The Use Of Gates And Guards Criminology Essay

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For the purposes of the review the following definition of "gated communities" was adopted as walled or fenced housing developments to which public access is restricted, often guarded using CCTV and/or security personnel and usually characterized by legal agreements (tenancy or leasehold) which tie the residents to a common code of conduct (Atkinson and John Flint 2003). Gated community also defined as one of development that has a fence or wall around the residential area; restricts or controls the access for non-residents (via electronic means or with security staff); has private internal roads; subjects' residents to a common code of conduct (Foldvar, 1994).

The original forms of gated and guarded communities were built by the Romans around 300 B.C. in British. The Roman soldiers were given land in tribal-area secure their service term to maintain order in the countryside. However, the walls were seldom to protect the occupants from external invaders. Later, fortresses also served to protect against invaders or internal warring factions (Blankely and Snyder 1997).

Nowadays, gated and guarded communities appears in many countries and it concern among the communities about the safety and security. It referred to the communities 'forting up' in order to provide refuge from crime (Low 2003).

This study adopted the definition of gated and guarded community in Malaysia as an art and sciences in housing industry driven by real estate players to develop (original plan by developer) or redevelop (established by resident association) housing schemes with the new ideas of living like security, lifestyle, privacy with the key aim to gain a personal satisfaction (Roitman,2005).

Problem Statement

In Malaysia context, there has been a growing interest and debates in the use of gates and guards to enhance the sense of safety and security. Due to the crime rate in normal housing estates and on the streets, people are worried over the safety of their loved ones and it is this fear that forced them to look for accommodation where there is some form of protection (Looi, 2012). A lot of developers have started the gated and guarded community concept which to provide the residents with this sense of protection from criminals and intruders (The Star, 2004; The Star, 2012).

Gated and guarded system is the best way to prevent crime from occurs at the housing schemes. The consumers will feel safer when the safety levels provided at these types of development. In order to ensure that the housing schemes safe from endangered things, the guards are patrolling within the gated area twenty four hours a day. This system is good marketing strategy for most developers in order to sell their products due to most of the consumer love to live at the place that can protect them from unforeseen risks. Therefore, safety is a critical criterion for living. This is an important aspect that needed to be provided by the developer in order to ensure occupants live in good atmosphere, harmony and not encounter with dangerous.

There are still have a lot of crime activities happens in housing scheme even though the gated and guarded system is a good system in order to solve the issue. Ahmad, 2011 mentioned that, in 2007 Presheena Varshiny, a nine year's old girl was found brutally murdered after she was raped at post condominium in her house which is gated and guarded property. In another case, a woman with three years old son were found murdered at their condominium unit. Those properties were installed with CCTV system at guardhouse. Yet, despite there are presence of guards at the guardhouse but visitor's car registration numbers and the identity card details were not taken (Ahmad, 2011).

A lot of developments had long called themselves gated and guarded communities, but there was no a clear guideline for developers to follow and therefore, several unsolved issues have been raised over gated communities including the public's right to access the area without screening, service charge collection and legal rights of management corporations to the common areas (Khalid, 2007)

Research Question

What are the reasons of setting up gated and guarded community?

What are the requirements to establish gated and guarded community?

How do the residents satisfy of living in gated and guarded residential area?

Research Objectives

By referring the research question above, I have to achieve the following objectives in this case study:

To investigate the reasons for setting up gated and guarded communities

To identify the requirements to establish gated and guarded communities

To determine the residents' satisfaction of living in gated and guarded residential area

Justification of Research

The importance that I want to do this researches this research title, which is a study on residents' satisfaction living in a gated and guarded community because nowadays crime rate is rising. I want to introduce the people involved in living in gated and guarded residential area because it promised security and a peace of mind. As knowing that our family and property will be protected as well as we can enjoy our life in our own privacy without any fear of violation to us and our family. A feeling of safeness and a sense of familiarity within the community is also part of the attractions for gated community. Other than the basic protection of lives and property, gated community also enjoys quality public services like public area maintenance, garbage removal etc. This kind of services is hired by local residents' association by the residents themselves, leaving local authorities to concentrate on provision of other aspects. I believe that my research title is very important and it is a must to apply in such high crime rate community nowadays.

