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Personal security

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Personal security is a key component of people's well‐being. Although many factors influence personal security, crime is one of the most common ones. Crime may lead to the loss of life and property, physical pain, post‐traumatic stress and anxiety, both in the short and in the long run. Living in safe communities is essential to people's well‐being, as feelings of insecurity will limit people's daily activities and functionings. The indicators considered in this chapter provide a general picture of the nature and extent of crime, and of its effects on people's wellbeing. This chapter shows that intentional homicide rates are low in most OECD countries, although there is significant variation across countries. Self‐reported victimisation rates for assaults and muggings are below 5% in most OECD countries, but higher in other major economies. Similarly, most people living in OECD countries declare that they feel safe when walking alone in their neighbourhood at night, while this proportion is much lower in some of the other major economies. Evidence on other threats to personal security, such as domestic violence, remains scattered and suffers from cultural biases and methodological limitations that hamper international comparability.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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