Sociology Writing Help



1.1 Introduction

In the recent past, the number of criminal activities has increased significantly in England. The majority of the people living in various states express their fear to criminal activities like knife attack in London streets. About 30% to 50% of people residing in London fear being victims of the criminal activities (Shoemaker 2015, pp.96). Emotional feeling or anxiety cause fear of being a victim of crime due to awareness or expected danger from crime vulnerability. In the real sense, fear of crime is contributed mostly by public perception of the possibility of crime activities in an area, the public sense of insecurity in a particular area and public approximations of consequences and seriousness of crime in an area. Street robbers target individuals who feel extremely vulnerable to criminal activities. These researchers established fear of street robbers aged 16 – 35 years among the residents of London.

1.2 Hypothesis and Aim

The research has the following aims;

  • To find out the time when the majority of street crime happen
  • To investigate security measure undertaken by community and local authority to reduce street crime in the area and whether there are less or more police in London
  • To find out if people fear going out at night due to street crime                                           
  • To find out the perception of people toward the street crime in London
  • To establish the major reason that makes people fear street crime  or media friends stories
  • What crime are they most scared of, sexual, mugging, knife, violent or car theft.

The hypotheses of the survey are,

➢Has people fear of street crime has increased in London.
➢ Is knife crime is their biggest fear?
➢ What crime are they most scared of, sexual, mugging, knife, violent or car theft.


Fear is emotion induced by sensing or seeing danger or threat. Fear led to changes in metabolic and organ functioning which ultimately led to change of behaviors. The fear is normally due to specific stimuli that lead to a behavioral change in a characteristic of a person. Fear of crime is the behavior change that leads to avoidance instinct of becoming a victim of crime.

Knife Crime

A knife attack is a criminal activity that involves the use of a knife to threaten, instill fear, or injure another person with the intention to rob or harm. Crime is an unlawful action that is against norms of the society or the state.

1.3 Secondary Data Analysis

The location of a community or the society greatly determines amount and kind of the information concerning crime and criminal activity that a person is susceptible to get. In the majority of the society, the information relating to the crime and criminal activities come through three major ways; these ways include interpersonal communication on the experience of the crime, first-hand experience as a victim or witness of the crime and mass media (Sparks 2016, pp.7). The information of the crime is relayed to the brain where different individuals perceive it differently. In most cases, the information of crime is mediated to the imagination in the brain of the receivers. The person who receives the information starts figuring out the scene of the crime and creates a picture in the brain (Lawrence 2016, pp. 17). The majority of the crime activities have an ill motive to others causing those perceive the information on the crime to develop a negative instinct. This instinct provokes emotions and worries, which may lead to long-term effects such as fear, stigmatization, and victimization.

Crime has four different elements that determine the extent of fear to crime in people living in a specific locality. These elements are the extent of the crime, nature of the crime, characteristic of offenders who commit a crime, and consequences of the crime (Garofalo 1981, pp.839). The extent of Crime refers to how far the crime has affected a given locality, which can be either at neighborhood level or the entire city or town. Nature of the crime refers to the type of the criminal activity and the violent involved. Criminals can be of the different characteristic either violent or non-violent. Consequences of criminal activities are direct or indirect effects of crime on the victims, such as stigma, trauma, property loss, financial loss among others.

1.4 Methodology

The survey collected both quantitative data and qualitative data since there were more variables tested. The study employed three different methods of collecting data, which were questioners, interview, and observations. The questioners were vital tools for collecting both quantitative and qualitative information in the research. The study preferred the use both open-ended and closed-ended questions. The close-ended questions comprise of strict answers where the respondents required picking the most appropriate answer from the multiple choices provided. The open-ended question allowed respondent to express their attitude and opinion to fear of knife attack in their words. The questioner was preferred because it had privacy and confidential qualities. Face to face, interview, and a phone interview was used to gather information to individuals who were illiterate and unable to answer the questioners. The phone interview was appropriate to the victims and offenders who are not willing to disclose their identity or too busy to attend the survey. The observation was used to note various observable features like the hide out for gangs, weapons used, security facilities, streetlights, and demonstration of crime.   

