The effects of crime on society include feelings of fear that disrupt the population’s sense of unity, the breakdown of social associations due to habitual avoidance of certain places, an unwillingness to go out at night and damage to the image of the community. The perception of a community as crime ridden can deter people from going there and induce residents to move away. This causes damage to the economy.
The fear of crime in any society is as damaging as the act of crime itself. It is emotionally taxing for the people who live in fear in high-crime communities. The fear of crime can negatively affect the residents' behavior, reduce community organization and deter new businesses from wanting to open in the area for fear of being robbed. This adds to the economic woes of an area heavy with crime. The law enforcement organizations of high-crime areas generally utilize an increased visibility, but this often backfires in low-income areas, causing the population to see the police as the enemy.
Other problems include the fact that victims of crime must deal with increased fear and trauma afterward. Even for those who have not been a victim of a crime, fear can vary depending upon the demographics of the person. Age is a factor because the elderly are more vulnerable. Gender is a factor because women express higher levels of fear of crime than men do. People living in non-white neighborhoods are more fearful of crime that those living in predominantly white areas, explains Flourish Itulua-Abumere. Crime can even change the appearance of neighborhoods, since gates and window guards detract from the aesthetic look of the community.