Security Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 7–18 | Cite as

The Trouble with Business Watch: Why Business Watch Programs Fail

  • Kate Charlton
  • Natalie Taylor
Research Article


Despite the potential benefits to the business community, research investigating the use and effectiveness of Business Watch programs in the prevention of crime against businesses is scarce. In order to address this dearth of literature, this paper discusses an evaluation which examined the processes of a Business Watch scheme currently under way in the Australian Northern Territory. The study found that businesses involved in the program were often unaware of the scheme or its individual elements and were largely uninvolved in the initiative. Members also perceived little effectiveness in reducing crime or fear of crime. Lack of enthusiasm on the part of members, insufficient publicity for the program and lack of clear objectives severely hampered the success of the program. It is argued that Business Watch programs will continue to fail as effective crime prevention strategies until organisers of such schemes acknowledge and address these issues, and design programs which meet clearly identified objectives.


Business Watch evaluation crime prevention 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Charlton
    • 1
  • Natalie Taylor
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Assistant, Australian Institute of Criminology
  2. 2.Senior Research Analyst, Australian Institute of CriminologyCanberra

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