Scope of Work

In this research basically covered the scope of gated and guarded community. There is a gated community which located in USJ 11/4, Subang Jaya, Selangor with approximate more than 100 double storey terrace houses will be selected as the case study. This area is chosen because it has been gated and guarded not longer ago. A more accurate analysis and data will be carried out in this case study.


Literature Review

Literature review is an important section of gathering data and information on the title of Gated and Guarded Community. All of the information is able to get from books, articles, journals, newspapers, magazines, quality manual etc. which all of it are related to the Gated and Guarded Community. Besides that, there are other data and information which related to Gated and Guarded Community will be taken as reference. All those sources will gather from the internet access and college library and also review of some senior's thesis which can helps to gain ideas in order to done this research.

Data Collection

A data collection approaches and data analysis approaches will be used in order to get the data for this research. In data collection two categories of data collection will be used which are primary data and secondary data.

Primary Data

Researcher is using an observation and questionnaire technique in order to get the data. The observation will be done at USJ 11/4, Subang Jaya. To find the characteristic implemented at this housing schemes. A questionnaire will be distributed to occupants at USJ 11/4, Subang Jaya randomly.

Secondary Data

Researcher using a literature review in order to find the criteria of gated and guarded community and relevant sub-topics.

Data Analysis

After return of the survey data from the respondent, analyse the data is required to conduct. The data will be present in table, bar chart, or pie chart

Literature Review


This sections aims at discussing the previous study related to the research. Literature review is the documentation of a comprehensive review of the published and unpublished work form secondary source of data in area of specific interest to the researcher. In this chapter the definition of gated communities will be discuss. Criteria of gated and guarded system also were identifying in this chapter.

The reasons of setting up a gated and guarded community

Crime has been defined in the Oxford English Dictionary (1989) as 'an act punishable by law, as being forbidden by statute or injurious to the public welfare; an evil or injurious act; an offence, a sin, especially of a grave character'. Crime is a social problem commanding national attention. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey Report (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2002), an estimated 24.2 million crimes occurred in 2001. The cost to victims, their families and the general public in monetary terms is of great magnitude. The estimated total cost of crime in 1994 was 19.58 billion dollars. The categorized costs of crime are 'cost in anticipation of crime', 'cost as a consequence of crime' and 'cost in response to crime' (Supt Goh Boon Keng, 2006). In Malaysia, the total cost of crime in 2004 can be divided into two categories, which are criminal justice system costs and crime costs. The estimated total costs of those crimes were RM15, 359 million (Supt Goh Boon Keng, 2006). Although the cost in monetary terms is visible, the social cost of crime, such as the fear of becoming a victim of crime, is less apparent (Hale, 1996). In fact, the fear of crime is purported to be higher than actual crime rates and the effect of fear of crime causes individuals to implement avoidance strategies such as staying in at night or avoiding certain areas (Stiles, Halim, & Kaplan, 2003). Fear of crime can be described as a "wide range of emotional and practical responses to crime…individuals and communities may make" (Pain, 2000). It is a manifestation of a feeling that one is in danger. According to Pain (2000), fear of crime is not an inherent characteristic of the individuals but rather something that may come and go, dependent on and influenced by one's experiences, especially as they relate to one's position in society. Some studies have postulated that fear of crime is assumed to be signs or symbols of criminal victimization (Stephen, Emily, & Jonathan, 2007), as the frequency of one becoming a victim of crime will induce a higher feeling of fear of crime (Gray, Jackson, & Farrall, 2008). Nevertheless, individual understanding of fear of crime differs as it depends on the situation in which one feels fear of crime (Schneider & Kitchen, 2007), design and the environment (Spinks, 2001), as well as their psychological and social life factors (Minnery & Lim, 2005).

