The drivers of perceptions of anti-social behaviour

Published: March 2010

Perceptions of Anti-Social Behaviour are driven by processes of interpretation. There is often a mismatch between an objective measure of anti-social behaviour, and perceptions. Based on analysis of available research studies, sourced using a rapid evidence assessment methodology, this report outlines two processes of interpretation that seem to be fundamental in supporting heightened perceptions of Anti-Social Behaviour. First, people use certain ‘shorthand’ ways to judge the level of disorder in an area. Second, perceptions of Anti-Social Behaviour are linked to deeper seated anxieties about the state of society in general, and qualities of neighbourhoods in particular. Interventions that hold the potential to deliver long-lasting reductions in Perceptions of Anti-Social Behaviour are proposed to be rooted in processes of engagement targeted at building empathy and mutual respect.

Authors / Editors

Prof Simon Mackenzie

Victoria University of Wellington

Research Themes

Evidence, Statistics and Trends

Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice