Fear of Crime in a Nonurban Setting

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The present research develops a perspective that focuses on perceptions of crime and disorder in a rapidly growing nonurban setting. Model hypotheses are: (1) perceptions of drug and gang problems are associated with a wide variety of police order and crime problems; (2) increases in problem perceptions are associated with fears of victimization; (3) fears of victimization are associated with declines in social and recreational activity frequency; (4) perceptions of a high degree of social infrastructure will mitigate the effects of victimization fears on recreational activity frequency. Findings supported Hypotheses 1 and 3, but were mixed for Hypotheses 2 and 4. Model weaknesses suggested the inapplicability of a broken windows/disorder perspective in this research setting.