The geography of fear - Where and when do we experience fear and how can it be understood?
- Contact person:
- Manne Gerell
- Länsförsäkringars Research Foundation
- Responsible at MaU:
- Manne Gerell
- Project members:
- Collaborators and other project members:
- Nicklas Guldåker - Lund University
- Time frame:
- 01 January 2023 - 31 December 2026
- Research subject:
About the project
In Sweden, fear of crime has usually been measured through annual retrospective surveys in larger geographical areas such as municipalities or residential neighbourhoods. Large parts of the existing fear of crime research is consequently focusing on individuals' general concern about being exposed to crime in these larger areas. The time perspectives in these studies are often long and unspecific. At the same time, there is research which suggests that fear of crime is linked to specific (micro) places and limited timeframes rather than larger areas and longer periods of time.
The current research project aims to in depth examine the temporal and spatial dimensions of fear of crime, that is, which specific places are experienced as unsafe and during which times, as well as what characterizes these dimensions. In order to gain an increased understanding of where, when, and not least why certain places are perceived as unsafe, both primary and secondary data on unsafe locations will be collected. The question of why cannot be answered in causal terms, but by studying fear of crime across different groups, contexts, and situations, an expanded understanding of the context fear of crime can be developed.
Existing secondary data from Malmö and Uppsala will be supplemented with surveys in smaller municipalities to further investigate fear of crime in more sparsely populated areas. The complementary data collection and analysis of primary data will include new and alternative survey and GIS-based methods to investigate unsafe locations. In order to understand unsafe locations, additional data on the characteristics of these locations, including socio-demographics of the population, and reported crimes, will be used. Against this background, the research project can contribute to an immersed precision in creating safer places by identifying which actual places, times and factors that can explain fear of crime and unsafety and how these vary between cities and sparsely populated areas in Sweden.
The project will generate new methods and results about the causes and geography of fear of crime, which benefits both the research community and Swedish municipalities working for safer municipalities and neighbourhoods.