with the experiences of those living in high crime areas where questions of trust seem to have a greater salience. Indeed it is through an exploration of the concept of trust, and its underlying generative mechanisms, here suggested as the state, the (dis)organization of crime, the (dis)organization of community and finally processes of sociability, that expressed concerns about crime might be better understood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-418
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical Criminology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • anxiety
  • fear
  • risk
  • safety
  • trust

Cite this