Fear of Crime: Does Trust and Community Participation Matter?

Jul 2008
This paper examines the association between trust and community involvement with fear of crime. Fear of crime is measured by three typical perception measures: neighbourhood security; walking alone in the dark; and the risk of becoming a victim. The data is from Chile's Victimisation Survey. The techniques used are a multinomial regression and an impact -propensity score single difference- calculation. We find that while trust matters participation generally does not for fear. However, regressions leave open the direction of causality. An impact calculation confirms that participation in a neighbourhood crime prevention program does not affect the fear of crime. Thus the evidence challenges the general idea that involvement in one's community and the specific idea of community participation in neighbourhood crime prevention programs reduce fear and increase feelings of safety.