Third Generation CPTED? Rethinking the Basis for Crime Prevention Strategies

Victoria Gibson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a concept which has developed over the past five decades through a range of fields. It is based on the premise that modifications to the built and natural environment can reduce both crime and fear, and improve the overall quality of life. CPTED relies on the cooperation of a variety of agencies; however, research has revealed important inherent difficulties regarding multi-agency working and that current practice is neither sustainable nor does it consider social characteristics which may impact upon crime and the effectiveness of CPTED initiatives. Criticisms of diverse factors relating to CPTED have been expressed but how robust such criticisms are and if suitable resolutions exist has not been explored. Using a mixed methods approach, this PhD seeks to improve and update the CPTED concept by addressing issues of communication and collaboration between CPTED stakeholders, and suggests robust ways of enhancing the social context within CPTED planning. The research answers the following fundamental questions: what are the underlying problems of the CPTED concept and how did they come to fruition; and can the approach to CPTED planning be re-examined and updated to reduce the inherent underlying difficulties and improve the transferability and practical application of CPTED initiatives. The research highlights language and definition inconsistencies in the CPTED framework, transferability and engagement issues between CPTED stakeholders and an unestablished but vital link between CPTED and social sustainability and context. The thesis delivers three major academic contributions to new knowledge. It firmly identifies failings in the CPTED concept since its inception to present; it proposes an updated framework which is theoretically driven, and represents a holistic catchment of all CPTED knowledge; and it makes a solid link between crime prevention and the sustainable development of communities highlighting its importance for context analysis.
Original languageEnglish
  • Johnson, Derek, Supervisor
  • Barke, Mike, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 2016


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