Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

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2.1 Introduction

This chapter will be explains about the crime prevention and the elements of safety features in landscape design. The chapter divided into several parts which are for the first part is explanation about crime and the types of crime. Then, for the second part is about recreational park. This part consist of the fundamental knowledge about recreational park, which may include the definition, functions as well as the benefits of recreational park. The following part is discussing about relationship between crime and landscape design as well as the planning in the recreational park. It is concerns on how landscape design is applied to reduce the crime problem within recreational park. Hence, there will be introduced about crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) which may include the definition, principles, limitations, strategies and the development components as well as the benefits of CPTED. Finally, it will be finished with a summary for this chapter.

2.2 Crime

2.2.1 Definition of Crime

Crime is an action which is wrongly to the law (Nathalie Des Rosiers and Steven Bittle) and offense committed by an individual or group with the intent to commit the offense. An act or criminal offense was committed with the wrong intent and an act cannot be a crime if it is not accompanied by any intention, despite the consequences of such action, bring an injury or death to the victim. By reason of the offense, the person who commits the offense shall be punished by law such as imprisonment in return, or a fine, or even torture or the death penalty may be imposed on the perpetrator of the offense if it is proved to be done (Tun Salleh Abas).

In short, crime is a dangerous anti-social behaviour and against to the moral values ​​of society. Crime also is a behaviour that considered as one for violating of social and public right.

2.2.2 Type of Crime

Crimes are divided into two categories which are index crime and non-index crimes. Basically, the measurement of a country's crime are analysed based on the increase or decrease in an indicator index crimes that occurred.

  1. Index crime

Basically, crime index is anything that is physically pursued by the person committing the crime that include two categories of crimes which are violent crimes and property crimes.

Violent crimes occurs when an offender threatens to use violent force against a victim such as murder, attempted murder, rape, incest, robberies with firearms or without firearms, gang robbery armed or unarmed, wounded and others.

Property crimes included burglary and theft by day or night, motorcycle theft, vehicle theft, theft, other theft where the offense may involves the destruction of property and arson victims may be subjected to force.

  1. Non-index crime

Non-index crimes refer to crimes that involves the integrity such as counterfeiting money, Credit card, corruption, breach of trust and others where it consist of non-physical confrontation.

2.3 Recreational Park

2.3.1 Definition of Recreational Park

Recreational Park is a land that designated and reserved as a public park for recreational activities like active and passive activities. According to Jamil (2002), recreational park is a space that create for recreation which may include the aesthetic element resulting from the appearance of such space and recreational park is one of the significant component for towns and cities. Recreational park is an enclosed of land which is within or nearby of a city or town and devoted to public recreation (Gibberd, 1982)

2.3.2 Functions of Recreational Park

Through recreational park, the users will get lot of benefits which are:

  1. Strengthen the relationship whether the relationship with the local community as well as with the family members.
  2. Provide peace of mind to the users as well as the local community.
  3. To boost their fitness and avoid the coronary diseases through recreation activities such as sightseeing, jogging, camping or other sport activities.
  4. Encourage the exchange of ideas among the users which can mature the level of thinking of them.

2.3.3 Factors that affect recreational park use

Nowadays, it is essential for recreational park to review and re-evaluate the aspects or factors of recreational parks that can potentially have a lasting impact on the future (Christiansen, 1977). There are several factors that affect recreational park use which are:

  1. Park Access – Easy access to parks is associated with increased park use.

Park visitation is much more frequent and physical activity levels are much higher for those who live within walking distance to a park.

  1. Park distribution –Higher park acreage within a community is associated with increased participation in physical activity.
  1. Park Facilities –Facilities should be designed to be as beautiful, exciting, and functional as they can be, rather than merely adequate, regardless of the resources available. Good design doesn't necessarily mean expense, but it means the best design possible for the use of the facility.
  1. Park Conditions – Park facilities that are consistently well maintained, aesthetically appealing and safe are associated with increased public use.

Parks users are more likely to visit a park that is consistently well

maintained in which the facilities are safe to use.

