Purpose: Using a case study from Delhi, India, this study aims to investigate why perceived safety endures despite crimes in the neighborhood. Local residents in Delhi feel considerably less fearful of crime in their neighborhoods, and a majority reported feeling safe in their neighborhoods, especially during the daytime. Design/methodology/approach: This paper hypothesized that similar to the crime itself, perceptions of safety or the fear of crime, also tend to be concentrated in hotspots. Following a hotspot analysis based on the respondents’ perceptions of safety, the data gathered were applied to the perceived neighborhood structure. Using two perception-of-safety models, this paper could analyze the ripple effect of individual perception on the neighborhood by adding the calculated values of the perceived safety hotspot through hotspot analysis. Findings: The results indicated that income, trust in others, attachment to the local neighborhood and police access can increase residents’ perceptions of safety. Additionally, the neighborhoods’ perception of safety was found to positively impact the individual’s perception of safety. Research limitations/implications: This study was limited in terms of generalizing the findings. Further studies could potentially include not only other cities in India but also, cities in developing countries in Africa and Latin America, where residents tend not to fear crime despite high crime rates. Practical implications: Residents’ perceived safety does not necessarily reflect local crimes and security. Local policies to improve residents’ perceptions of safety have to often be separated from crime reduction because a reduction in some crimes would not necessarily improve residents’ perception of safety. Contrarily, if the crime rate is high, as in the case of Delhi, people may have a moderate fear of crime across the neighborhood. Originality/value: Notably, this study found that, along with trust in others and attachment to the local neighborhood, individuals’ perception of safety is positively affected by neighborhoods’ perception of safety, which is assessed by the alternate analytic model.
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