Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Perceptually Contemporaneous Offenses
Studies of the fear of crime have consistently shown women to be more afraid of crime, although men are more likely to be victims of crime. Similarly, some measures of fear reveal that the elderly also have fear levels that are disproportionate with their low victimization risk. To explain these discrepancies, in 1984, Mark Warr introduced the theoretical concept “perceptually contemporaneous offenses.” A perceptually contemporaneous offense is a crime that is linked to another crime because of a perceived belief that one crime may lead to another more serious crime. Fear of a specific crime is a trigger for fear of several other crimes. For example, the elderly may fear crimes like begging more than younger individuals because of the perceptually contemporaneous offense of assault. Another example given by Warr is that women may fear assault, burglary, or homicide more than men because of the tendency to link these crimes ...