Erin Bixler

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Forensic and Investigative Science

Committee Chair

Rachel Stein

Committee Co-Chair

Amy Hirshman

Committee Member

Jesse Wozniak


Research on the fear of crime, or the fear of victimization, started becoming a popular topic in the late 1960s and has stayed in the spotlight since then. However, there has been a very small amount of literature that has focused on how an individual's fear of crime impacts their perceptions of the police. There has also been cloudiness in previous literature about how to measure fear of crime. This study examines the relationship between an individual's fear of crime and their perceptions of the police using two different measures of police, perceptions of police effectiveness and perceptions of community policing. Additionally, this study compared two different measurements of fear of crime, a general measure and a specific measure, to determine which is a better predictor of perceptions of police. The data for this study are obtained from the 2008-2009 survey Developing Uniform Performance Measures for Policing in the United States: A Pilot Project in Four Agencies. Results showed that the better predictor of perceptions of police depended on which aspect of police is being measured. Additionally, results showed that as an individual's fear of crime increases, their perceptions of the police become more negative. The results of this study will be useful to police departments, government agencies and communities around the country.