Only in a violent crime; “a truck driver

Only a minor subsection of
the population have first-hand experience of violent crime, in reference to
this, the majority of people whom have not had any direct contact with violent
crime, believe the world is worse than it is; the result of this is major sections
of the population within societies becoming more afraid of getting victimized
than need be (McQuivey 1997). The fear victimization
paradox is founded on one’s ability/inability to master involvement in a
violent crime. Fear Victimization paradox exists independently of the likelihood
of involvement in crime, it can happen despite the likelihood an individual
could be very likely become involved in a violent crime; “a truck driver in the
middle of the night at a rest area, its fear of crime might not be high because
it thinks that it has control over such a situation” (Sandman 1993; Sparks and
Ogles 1990). Vanderveen (2003) posits that “men usually think they can handle
it. Women feel more vulnerable”, in reality however, men are more likely to
become a victim of a crime (Bureau of Statistic and Research 1996). Research
has indicated that facts and figures have no influence on the people’s
perception of crime, furthermore, that the media is just one of many variable
factors to be taken into account when analysing prevalent fear of crime, whether
on an individual or societal basis. “A person’s personality or socialization
are variables which have to be taken into account” (McQuivey, 1997). Older people have a great fear of becoming a victim of
crime because they believe they are more vulnerable than younger members in
society (Carcach et. al., 2001). Their physical fitness and strength has
declined leaving them in a weakened state, and therefore possibly targeting
them as easy victims as they are less likely to be able to defend themselves (Carcach
et. al., 2001). Gerbner et al (1980) confirmed his previous research in those
individuals who watch more television than average showed a higher rate of fear
towards their environment, than those who watch less. More recently Dowler
(2003) found that even when taking into account factors such as race, age,
gender, income, education and marital status, those individuals whom watch more
crime shows tend to exhibit a significantly higher rate of being fearful of
crime (Dowler, 2003). Dowler went on to discover that hours of watching
television news programs did not have a significant relationship with higher
levels of fear of crime.


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