Understanding community perceptions of crime and safety is important to policy makers, legislators, and subsequently communities themselves. However,
such community perceptions are complex and have generally been poorly researched and assessed in the Australian context. This project sought to develop
better tools to research perceptions of crime and deploy these in a large-scale study of Victorian communities. The project was undertaken
throughout 2019. It deployed a stratified and randomised sample survey of n=2,862 respondents
across 70 communities in Victoria. It also comprised qualitative focus group interviews with a total samp le group of n=69 respondents across 15 focus groups. These focus groups targeted harder to reach groups less likely to be represented in the survey, but more likely to express concerns about crime. While the project was interested in levels, frequency and intensity of people’s worry about crime, we also sought to highlight how people respond to their
fears, and what impact these responses had on their lives. We also mapped out a range of risk and protective factors likely to impact negatively and positively on people’s worries. This mixed methods approach gives us unique insights into both the concerns people have about crime, the actions they take based on these concerns, and the way in which they discuss and describe their worries.