The Public’s Perception on ‘Stranger Danger’: Is ‘Stranger Danger’ the Real Threat?
As a student on the Criminology and Criminal Justice Foundation Degree, this report has been conducted for the use of the School of Law, Justice and Community Studies Department to analyze the emergence and effects of the ‘Stranger Danger’ campaign. Criminal behaviour has predominantly been associated with random acts of deviancy perpetrated by strangers; portrayed to the public through the media’s eyes and further instilled into primary school children during safety week. Children are taught to identify any member of the public whom they are not associated with, as a threat; and are further provided with safety measures such as how to avoid unsafe situations and abate strangers when approached by them, noting events and car registration plates, alongside reporting detailed accounts of the occurrence. Furthermore, parents are provided with pamphlets on the key “how to’s” in teaching their child about stranger danger. However, nor the school curriculum or the parents are encouraged to address the issues of safety within the home, or risks of harm among acquaintances; how to identify these and report them. The stranger danger pandemic created by the media has blind-sighted the more common threats that lies within the family unit, preventing sufferers to report the abuse and those around the victimization, to acknowledge the signs and intervene. This report aims to provide awareness towards the common risks of harm faced through factors such as domestic violence and child abuse; erasing the fear of strangers which has been instilled into the public through the moral panic of ‘stranger danger’. The key question asked here is “is ‘stranger danger’ the real threat?”; in order to answer this successfully, there shall be an insight on the public’s perception of stranger danger through a series of questions, alongside a survey which shall require participants to answer their views on what they believe the statistics of crime are; and upon acknowledging the