BY AMIN KHAN
There are four (4) things that we normally chat about crime:
1. The level of crime
2. The fear of crime
3. The feeling of safety
4. The confidence in criminal justice system.
Crime is generally measured as the volume of crime in a given area. The crime index used only covers property theft and violent crimes. It does not cover commercial crime, drug-related business crime and cyber-crime.
There is a gap between the reality of the crime index and public perception. The ‘reality perception’ gap exist because the public tends to over-state the risks relating the crime. There are two (2) components to this:
1. The fear of crime
2. The feeling of being unsafe in the environment.
Fear of crime is actually the fear of possibly being a victim of a crime. Whereas the feeling of being unsafe is the general feeling and not necessarily that person will be a victim. The ladies usually pay more attention to the general feeling of being unsafe and have higher fear of crime compared to men.
Risky environment are best described by the signals we get from the environment. It is important for us to have our desired quality of life and we should minimise our fear of crime. The authorities cannot be fighting crime and the fear of crime alone. This is a shared responsibility. The Public and the police must be united in fighting and bring down crime and the fear of crime. The crime index can never be zero and neither can the fear of crime.
The Star, Friday, 27 February 2015