Being surrounded by crime and the fear of crime literally makes people sick:
A new UCL (University College London) study has shown that people with a strong fear of crime are almost twice as likely to show symptoms of depression. The research, based on data taken from the Whitehall II study*, also shows that fear of crime is associated with decreased physical functioning and lower quality of life. The findings are published in the American Journal of Public Health.
The study's lead author, Dr Mai Stafford, UCL Epidemiology & Public Health, said: "Very broadly, these results show that if your fear of crime levels are higher, your health is likely to be worse - particularly your mental health. Of course, you might expect that people who are depressed or frail might be more afraid of crime and venturing out of doors, so we have taken account of previous mental health problems and physical frailty and adjusted for those accordingly. Even with a level playing field, the data still demonstrates this strong link between fear of crime and poorer mental health.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.