PhD Defence A.I. (Iris) Glas


Prof.dr. G.B.M. Engbersen


Dr. F.G. Snel

Thursday 21 Jan 2021, 13:30 - 15:00
PhD defence
Senate Hall
Erasmus Building
Campus Woudestein
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On Thursday 21 January 2021, A.I. Glas will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Fear of Crime and Neighbourhood Cohesion in Context; On the role of place, time and ethnic diversity’.

This thesis focuses on why people feel safe or unsafe in their residential environment. It illustrates how differences in fear of crime can be explained and shows the preferred way to research such differences. The research is based on large scale (survey)data collected in the Netherlands.
The most important findings and conclusions are:
- in line with previous research, it shows that fear of crime can be explained by various contextual factors. A person’s safety level not only depends on the level of registered crime, but also on factors related to ethnic diversity, the level of economic disadvantage and the absence of incivilities in the residential context.
- in most current research and policy aimed at explaining or reducing fear of crime, the neighbourhood plays an important and prominent role. This thesis shows why this ‘neighbourhood approach’ is sometimes too simplistic. A new approach is introduced, which relies on creating individualized measures of a person’s living environment (also called ‘egohoods’). 
-perceptions of unsafety can be change over time. This research finds that the share of inhabitants living in Rotterdam who sometimes feel unsafe in their neighbourhood, reduced almost by half in the years 2003-2007. From 2008 onwards, these numbers have stabilized. It refutes the often-made claim that fear levels continue to rise, despite dropping crime levels.

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