Environmental degradation and fear of crime The research evidence in the center of Athens


  • Christina Zarafonitou
  • Eleni Kontopoulou


Environmental degradation, social degradation, graffiti, fear of crime, insecurity


Environmental factors are of crucial importance for the study of the criminal phenomenon. Within the scientific field of Environmental Criminology the criminological interest is not limited in the study of victimisation and criminality but it is also extended to fear of crime and insecurity in the urban environment. In such a context the significant social changes that took place in Greece during the recent years have affected at a great extent the Greek capital. The physiognomy of many areas in the city of Athens, especially in its centre, were affected and visible signs of environmental and social degradation emerged. The present study focuses on the relationship between, on the one hand, the environmental and social degradation and, on the other hand, the victimisation and insecurity of the residents and workers in the centre of the Greek capital with an emphasis being placed on the examination of the type and quantity of graffiti observed in the city centre. Furthermore, possible correlations with other characteristics of environmental and social deterioration in the area, such as abandoned houses, closed shops, garbage in the streets, public drug use, illegal sex working and illegal trade were taken into consideration.