2.3.4 Benefits of Recreational Park

Basically, through the recreational park there are several benefits that users can obtain which are:

  1. Health Benefits

Access to recreational park, will leads to healthy lifestyles for people of all ages which the strong evidence shows that when people have access to parks and do the recreation activities. Health benefits may include the physical and mental health benefits.

  1. Social Benefits

Recreational park give communities a vital identity. Well-maintained, accessible and functional facilities are key elements of strong, safe, family-friendly communities. Community recreation reduces alienation, loneliness, and anti-social behaviour

  1. Economy Benefits

Recreational park enhance property values, contribute to healthy and productive workforces and help attract and retain businesses. Recreational park also make community desirable places to live, work, play and visit as well as services motivate business relocation and expansion in the community.

  1. Environmental Benefits

Recreational Park is a key role in preserving water and air quality, reducing congestion and protecting nature. Through the provision of recreational park, protected natural environment and contribute to the environmental health of our communities.

2.3.5 Planning of Good Recreational Park

In a recreational park, design stage is a basis for all development. It is essential for the designers to gather and obtain all related and relevant information about the design considerations like circulation, visibility, lighting and placement of parking lot as well as the activity area serviced. These elements will make the park more attractive as well as facilitate the users.

Besides, there is another important aspect of developing a good recreational park which is comfort. Comfort is a condition or feeling of pleasurable ease, well-being and contentment in terms of safety as well as excellent amenities and facilities that are provided. Through that, people will stay longer there and use the recreational park as a sociable place. Then, a good and excellent planning design is necessary and play an important role to create a successful recreational park.

2.4 Recreational Park Design and crime

A good design toward physical environment may reduce opportunities for crime, by making it harder to commit the crime or by making it more likely that the offender will be caught. In addition, design toward physical environment can also reduce fear. For example, the good lighting may help to remove the fear created by darkness, and clear sightlines.

An opposing view of parks holds they are dangerous places. Because parks are public rather than private spaces, they are often viewed as places easily taken over for undesirable activities (Knutsson, 1997). In these situations, parks produce fear among the users. Jane Jacobs (1961) identify recreational parks as being within a set of land uses that draw more conventional users to an area, forming denser informal control networks and adding ‘ eyes on the street ’ which mean the safety aspect.

2.5 Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

2.5.1 Definition of CPTED

CPTED is a design approach which may use to avoid criminal. It is a better as well as proper design, effective use toward the built environment which may reduce fear and incidence of crime and improvement of the quality of life. (Tim Crowe, 2000). CPTED play role to make the crime become less in the design of structures as well as the design of neighbourhoods (Tim Crowe, 2000).

2.5.2 Principles of CPTED

There are several principles of CPTED (Cozens et al., 2005) that may use in designing within the built environment:

  1. Natural surveillance

Natural surveillance means the ability of the built environment to create a clear and wide opportunity for surveillance from various angles, whether indoors or outdoors. Besides, this principle is to increase and raise the awareness towards the public through ‘eyes on the street’ approach of the criminal and subsequently reducing the confidence of the criminal to commit the crime and make them scare to do criminal again. Natural surveillance is also naturally occurring which people are moving around an area, they may be able to observe what is going on around them.

  1. Natural access control

The main strategy in access control is to deny access to crime targets and to create a perception of risks to offenders. This principle aim to prevent a person where he should not be there from entering an area (McCormick, 2006). For example, it can implemented through the use and properly located the entrances of space or building with security cards, fencing, landscaping and other physical means.

  1. Territorial reinforcement

A persons who do not belong in that place at risk will use it to commit as criminal or nuisance behaviour at high risk location. It is to show the ownership of an area which a clear distinction between public and private territory can be marked out through the use of physical elements such as fencing, doorways, landscaping and others.

2.5.3 Strategies of CPTED

Based on the principles of CPTED, it can be implemented through 3 strategies which are:

  1. Natural surveillance

Natural surveillance is used with easily through the design of a space, provision of designing the landscape and windows or doors which face public areas.

  1. Mechanical surveillance

Mechanical surveillance is use the electronic and mechanical equipment such as lighting, CCTV, security mirrors, security alarm and other.

  1. Organised surveillance

Organised surveillance basically facilitated through police patrol, security guards or residents’ associations.

