Fear of Crime and Punitive Attitudes Before and During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Results From Student Surveys 2017-2021

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The paper uses student surveys to examine how fear of crime and punitive attitudes developed before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. The results show declines in cognitive and affective fear of crime before the pandemic, while there was an increase in fear levels during the pandemic. Punitive leniency and restorative punishment attitudes, which initially gained approval, showed considerable declines during the pandemic. Although the dimension of deterrence remained constant, its relevance increased due to the above-mentioned decline in the dimensions of punitive leniency and restorative justice. Although causality can only be assumed, it seems reasonable that this development was (partly) caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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