The fear of gun and knife crime affects people across the UK, not just those in inner-city communities, a poll for think tank Policy Exchange claims.
The survey of 2,156 adults found 45% felt their area was less safe than it was five years ago due to such crimes.
Nearly a third of those living in urban areas said they or their family were at risk, compared to 23% in rural areas.
The recent growth in gun crime on the streets of Britain’s inner-city areas is “terrifying”, police have admitted, following a spate of shootings in London and Manchester on Thursday night, which left three teenagers injured.
In Manchester, detectives denied they were losing control of the Moss Side area after a 16-year-old girl was shot in the street in an attack which some have linked to the murder of Jesse James, 15, earlier this month. At the same time in London, community leaders said the shooting of two black teenagers in a McDonald’s in Brixton had left people in a state of shock.
The shootings come in the wake of a series of violent incidents this week. In Nottingham, Nathan Williams, 17, was shot dead while cycling through the city in Tuesday, while four unconnected shootings in London over the past week have left four people seriously injured and one man, aged 22, dead.
According to the British Crime Survey, around 15 per cent of young men aged between 16 and 24 have experienced some kind of violent crime.
New figures reveal that half of all firearm incidents in Manchester, a city where two-and-a-half firearm offences occur on average each day, are committed by men aged between 15 and 20.
In London, shootings are running at almost one a day; fatal shootings at more than two a month. Between April 2005 and last March, officers from Operation Trident and Operation Trafalgar, which targets gun crime in other communities, investigated 343 shootings compared to 246 for the same period 12 months earlier, an increase of more than a third.