For the best design technique, these three strategies are implemented in an integrated manner, with priority given to the natural surveillance strategy at the early stage of environmental design to reduce the costs of rehabilitation of the area in the future.

2.5.4 Development Component of CPTED

There are seven development components which identified to implement the CPTED concept:

  1. Layout design

Layout design is divided into for aspect which included mixed development, activity generation, entrapment spot and dead end as well as the view of space. Mixed development encouraged to create an active and live as well as busy environment during the day and it may consists of residential, commercial, industrial and public space development activities.

Activity generation enhance the safety of the surroundings and natural surveillance through the ‘eyes on the street’ approach and encourage several activities that are allowed to draw attention of the local community such as night market, cafe, restaurants, sports and recreation, and others.

Entrapment spot and dead end means the spaces that are deserted, isolated and surrounded which designs should avoid creation of entrapment spots especially in car parks, pedestrian walkways, dead-end roads or back lanes. This is because to prevent hideouts for criminals and threats from criminals or intruders.

View of space facilitate the detection of criminals and to reduce the fear of becoming a victim of crime with provide clear, maximised and unobstructed view of space at short and long distance, especially for areas surrounding the pedestrian walkways.

  1. Access and Pedestrian Walkways

Access may include the roads as well as the pedestrian walkways that consisting of tunnels, pedestrian bridges and narrow lanes. It use of clear signage as direction indicator and reminder has to be planned in an integrated manner, so that the user is not confused and is wary of the surrounding area. The purpose is to prevent or reduce the road and pedestrian walkways that are separated, quiet, hidden and trapped.

  1. Soft Landscaping and Urban Design Element

The use of soft landscaping such as trees, shrubs as well as ground cover and the elements of urban design or hard landscaping covers all types man-made structures such as street furniture, pedestrian walkways, gazebos, fountains, garden lamps, statues and others. It can be used to determine the public and private boundaries (National Landscape Guidelines, 2008).

  1. Car Parks

Parking areas should be emphasize on safety measures such as car parking lots facing towards business premises and has good lighting. This is to increase the safety and reduce criminal incidents as well as to increase the natural surveillance.

  1. Lighting

The lighting especially at night allows an individual to be able to see or be seen clearly. The lighting can reduce public fear especially in car parks, bus stops, ATM machines and other places. The purpose is to prevent existence of dark and dimmed space, enable criminals or intruders to be easily recognised and identified.

  1. Security Devices

Security devices is to provide a reminder, awareness and warning to the public which may include the safety mirrors, security alarm, CCTV and warning sign boards.

  1. Management and Maintenance

To prevent existence of dilapidated and abandoned area or buildings as well as to enhance the safety level, areas that belonging to residential, commercial, industrial, infrastructure and utilities, and places of public concentration which are owned by the government, government agencies, personal and private sectors should be maintained regularly and periodically to enhance the level of safety.

2.5.5 Benefits of CPTED

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a well-researched crime prevention method which has been shown to reduce opportunities for crime and anti-social behaviour (Queensland Government, 2007). Through this approach, there are lot of benefits not just the crime problems may be reduced, but it also give other benefits (Ministry of Justice, 2005) which are:

  1. Safety and security are essential to successful communities.
  2. Safe design enhances the quality of the environment.
  3. Planning for safety makes sense financially.
  4. Integrated planning makes a significant contribution to tackling crime.

2.6 Summary

In conclusion, the design, maintenance, and policing of the recreational park need to work together, so that the general public perceives the park as a safe place, wants to go to the park regularly, and spends their optional time in the park engaged in valued activities. Crime and disorder is limited, and diverse usage of the park by different groups is tolerated. Legal activities are the dominant activities in the park. Because the local community values the park, it has a sense of “ownership” of it, and there are sufficient numbers of users who act as “natural guardians” to ensure informal social control and they also support formal interventions by park management as well as the police when such interventions are necessary. Besides, CPTED was originally developed to reduce crime in public housing projects, but its applications are unlimited. It is a concept that can work not only in housing, but in businesses, industries, public buildings, parks and recreation areas, and schools. It is a concept that can be used effectively to secure one building or an entire city.


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