Swedish researchers have been looking into the factors that make people afraid to walk the streets at night. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg carried out a series of studies into this issue. They found that young people who had experienced threats and violence felt more insecure than others, particularly when they were on their own. Being alone was a strong factor in people's insecurity. Being with friends and acquaintances made people feel most secure but even being surrounded by strangers made people feel safer. Younger people actually felt more insecure than older ones. The research also looked at how people's beliefs about the media influenced their perception of danger. They found that people who thought the media under-reported crime thought that the streets were more dangerous than those who thought the media was accurate or that it exaggerated crime.
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