Some respondent avoided answering some of the question or other they picked more than two choices that made analysis ineffective. Illiteracy of some of the respondent led to some of the answers to the open-ended questions to be unclear and difficult to understand their views. Some respondent in the interview failed to respond to some of the questions well due to emotions of their earlier experience to a knife attack.

1.5 Practical and Ethical Issues

During the research, various challenges were experiences that hinder collection of effective information needed in the research. Some respondents avoided participating in the research due to stigma and emotions from the exposure to a knife attack. It was difficult to access some of the street gang hideouts due to high levels of tension. The research was conducted during the day, which was cumbersome, and some of the information concerning the street gangs operations at night was not well gathered.

1.6 Sampling

Purposive sampling technique was used in the research to select the study population used in the research. Purposive was effective in this research since it used the judgments of the researcher to select appropriate respondents based on certain characteristics. When selecting respondents, researchers used certain judgmental characteristics to note who meet the inclusion criteria. The study involved 300 victims of crime, 50 security personnel and 50 street robbers aged from 16to 35years living in London.


2.1 Plan for Research

The research was conducted from 4th January 2017 to 25th April 2017. The research was done in all Major Street, residential homes and security facilities in London. The pretest of the research instrument was done from 4th January 2017 to 8th January 2017. The research was done in three phases;

The first phase of the research started on 10th January to 7th February 2017. In this phase questioners and face to face, interviews were used interchangeably depending on the preference of the respondents. The second phase commenced on 8th February to 28th February 2017. The researchers used mobile tents to conduct the research. In the second phase questioners, observation and face-to-face interviews were used to gather information. The third phase resumed 7th March to 28th March 2017. The research method used was observation, phone interviews, and questioners. Data analysis resumed on 1st April to 23rd April 2017.

2.2 Materials

The materials used during the survey were questioners, interview guide, tally sheets, time and direction guide instruments, notebooks and pens.


3.1 Primary Data Analysis

Fear of knife attack is the major challenge among the resident of London. 78% of the respondent used in the survey indicated they fear street crime. 45% of the security personnel in the survey indicated they fear organized crime conducted by street robbers. 28% of petty street crime offenders indicated they fear senior street crime offenders especially those that possess firearms.

On how the respondents relate to a knife attack, 18% of the respondent indicated that they had been victims of knife attack among them 39% were injured during the criminal activity. 27% indicated they had witnessed a knife attack happening. 24% of the respondent agreed to have received information about street robberies in through interpersonal communications and 58% from mass media and social media.

On questions relating to nature of the street crime, the majority of the respondent indicated they fear knife attack because of physical assault, vandalism, sexual harassment, and homicide. 80% of the street robbers involved in the survey indicate that they prefer using violence to conduct their robbing activity. 70% of respondent indicate they fear knife attack due to violence they have experienced or heard concerning knife attack offenders.


4.1 Conclusion

            The main aim of the research was to investigate the extent, reason, and outcome of fear to the street robberies of people living in London. The study also investigated security measure undertaken to reduce knife attack; it investigated the time preferred by street robbers to commit the crime and if fear to go out at night has any relationship with a knife attack. Fear of the street crime is one of the major challenges to the residents of London. The research found that majority of the residents in London fear knife attack due to violence linked to the street crime. The research found that majority of the people they fear street robbers because of the information concerning the street crime they receive from media, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations such as the churches. Thus proofing the first hypothesis of the study that people fear street robbers due to public sensitization to a knife attack.

The study indicates many people from the society they fear knife attack due to its violent outcome that injures a person directly or indirectly. Majority indicate street cause physical assault, sexual assault, and homicide to victims in the process of stealing from them. The street robbers they prefer using violence in to carry out their crimes to the victim because they feel that violence instill fear to the victim so that they can victimize them easily. The majority of street robbers prefer carrying their criminal activities at night since there is less security personnel, and they can easily commit a street crime without being noted. Many people avoid going out at night due to fear of being victims of a knife attack. Hence proving the second hypothesis of the study that is many people doesn’t go out at night due to fear of being a victim of as a street crime.

