To What Extent Can These Strategies Be Transferred to a Commercial Setting and What Evidence Is There That They Will Be Effective?

MSc Security and Risk Management (September 09)
Module 1- Essay

Access control, natural surveillance and territoriality are concepts that have been applied to designing out crime in residential initiatives.
To what extent can these strategies be transferred to a commercial setting and what evidence is there that they will be effective?

Word Count:   4127

In the late 20th century a new school of thought was adopted regarding crime prevention within residential areas. Studies examined at locations where crime occurred and where fear of crime was greatest, with a view to changing the design of the built environment to remove from those locations the elements that made them subject to crime. “For centuries, historians and researchers have studied the relationship between the environment and behaviour. CPTED [Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design] draws from a multidisciplinary base of knowledge to create its own theoretical framework including the fields of architecture, urban design and planning, landscape architecture, sociology, psychology, anthropology, geography, human ecology, criminology and criminal justice” (Sorensen et al. 2008:53). Also referred to as the ‘Defensible Space’ concept, these two principles concentrate on “natural surveillance, natural access control, and territorial concern” (Crowe 2000:5).
CPTED strategies have been cited as “proven to enhance community activities while reducing crime problems...helping the community to function properly...directly improve property values, business profitability” (Crowe 2000:46). It seems an obvious assumption that the strategies that have proven successful in the residential environment would effectively translate into a commercial setting, after all this latter context still concerns people and properties and, the desired end results are very similar: “the physical environment...manipulated to produce behavioural effects that will reduce the incidence or fear of crime, thereby improving...