Fear of crime bears little relation to statistics on the ground

3 February 2011

Dr Murray Lee discusses the pros and cons of the Home Office's new crime mapping website for the United Kingdom in article for The Guardian newspaper.

"Crime maps are wonderfully seductive," he writes.

"They reduce complex social phenomena to a limited number of dots or shading on a cartographic representation of space.

"They are not however representations of reality but sociopolitical artefacts.

"Democratising information about crime may well be desirable, but these maps are unlikely to be a magic bullet in the fight against crime.

"If there is a lesson to be drawn from a history of fear-of-crime research, it is that the more we attempted to measure and analyse fear of crime in attempts to allay fear, the more fearful the public became."

View the entire article - Crime maps, policing and fear - The Guardian

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