4.2 Evaluation

The secondary data used during the research was very fundamental. The sources provided information necessary on different variables tested in the research. Secondary information was used to establish a gap of information from other research conducted. The information also provided the information on the methods used by earlier researchers in the same field of the study. This information on research methods was used to analyze the strength and weakness of research methods and techniques used in the study. Secondary sources also provided vital information on street robbers found in London’s streets and the extent of their violence that could disrupt the survey.   

The sample used in the survey was appropriate to come up with the precise conclusion of the general population. Using purposive sampling technique was vital for this research since the participants selected in the survey were directly affected or involved in knife attack happening in London. Using study population from different social context enables the researcher to come up with the objective and conclusive information. The research was also done in various location in London to avoid coming up with subjective information from a specific locality. The duration of the survey was enough to gather information that is more detailed from the target population.

As noted earlier the methods used in the study had some limitations that affect survey in certain ways. All the questioners were in English. Thus they challenged the respondents who were unable to read and write in English properly. Moreover, there were no available interpreters for respondents who did not understand the English language. Many respondents spoiled their questioners leading to shortages of the questioners in several instances. Time allocated for interviews especially during the second phase of the research in the street was not enough for respondents to answer the questions exclusively. Some victims and robbers failed to disclose important information needed in the research. 

The aims of the research were all studied but not to an exclusive extent. The hypotheses of the study were proven, but there is still a gap of doing a similar study to affirm the hypotheses in a different region in London. From the secondary sources, it is noted fear to a knife attack is a major threat to freedom of movement to people residing in London especially at night. For future study, it is recommended to change some questions in the study that seems to be more subjective.


Densley, JA 2014, Its gang life, but not as we know it: The evolution of gang business, Crime & Delinquency, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 517-546.

Garofalo, J 1981, The fear of crime: Causes and consequences, The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 839-857.

Lawrence, P 2016, The historiography of crime and criminal justice, In The Oxford handbook of the history of crime and criminal justice (p. 17). Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Shoemaker, R 2015, Forty years of crime in London (Journal), The London Journal, vol. 40, no. 2, pp.89-105.

Sparks, R 2016, Landscapes of protection: The past, present, and futures of policing in an English town.Crime Unlimited? Questions for the Twenty-First Century, p.7.

Appendix 1. Questionnaire

  1. Do you fear knife attack in your area? Yes [   ]   No [  ]   if yes give reason
  2. Have you ever been a victim or witness knife attack? Yes [   ]   No [  ] if yes were you injured during the incidence
  3. How do you get information relating to the street crime in your area?

Friends [  ]    Mass media [  ]    Experience/ Witness [  ]

  • Which type of knife attack violence do you fear most?

Physical assault [  ]    Sexual assault [   ]   Homicide [  ] Vandalism [   ]

  • How frequently do you walk on the street at night?

Often [  ]     Rarely   [   ]       Never   [  ]

  • Why don’t you go outside at night?
  • Few police patrols cause a high rate of street robberies at night.

I Agree [   ] I Disagree [  ]     I don’t know [  ]

  • Most street robbers are violent. 

I Agree [   ] I Disagree [  ]     I don’t know [  ]

  • Do you think knife attack is wrong?

Yes [   ]   No [  ]

  1. Do you think knife attack can end?

Yes [   ]   No [  ] Give reason and you feeling…………………………………………….

  1. When do you think most of knife attack happens?

Night [  ]    Day [  ]

  1. What do you think to influence your perception to knife attack?

Friends [  ]    Mass media [  ]    Experience/ Witness [  ]

Tabulated result for the survey

Question No% of respondent out of 100Number of respondentsAnswers to the statistics 
 58%58Mass Media 
 28%28Physical Assault 
 55%55Fear of Attack 
 80%80Most of the Time 
 92%92At night 
 60%60Mass Media 
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