Social Cohesion and Pro-Social Responses to Perceptions of Crime: Victorian Report

Murray Lee, Rebecca Wickes, Jonathan Jackson, Chloe Keel, Justin Ellis, Rodney Blake, Sophie Norman, Brenda Lin

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportOther

Abstract

Understanding community perceptions of crime and safety is important to
policy makers, legislators, and subsequently communities themselves. However,
such community perceptions are complex and have generally been poorly
researched and assessed in the Australian context. This project sought to develop
better tools to research perceptions of crime and deploy these in a large-scale
study of Victorian communities. The project was undertaken throughout 2019.
It deployed a stratified and randomised sample survey of n=2,862 respondents
across 70 communities in Victoria. It also comprised qualitative focus group
interviews with a total samp le group of n=69 respondents across 15 focus
groups. These focus groups targeted harder to reach groups less likely to be
represented in the survey, but more likely to express concerns about crime.
While the project was interested in levels, frequency and intensity of people’s
worry about crime, we also sought to highlight how people respond to their
fears, and what impact these responses had on their lives. We also mapped out
a range of risk and protective factors likely to impact negatively and positively
on people’s worries. This mixed methods approach gives us unique insights
into both the concerns people have about crime, the actions they take based on
these concerns, and the way in which they discuss and describe their worries.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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