Key assumptions for Reducing the Fear of Crime:
- Fear matters—it negatively affects individuals and communities.
- Fear is real—while it is just a feeling, fear affects behavior, politics, economics, and social life.
- Admittedly, fear is not as important as crime—the harm caused by fear should not be equated with the tangible and often tragic harm caused by violent crime or significant property crime.
- But fear is very important—while making people safe is perhaps the most important purpose of government, making them feel safe is nearly as important because fear has such negative ramifications for politics, economics, and social life.
- Reducing fear is and should be a police responsibility—the important government purpose of making people feel safe falls to the police logically and of necessity.
- Police can reduce fear—promising fear-reduction strategies and practices have been developed and tested in the past 30 years.
- Reducing fear should be an explicit police priority—unless police specifically target fear of crime, their attention tends to get distracted toward other issues, and fear reduction efforts are neglected.
- Fear-reduction efforts should be targeted—the preponderance of the evidence on police effectiveness in general is that more targeted strategies work best. This general principle applies to the specific challenge of reducing fear of crime.