June 1, 1988
Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government

This paper explores fear as a problem to be addressed by the police. It examines current levels and recent trends in the fear of crime; analyzes how fear is linked to criminal victimization; considers the extent to which fear is a distinct problem that unties separate control strategies; and assesses the positive and negative consequences of fear. It then turns to what is known about the efficacy of police strategies for managing fear, i.e. for reducing fear when it is irrational and destructive, and for channeling fear along constructive paths when it is reasonable and helpful in controlling crime.

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