Crime, fear of crime and insecurity during the pandemic: The Greek reality

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26250/heal.panteion.uc.v3i2.287

Keywords:

Covid-19 pandemic, crime trends, Greece, fear of crime, insecurity

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic that emerged in the beginning of 2020 has been a massive health crisis causing tremendous consequences in all sectors of everyday human life. In this context, it is assumed that such a health crisis along with the imposition of the various restrictive measures to reduce the spread of the virus, have had a profound impact on crime and fear of crime worldwide. In the framework of the present analysis, we investigate such an impact on crime and insecurity in Greece during the year 2020 and the first quarter of the year 2021. According to the research data there was a shift in crime interest and a simultaneous reduction in overall crime as well as in specific categories of crime during the implementation of the two lockdowns in the first year of the pandemic. Indeed, in some crime categories, such as crimes against property and economic crimes, the reduction exceeded approximately 30%. In contrast, in terms of cybercrime, there has been an increase since the implementation of the first lockdown. As far as the first quarter of the year 2021 is concerned, a slight increase in crime rates was recorded from March onwards when the restrictive measures loosened. Regarding fear of crime, our analysis has shown that during the first year of the pandemic the prevailing preoccupations and worries of the Greek citizens have centered upon their personal financial situation and on their daily life, as well as on the fear of infection and the spread of the pandemic. As is evidenced the uncertainty that was caused by the pandemic and the consequent measures has led the Greek citizens in a state of limbo were fear and insecurities linked to survival prevailed, while concerns about crime have moved to the background. However, from 2020 to 2021 a transition from survival-related fear to quality-of-life-related fear is observed. The aforementioned shifts in crime and fear of crime could be related to the restructuring of criminal opportunities as a consequence of the imposed restrictions to everyday mobility and the displacement of crime from the public space to the private setting. Such a displacement led to a noticeable reduction in exposure to risks and threats related to crime in the public sphere. In addition, in terms of fear of crime and insecurity, it is expected that during such a serious health crisis the focus of attention shifts from fear of crime and concerns about crime to other concerns arising from a general fear of survival.

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Published

2022-09-30

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Articles