Are victims of crime mostly angry or mostly afraid?
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.
KeywordsAnger Emotions Fear of crime Victimisation
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