Predicting fear of crime: Personality outperforms prior victimisation

David Alexander Ellis, Kayleigh J. Renouf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


Reported levels of crime continue to fall, but fear of crime remains a significant social problem. Previous studies have identified several factors that predict fear of crime (e.g. age and gender) however; it is not obvious how this information can be used to help distinguish between individuals in larger groups. Personality is predictive of other lifestyle outcomes yet its relationship with fear of crime remains unknown. We examined personality correlates of fear of crime alongside other well-established predictors. A total of 301 participants completed the HEXACO-PI-R personality scale, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. Higher levels of emotionality (r = .37) and lower levels of honesty-humility (r = -.18) correlated with increased levels of crime related fear; however, prior victimisation did not improve a subsequent model. While elucidating the relationship between fear of crime and personality, our results also raise additional questions concerning the measurement of crime related fear in the general population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-418
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date5 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Crime
  • personality
  • victimization


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