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Fear of crime and community concerns: Mediating effect of risk and pragmatic fear

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Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

Published online on


This study investigates the relationship between community concerns (i.e., perceived crime, incivilities, and infrastructure) and fear of crime (FOC) while examining the mediating role of risk of victimisation and pragmatic fear. Gender and ethnic differences were also explored. Data were collected using a proportionate multistage random sample of 3,003 participants from a southern Caribbean island in 2015. The following self‐reported measures were used: risk of victimisation and FOC scales, a general (noncrime) fear scale measuring pragmatic fear, and a community concern scale. Data were analysed using path analysis, Sobel tests, and multiple group analysis. Findings revealed that perceived crime and incivilities significantly predicted FOC, whereas infrastructure was insignificant as a direct predictor. Females had higher FOC, and among ethnic groups, Indo‐Trinidadians had the highest FOC than Afro‐Trinidadians and Mixed participants. Risk of victimisation and pragmatic fear had significant mediating effects on community concerns and FOC. Findings are discussed in the context of the social psychology of social disorganisation and previous research.