Advertisement

Crime Prevention and Community Safety

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 314–324 | Cite as

Are victims of crime mostly angry or mostly afraid?

  • Dainis Ignatans
  • Ken PeaseEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales identifies anger and annoyance rather than fear as the most common emotional responses to victimisation by crime, despite fear’s pre-eminence in the criminological literature. Whilst the trend since 2003 shows an increase in fear relative to anger, anger remains more common for all crime categories and all levels of victim-rated offence seriousness. The writers contend that the mismatch between the preponderance of anger in victim accounts and the preponderance of fear in the academic literature is convenient for government and police. Subtly setting fear as the default ‘appropriate’ emotion to be evoked by victimisation makes for a populace less inclined to ‘take matters into its own hands’. Plans to develop research on victim anger are outlined.

Keywords

Anger Emotions Fear of crime Victimisation 

Notes

References

  1. Christie, N. 1977. Conflicts as property. British Journal of Criminology 17: 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Davis, R.C., and B.E. Smith. 1994. Victim impact statements and victim satisfaction: An unfulfilled promise? Journal of Criminal Justice 22: 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ditton, J., D. Farrall, J. Bannister, E. Gilchrist, and K. Pease. 1999. Reactions to victimisation: Why has anger been ignored? Crime Prevention and Community Safety 1: 37–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Farrall, S., J. Bannister, J. Ditton, and E. Gilchrist. 1997. Measuring crime and the ‘fear of crime’: Findings from a methodological study. British Journal of Criminology 37: 657–678.Google Scholar
  5. Farrell, G., and K. Pease. 2007. The sting in the British crime survey tail: Multiple victimizations. In Surveying crime in the twenty first century, crime prevention studies, vol. 22, ed. M. Maxfield and M. Hough, 33–54. Cullompton: Willan.Google Scholar
  6. Gilchrist, E., S. Farrall, J. Bannister, and J. Ditton. 1998. Women and men talking about the ‘fear of crime’: Challenging the accepted stereotype. British Journal of Criminology 38: 283–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hale, C. 1996. Fear of crime: A review of the literature. International Review of Victimology 4: 79–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hough, M. 1995. Anxiety about crime: Findings from the 1994 British crime survey. Home Office research study 147. London: Home Office.Google Scholar
  9. Ignatans, D., and K. Pease. 2015. Distributive justice and the crime drop. In The criminal act: The role and influence of routine activity theory, ed. M.A. Andresen and G. Farrell. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd: Basingstoke.Google Scholar
  10. Ignatans, D., and K. Pease. 2016a. Taking crime seriously: Playing the weighting game. Policing a Journal of Policy and Practice 10 (3): 184–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ignatans, D., and K. Pease. 2016b. On whom does the burden of crime fall now? Changes over time in counts and concentration. International review of victimology 22 (1): 55–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Los, G., D. Ignatans, and K. Pease. 2017. First generation immigrant judgements of offence seriousness: Evidence from the crime survey for England and Wales. Crime Prevention and Community Safety 19 (2): 151–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mayhew, P. 1985. The effects of crime: Victims, the public and fear. Research on victimisation. In: 16th International symposium on criminology. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.Google Scholar
  14. McLeod, M.D. 1999. Why did it happen to me? Social cognition processes in adjustment and recovery from criminal victimisation and illness. Current Psychology 18: 18–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nussbaum, M. 2016. Anger and forgiveness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Overmeir, J.B. 2002. On learned helplessness. Integrative Physiological and Behavioural Science 37: 4–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Planty, M., and K.J. Strom. 2007. Understanding the role of repeat victims in the production of annual victimization rates. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 23: 179–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schachter, S., and J. Singer. 1962. Cognitive, social, and physiological determinants of emotional state. Psychological Review 69: 379–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schachter, S., and L. Wheeler. 1962. Epinephrine, chlorpromazine and amusement. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 65: 121–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sherer, K.R., and A. Moors. 2019. The emotion process: Event appraisal and component differentiation. Annual Review of Psychology 70: 719–745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Strang, H. 2003. Repair or revenge: Victims and restorative justice. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  22. Strudler-Wallston, B., and K.A. Wallston. 1979. Locus of control and health: A review of the literature. Health Education and Behaviour 6: 107–117.Google Scholar
  23. Teatero, M.L., and A.M. Penney. 2015. Fight-or-flight response. In Phobias: The psychology of irrational fear, ed. I. Milosevic and R.E. McCabe, 2015. Greenwood: Santa Barbara, CA.Google Scholar
  24. Torre, M., and M. Lieberman. 2018. Putting feelings into words: Affect labelling as implicit emotion regulation. Emotion Review 10: 116–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldEngland, UK
  2. 2.University of DerbyDerbyEngland, UK

Personalised recommendations