In general, research shows that fear of crime is influenced by five factors, which are the physical environment (Harang, 2003; Nasar & Fisher, 1993), social environment (Ross & Jang, 2000), victimization (Banks, 2005), crime-specific (British Crime Survey, 2008), and crime problems in the neighbourhood (Gibson, Zhao, Lovrich, & Gaffney, 2002). The physical environment is the utilization of fixed elements caused by physical planning and design (Nasar & Fisher, 1993) and is believed to give a significant effect on fear of crime (Harang, 2003). This is directly related to physical vulnerability which is the perception of increased risk to physical assault. This form of vulnerability stems from a decreased ability to fend off attack because of issues such as limited mobility or the lack of physical strength and competence (Franklin & Franklin, 2009). Such vulnerability is termed as environmental physical disorder referring to disorderly surroundings such as abandoned cars, vandalized property, trash, vacant houses and deteriorated homes (Painter, 1996). Neighbourhood residents who perceived their local surroundings to be physically disorderly are more likely to exhibit higher levels of fear (LaGrange, Ferraro, & Supancic, 1992). Meanwhile, the social environment factors involve subjective matters such as social problems and familial economic systems involving human relationships (Ross & Jang, 2000). As reported by O'Shea (2006), concerns on the social environment are caused by the individual's bad behaviour such as public drunkenness, drug addiction, prostitution, juvenile loitering, delinquent behaviour and homelessness (Renauer, 2007). These forms of delinquencies are also termed as social vulnerability where neighbourhood incivilities are the manifestation of social disorder that threatens individual residents more than the actual experience of crime (Franklin & Franklin, 2009). The third factor that influences fear of crime is victimization. There have two types of victimization, namely direct and indirect victimization. Direct victimization refers to someone who has been a real victim of crime (Nasar & Fisher, 1993) whilst indirect victimization is when there is a fear of crime upon hearing news of crime either from experiences of being a crime victim among relatives, friends, neighbours or from the media (Banks, 2005). A person who has been a victim of crime is said to have a heightened feeling of fear and anxiety (Stephen, Emily, & Jonathan, 2007) as a result of being a victim of crime thus making him more wary about crime and his personal safety (Wilcox, Quisenberry, & Jones, 2003). This behaviour is believed to be related to the human psycho-biological system's reaction towards behavioural changes to current situations brought about by past experiences (Jeffery, 1976). On the contrary, Reid (2000) contended that a person who has never been a victim of crime may also exhibit fear

of crime. In fact this type of person is said to feel a higher level of fear as compared to a real crime victim (Farrall & Gadd, 2004). Indirect victimization is caused by a traumatic feeling and fear on personal safety should he become a victim of crime (Reid, 2000). Crime problems in neighbourhoods and crime-specific are the other factors that frequently affect the feeling of fear of crime. According to Gibson et al. (2002), crime problems in neighbourhoods often are measured by asking respondents to rate how big the crime problem is in their neighbourhoods within a period of 12 months with regards the following: (a) house break-ins or theft, (b) vehicle theft, (c) acts of vandalism such as broken windows, damage to public property, (d) drug dealing; and (e) physical assault on individuals. Conversely, crime-specific measures a respondent's general sense of safety (Ferraro & LaGrange, 1987). The measure taps emotional fear by asking respondents how often they worry about specific types of crime. The specific questions used to create this measure of fear come from Renauer (2007) who asked respondents, "Within a period of 12 month, how much do you worry about the following: (a) house break-ins, (b) physical assault, (c) vehicle theft, (d) sexual harassment and (e) rape".

As a result of society's fear of burgeoning crime, the quality of their life has slid. Based on the Quality of Life Report Malaysia 2004, urban society in Malaysia has seen deterioration in the quality of their life from the aspect of security. This security aspect was measured based on crime rates and road accident statistics. This report indicated that during the period of 1990 to 2002, the public security index has gone down by 19.9 points. Average criminal cases have risen from 3.8 cases in 1990 to 6.2 cases in 2002. The security component has become more critical as in recent times; the incidences of crimes involving snatch thefts, burglary and petty thefts have become more frequent. The security aspect is closely associated with social peace of mind and both are pre-requisites for a steady and stable development (UPE, 2004).

The requirements to establish gated and guarded communities

Development of GC scheme is required to comply with the general planning control such as the following:

GC development is only permitted at specific location and is restricted to the urban areas only.

