Arseny Verkeev   1, 2, Dmitriy Serebrennikov 3
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 16 Soyuza Pechatnikov Str., Saint Petersburg, 190008, Russian Federation
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 3 European University at St. Petersburg, 6/1A Gagarinskaya St., St. Petersburg, 191187

Victims of Their Own Fear: the Perceived Safety and Crime Victim Experience in Russia

2023, vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 179–206 [issue contents]
In recent decades, criminologists around the world have observed a decrease in the level of crime, especially violent crime, that is, the so-called “great crime drop”. However, the actual safety may not correspond to subjective safety, i.e., how people perceive their safety against various threats. In this article, we use the Russian Crime Victimization Survey(2021) conducted by the Institute for the Rule of Law at the European University at St. Petersburg to study the relationships between fear of crime, and the sociodemographic and the criminological characteristics of the respondents. These data make it possible to assess how the experience of victims of various crimes and their fear of different types of crimes are related. We find that the relationships between socio-demographic characteristics and fear of crime in Russia are broadly similar to those observed in other countries. At the same time, we identify a number of noteworthy features regarding crime victims. First, the victim experience increases the level of fear of crime on average. Second, the more serious the crime incidents people have experienced in the past, the higher their level of fear of crime. Third, victims of classic in-person crimes (such as theft or assault) often fear future crime. Moreover, in case of property crime, they tend to fear future property crime but not violence. At the same time, victims of violence can fear future property crime along with violence. The fact that the incident was remote (committed via the Internet or telephone) is not related to the fear of crime. Thus, the fear of “classic” crimes is experienced differently by the victims as compared to remote crimes which poses broader questions about the dynamics of perceived safety and the demand for the law enforcement involvement in the future.
Citation: Verkeev A., Serebrennikov D. (2023) Zhertvy svoego strakha: sub"ektivnaya bezopasnost' i opyt viktimizatsii v Rossii [Victims of their own fear: the perceived safety and crime victim experience in Russia]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 22, no 2, pp. 179-206 (in Russian)
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