Sociology Index

PUBLIC IMAGES OF CRIME

Public image of crime is the perception of crime and the threat of crime generally held by members of the community. Public image of crime may be manipulated by authorities and the media to focus on some types of crime and criminal behavior and divert attention from others.

Public perceptions of crime have typically been quite separate from an objective account of the amount of crime or its distribution. To take crime seriously is not to reflect the public images of crime. But it is to say that there is a rational core to public concerns and images.

That popular conceptions of crime and policing are constructed out of the material experiences of people rather than fantasies impressed upon them by the mass media or agencies of the State (Young, 1987: 337).