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Security Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 43–62 | Cite as

Defensible Space: Burglars and Police Evaluate Urban Residential Design

  • Paul Cozens
  • David Hillier
  • Gwyn Prescott
Research Article

Abstract

This paper explores Newman's largely untested theory of ‘defensible space’ and questions the utility of these ideas in contemporary crime prevention initiatives such as ‘secured by design’. The traditional statistical approach to measuring crime is criticised and rejected in favour of an investigation into the perceptions of crime and fear of crime. Newman's theory argued that the built environment has the capacity to influence ‘perceptions’ of territoriality, surveillance and image (geographical juxtaposition was outside the scope of this study), and it is these that require data collection, analysis and interrogation. The perceptions of various stakeholders in society are investigated with regard to various traditional British housing designs to discover whether a commonality or plurality of perspectives exists and to contribute unique insights into the design-affects-crime debate.

Keywords

Defensible space residential design crime fear of crime 

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Cozens
    • 1
  • David Hillier
    • 2
  • Gwyn Prescott
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Environment and GeographyResearch Fellow, School of Technology, University of Glamorgan
  2. 2.Division of Environment and GeographyPrincipal Lecturer, School of Technology, University of Glamorgan

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