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An Investigation of the Sustainability of Crime Prevention in the Built Environment: Impact and Implementation Factors

Stokes, Mark (2021) An Investigation of the Sustainability of Crime Prevention in the Built Environment: Impact and Implementation Factors. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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This Thesis uses a case-study approach to examine the sustainability of crime prevention in the built environment and more specifically, Impact and Implementation factors over an extended time period –almost 25 years and one rarely encountered in the research literature. At its heart lie seven high-rise tower blocks constructed during the 1950s/early 1960s in Nechells, a district of inner-city Birmingham. These twelve-storey high blocks were refurbished in the early 1990s, albeit to different grades of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design).Four blocks constitute the case study site (CSS), three the comparison and all seven received separate Secured by Design (SBD) awards.

This investigation began with a review of all the available literature. As a result, it was decided to adopt a case study approach methodology combining changes in various kinds of crime data with a broader analysis based on the 5Is (a detailed process model of crime prevention). Recorded crime data covering the years 1988-2014 was requested from West Midlands Police and the vast bulk (some 1,459 offences) received. Knocking on the doors of the 532 flats at the CSS and comparison, resulted in questionnaires being completed for 286 tenant households. Twenty-two of these tenants were subsequently interviewed at length. And 12 professionals (who had been involved with the refurbishments in the early 1990s, management of the sites, or police crime prevention) similarly interviewed. Collectively, the quantitative and qualitative data was then analysed.

A number of key findings have been produced: how the potential conflict between security and fire safety issues requires careful/creative design to enable both, rather than compromise; knowledge of crime in high-rise tower blocks; uniqueness of a 25-year timeframe investigation; effectiveness of CPTED and SBD approaches; how the entrance doors to each flat and ground floor communal entrance doors should be of sufficient quality (durability and security effectiveness) to deliver sustainability of crime reduction over the very long term; the benefits of partnership working (including the tenants) and what works in practice to assist local authority and police managers as to where resources should be concentrated; that amongst the six crime categories analysed, burglary is most susceptible to the CPTED and SBD approaches, with no reported instances of aggravated burglary at either site and an 89.2 per cent reduction in burglary sustained at the CSS over 20 years; value of the DOCO role and their number; a once in 30-year opportunity to get things right; the value of 5Is as a research tool; and how the needs of the victims of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB)should be at the forefront of all such decision-making. Ultimately, this investigation adds to the canon of existing research regarding the effectiveness of CPTED, SBD and as a means of analysis, the 5Is.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Christine Morelli
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 12:19
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 14:20


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