Fear of Crime
One would assume fear of crime would primarily come from having been a victim, but research has shown that fear of crime far exceeds actual victimization rates. Although previous experience as a victim is related to fear of crime, the inconsistency between fear of crime and victimization suggests that fear of crime may be largely independent of the incidence or distribution of crime itself.
Fear of crime may come from the news media, word of mouth, or personal experience. The news media over reports serious crime and thus may overly influence a much larger population area than just the area where the crimes occurred. Many people turn to friends and family when they fear crime. This seems to be a reasonable reaction to fear, but, instead of reducing fear of crime, family and friends can sometimes be a source of fear by causing worry about things not directly related to crime itself.
Property victimization has more effect on fear of crime than personal victimization. People who know about crime in their community or who have personally witnessed a crime tend to have greater fear of crime. Fear of crime may reduce victimization because people with a high level of fear may take more precautions that lower their chance of ever becoming a victim. The effects of victimization on fear of crime can persist for years after the crime occurred. Fear of crime is more pronounced in vulnerable people.