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Fear of crime worse than reality

Published: 8:18AM Saturday September 22, 2007 Source: Newstalk ZB

Research shows the fear of being a victim of crime is now greater than the actual risk of becoming a crime statistic.

Criminology lecturer John Buttle says the percentage of the community who are most prone to attack are male, young, poor and Polynesian. But he says these are not the people who are the most concerned about crime.

Buttle says parents often fear their child will be taken by a stranger, despite the fact offenders are usually someone the child knows. He says people's fears of crime are often unjustified and those least likely to be affected are the ones who worry most.

And the AUT lecturer says while there is a perception crime is increasing reported rates of crime are falling. Buttle says people still feel and act as if crime is getting worse.

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