Proposal to develop GC scheme is required to be specified in the development layout plan, especially for the proposal of large scale housing development scheme and subject to the planning permission approval given by the local planning authorities (LPA)

The minimum area to be considered for development of GC scheme is 1.0 hectare. However for the development of GC scheme that has many schemes, the maximum area for each scheme is 10.0 hectare.

Common property facilities including roads within the GC scheme are the possession of the community scheme mentioned and need to be maintained by the residents themselves via an appointed management corporation.

The building of any masonry wall or fence that fully separate between the GC residents and the non GC residents is not permitted.

The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) as provided in the subsection 21A(1A) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172) is required to be prepared before the development of GC is given consideration by the LPA.

The specific guideline for the development of GC schemes comprises of14 aspects of physical planning control standard such as follows:

Size of Development Area

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Site Planning


Development Location


Road System and Hierarchy



Housing Design and Building Setbacks



The Building of Fence / Masonry Wall



Entry and Exit Access


The Building of Guard House


Landscape and Tree Planting


Building Height


Preparation for Car / Motorcycle Parking Space


Special Utility Passage


Location of Public Facilities



Name of Gated Community Area / Neighbourhood


Housing satisfaction

Housing evaluation is relevant to housing developers as it provides the necessary information to improve the design and development of future housing projects (Preiser, 1989). In order to evaluate the performance of housing, a suitable indicator has to be developed. Amongst the various indicators developed, the concept of satisfaction has become the most widely used indicators to assess the performance of housing (Adriaanse, 2007; Kellekc & Berkoz, 2006; Paris & Kangari, 2005). As defined by Ogu (2002), housing satisfaction refers to the degree of contentment experienced by a household with reference to the current housing situation, and it is a non-economic and normative quality evaluation approach to assess the quality of housing units. Households judge their housing conditions based on the actual housing situation and housing norms, and they are likely to express a high level of satisfaction with housing if the households' current housing situation meets the norms. On the other hand, incongruence between housing situation and norms may result in a housing deficit, which in turn gives rise to housing satisfaction (Morris & Winter, 1975). In order to reconcile the incongruity, households may consider some form of housing adjustment, such as revising their housing needs and aspirations, renovating their housing conditions or moving to another place (Gibson, 2007; Lu, 1998; Rossi, 1955). Determinants of housing satisfaction the determinants of housing satisfaction often help to explain why some households are more likely to be satisfied compared to others. Many researchers have developed housing satisfaction models and found varying assortment of determinants to be significant to housing satisfaction ranging from housing, demographic, to socio-economic variables.

Housing characteristics

Most empirical studies have identified a number of housing characteristics, namely structural, location and neighbourhood attributes of housing. Housing characteristics can be measured objectively and subjectively (Chapman & Lombard, 2006; Khana, Lovegreen, Khana, & Khana, 2003; Osward, Wahl, Mollenkopf, & Schilling, 2003; Parkes, Kearns, & Atkinson, 2002). Most housing satisfaction studies have integrated both objective and subjective attributes of housing characteristics for the assessment of housing satisfaction. Previous studies have shown that structural attributes of housing is a significant factor affecting housing satisfaction. These attributes include objective physical characteristics of housing such as kitchen space, laundry and washing areas, size of living area and dining area, morphological configuration of residence hall, number and level of sockets, number of bedrooms and bathroom, and other aspects of housing such as housing quality, privacy (social densities), housing services provided by developers such as garbage disposal and safety, and brightness and ventilation of the house (Baum, Arthurson, & Rickson, 2010; Elsinga & Hoekstra, 2005; Hipp, 2010; Parkes et al., 2002). Location of housing is also an important factor contributing to housing satisfaction among households. Favourable location attributes generally refer to accessibility to central business district, local amenities such as shopping centres, schools and transportation centres (Gibson, 2007; Potter & Cantarero, 2006; Tan, 2011). Thus, housing developers to provide quality self-containing housing projects within a functional residential development in the location where households can find the place within the neighbourhood to work and fulfil recreation needs. Neighbourhood conditions such as neighbourhood upkeep, pollution, and crime are also found to be important to the assessment of households' surroundings (Chapman & Lombard, 2006; Cook, 1988; Gibson, 2007; Hipp, 2010).