Fear of crime and Elderly people: Key factors that determine fear of crime among elderly people in West-Flanders

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Abstract

This paper analyses the determinants of fear of crime among elderly people in West Flanders, Belgium. Using data generated from interviews with 4747 men and women aged 60-103, the impact on the level of fear of crime using ten key factors was assessed. The analysis yielded conclusions in three areas. First, demographic variables such as gender, physical vulnerability and income correlate with fear of crime. Women feel less safe than men. Physical vulnerability and a low income increase fear of crime. Second, neighborhood variables play an important role in the genesis of fear of crime. Elderly people who feel that they live in a neighborhood that is adapted to them and who show more neighborhood involvement feel safer than elderly people who do not. Loneliness and lack of participation in both social and cultural life show a strong relationship with fear of crime. Third, it is argued that watching television correlates to an increased fear of crime while the daily reading of a newspaper decreases fear of it.
Keywords: fear of crime, elderly people
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-376
Number of pages14
JournalAgeing International
Volume30
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • fear of crime
  • elderly
  • elder people

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