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"In some eyes it’s still Oooh, Gloucester, yeah Fred West”: spatial stigma and the impact of a high-profile crime on community identity

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)82-94
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/06/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The question of how crime impacts on others has generated a wealth of research over the past few decades. However, there is surprisingly little knowledge about how ‘high-profile’ crimes impact on community members who live in a town that has become synonymous with the crime itself. This study involves interviews with community members who lived or worked in the town of Gloucester when the serial killings perpetrated by Fred and Rosemary West were discovered in 1994. An interpretative phenomenological analysis explores the lived experiences and meaning-making processes engaged in by the participants. Findings highlight their attempts to make sense of a high-profile case that stigmatised their own community and the practices of identity management that continue to operate some 20 years later.