The perception, behaviours and attitudes to crime by residents living within a London council estate

Wauchope, Nathan (2013) The perception, behaviours and attitudes to crime by residents living within a London council estate. [Dissertation]

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This study aims to explore the perceptions of crimes committed by youths, specifically looking at the residents living in one of London’s council estates, St. Raphael’s, in Brent. Furthermore, this study aims to determine the possible reasons behind the crime and to gather opinions on ways of reducing and/or preventing it. The ages of the participants’ will also be a factor that is to be measured to investigate whether the perception of crime differs dependant on the age of the participant. It is thought that a person’s fear of crime will be much greater than the actual amount of crimes committed. Furthermore, it is expected that age will have an effect on the perception of crime in that the older a person is the greater fear they feel. It is proposed that children are affected by the amount of crimes committed in the area, subsequently having a noticeable effect on them aiding in their development of fear of crime thus effecting their education and abilities to perform well in school. The study consisted of a total of 70 randomly selected participants living on or around the London council estate St. Raphael’s. Each participant was given a questionnaire to complete consisting of 14 various questions assessing several factors such as age, gender, fear of crime, feelings regarding societal help such as the Police as well as their feeling on what procedures could be put in place in order to prevent or reduce crime rates within the area. Age and gender were recorded to see whether the perception of crime as well as the fear of crime changes dependant on a person’s age. The results showed that there was a clear relationship between the age of a participant and the perception of crime and the amount of fear the person felt. Furthermore, as expected, it was found that the perception of crime was greater than national crime rates indicated. Thirdly, it was evident that residents of the inner estate had a lower fear of crime than those residents who lived on the outskirts of the estate. Finally, the behaviours of young children are affected by crime but it does not seem to affect them when they are within school thus not having a substantial immediate effect on their education. To conclude, although this study, overall was one of a success and supported the views of literature previously published, in other areas, such as the perception of crime on children and how this affected them it was not a success and actually disproved the initial assumption.

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