[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]
This manuscript uses rich data from South Africa and has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, it falls short of its intended purpose because it lacks needed context about fear of crime. I was surprised to see no real review of the fear of crime literature. This is key as the title and the results indicate the paper is about fear of crime. The author cannot contextualize the rich data and findings because there is no discussion of fear of crime, what is known about who fears what and in what contexts, or even why we study fear of crime in the first place. The South African study location and the qualitative nature of this paper are unique and have promise but the paper needs significant revisions before ready for publication.
[Please put additional info below, as/if you see fit.]
Once a fear of crime review is added to the paper, it should appear before the discussion of South African crime rates and country specifics. Crime rates/country specifics should become part of the “study context.” The presented South African information is very good and helpful, it is just not needed as part of the literature review.
Why mothers only? Since there wasn’t any background on mothers in relation to fear of crime, I’m left wondering why the focus on mothers? Further, why compare mothers to staff?
The theory section is out of place and reads like a dissertation rather than a peer reviewed article. If these theories will be used, they need to be explained in relation to the topic (fear of crime). Also, there is no need to have both control and strain unless the purpose of the paper is going to be to compare two theoretical perspectives.
The results could be revamped to separate out a fear of strangers from a fear of family. The author could compare women’s fear of strangers and family members and this could be a strong “hook” for the article.