Essay on Crime: Limits to the CPTED approach

Following the four main points of the CPTED, the Cozens’ research indicates that there are certain confines to these strategies. He states the following: “commonly with all crime prevention strategies there are limitations to this approach”¯ (Cozens, 2005). According to Jacobo Krauel’s “Urban Spaces”¯ (2009), it is possible to discourage the unlawful criminals by means of CPTED primary strategies: “Irrational criminals and offenders such as those under the influence of alcohol or drugs are in most cases less likely to be discouraged by first generation CPTED strategies, but in the same way, they may be less likely to correspond predictable with any crime prevention initiatives”¯ (Krauel, 2009).

Besides, the CPTED strategies have an insufficient effect due to unconstructive demographic and socio-economic conditions. Sometimes it even decreases the absolute effect. It resulted in the CPTED’s changing and establishing the next set of strategies and regulations which were developed in the 1990’s by such researchers as Saville and Cleveland.

One more restriction was a considerable criticism of such researchers as Hakim and Rengert who stated that CPTED is forced out and that there exist five different types where the implementation of crime prevention methods in a certain area can force out already existing crimes. It can be explained in terms of targets, time, tactics, type and location of crime (Saville, 2005). Consequently Saville in his recent research has made a predication that “displacement can be used as a constructive tool”¯ (Saville, 2005).

Apart from that, in the work of Hillier (2005) there was found one more disadvantage. He stated that CPTED required “adequate community contribution, but with residents and neighbourhood areas such as resident communities depart behind walls, fences and fortified homes”¯ (Hillier, 2005). Such areas viewed this strategy as ineffective.

Impact of CPTED in the built environment

The impact of CPTED on the built environment is evident in contemporary construction of buildings along with its connection with urban regeneration. Hillier indicated: “it is commonly known, the residents of crime embedded communities experience some of the sternest environmental and social problems. Therefore a sustainable community must be one that is described as a safe and protected as well as considered safe by others”¯ (Hillier, 2005). However it is important to add that according to Cozens “standardization of CPTED principles in planning could avoid recurrence of a number of design failures of the past and contribute towards a form of “urban environmentalism”¯ for the 21st century”¯ (Urbanspaces, 2009).

Concealed and isolated routes

Concealed and isolated routes are predicted routes that as a rule do not provide any alternatives for pedestrians. It can sometimes result in a criminal realizing where pedestrians will end up in case they follow a path that is concealed or isolated (NCPC, 2003). Such places as subway, escalators or underground passes are only a small number of numerous examples of the built environment where people are afraid to be attacked by the criminal and are concerned about their own security. It results in the fear of crime when pedestrians are alone in insecure areas (Schneider, 2009). Residents should avoid concealed and isolated routes as much as possible. But in case it is absolutely necessary to go through such areas, it should be ensured that the area is designed in a proper way having a clear visibility (Kitchen, 2002). However, already existing areas that have a high criminal level should be removed or improved if possible (NCPC, 2003). The Home Office indicates that keeping certain areas isolated and concealed only leads to more crimes, while clear visibility and natural surveillance can make it possible to ensure that the area is a lot more secure and the criminals have less opportunity to attack (Home Office, 2010). Some sort of signs might probably help pedestrians use well-illuminated routes.

Entrapment areas

As a rule, entrapment areas are restricted areas in the built environment which are not easily visible because of a certain degree of isolation or concealment. It may as well be dead space under a bridge or stairwell which is used by pedestrians (Sutton, 2008). However, entrapment areas also include car-parks as well as public buildings. But such entrapment areas should also have some kind of surveillance. It particularly concerns the cases when there is some activity after working hours (NCPC, 2003). Entrapment areas where criminals may not be easily detected and can commit crimes without being seen should be removed as well. The reason for such strategy lies in the fact that entrapping a person can lead to criminal activity and the commitment of certain acts of violence (Sutton, 2008). However, if removing of such areas cannot be provided, the best way is to close entrapment areas after working hours. This problem deals with the built environment in a way that a great quantity of crimes is committed in entrapment areas (NCPC, 2003). Furthermore in case an entrapment area can not be removed, it must be well-illuminated or provided with some sort of natural surveillance (Stollard, 1995). Apart from a proper design, entrapment areas should provide an opportunity to run away and find some assistance if possible (NCPC, 2003).

The majority of people experience certain kind of insecurity in concealed or entrapment areas. In such a way these areas can be considered more insecure. Furthermore natural surveillance by means of built environment can lessen the feeling of isolation (Hillier, 2005). The researcher Newman, however, states that the police surveillance might not be effective in solving this problem. It is also not an economical method to prevent crimes in isolated or concealed areas. Thus, he considers that the use of such hardware systems as CCTV and certain audio systems can be a more successful way to make the area safer.

Overall design

Paul Stollard states that to presume that a good design and an effective built environment can assist in solving the problems of crime and safety in new and already existing dwelling areas means to disregard a great number of social and economic factors which badly influence the crime rates in certain areas (Stollard, 1995). Protective design plays no particular role in crime prevention, while such social factors as unemployment, social stress, poverty and poor management cannot be disregarded (Ted Kitchen, 2002).

The overall design and regulation of the dwelling areas in the built environment is considered to have a bad influence on people’s behaviour. It can be viewed on the following example: a safe area with a number of safety measures, such as hardware systems will just deepen a feeling of fear and insecurity, while a luxurious area reveals a feeling of confidence and security (NCPC, 2003).

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