Validating new measures of the fear of crime
This study assesses the scaling properties of some new measures of the fear of crime. The new conceptualization—a range of distinct but related constructs that constitute the fear of crime—comprises the interplay between emotion, risk perception and environmental perception. Data from a small-scale survey are analysed using confirmatory factor analysis showing good scaling properties of the multiple indicators. Two implications of the new conceptualization for the rationality of the fear of crime are discussed. First, perceptions of the risk of crime seem to be a product of how individuals make sense of their social and physical environment. Second, the fear of crime may constitute such evaluations of community cohesion and moral consensus as well as specific experiences of 'fear' of 'crime'—a way of seeing as well as a way of feeling. The conclusions consider ramifications for the rationality of the fear of crime, particularly in the context of reassurance policing in England and Wales.