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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 49635 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATING HOUSING ENVIRONMENTS FOR CRIME PREVENTION
Author(s): D J DINGEMANS
Corporate Author: California Office of the Attorney General
Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: California Office of the Attorney General
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A SURVEY CONDUCTED TO EVALUATE TOWNHOUSE DESIGN IN CALIFORNIA AGAINST CRIME PREVENTIVE HOUSING DESIGN STANDARDS IS DESCRIBED, ALONG WITH EFFORTS TO VALIDATE THE CORRELATION BETWEEN CRIME AND HOUSING DESIGN.
Abstract: FOLLOWING A BRIEF DISCUSSION OF THE USE OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN AS A MEANS OF PREVENTING CRIME, TOWNHOUSE DESIGN, WITH A VIEW TOWARD CRIME PREVENTION, IS GIVEN SPECIAL ATTENTION. THE FOLLOWING GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TOWNHOUSE DESIGN ARE INDICATED TO BE IMPORTANT IN CRIME PREVENTION OBJECTIVES: (1) TOWNHOUSES SHOULD BE GROUPED INTO CLUSTERS OF HOMES THAT SHARE A DEFINITE SUBSECTION OF THE OVERALL DEVELOPMENT'S OPEN SPACE; (2) SURVEILLANCE MUST BE PROVIDED (THROUGH WINDOWS) OF THE PARKING SPACES AND GARAGE ENTRANCES; (3) THERE SHOULD BE PRIVATE YARD OPEN SPACE AROUND THE FRONT AND REAR OF EACH HOUSE; (4) LOWER FLOOR WINDOWS (ESPECIALLY KITCHEN WINDOWS) SHOULD FACE THE OPEN SPACE AREAS WHERE CHILDREN MIGHT WISH TO PLAY AND WHERE STRANGERS MIGHT BE SEEN THROUGH CASUAL SURVEILLANCE; AND (5) THE LARGER RECREATION AREAS SHOULD BE WITHIN THE VIEW OF A LARGE NUMBER OF HOMES. THESE ARE CALLED DEFENSIBLE SPACE CHARACTERISTICS. A QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY TO ASSESS THE EXISTENCE OF THESE SURVEILLANCE AND TERRITORIALITY DESIGN FEATURES IN EXISTING TOWNHOUSE DEVELOPMENTS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WAS CONDUCTED. THE SAMPLE OF TOWNHOUSES INCLUDED 75 DIFFERENT DEVELOPMENTS, MOST OF THEM LOCATED IN THE CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SUBURBS OF THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. RESULTS SHOWED THAT THE DEVELOPMENTS HAD NEITHER VERY GOOD NOR VERY POOR DEFENSIBLE SPACE CHARACTERISTICS. IT IS INDICATED THAT NO SOLID EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE VALIDATING A CORRELATION BETWEEN THE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN OF HOUSING AND THE CRIME RATE IN A GIVEN AREA EXISTS. TO AID AN EFFORT TO COLLECT SUCH DATA, THE RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY RATES FOR 6 TOWNHOUSE DEVELOPMENTS IN SACRAMENTO, CALIF., WERE DETERMINED FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1975 THROUGH MARCH 1977. THESE RATES WERE CORRELATED WITH THE DESIGN RATING SCORES OF THE DEVELOPMENTS. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE DEVELOPMENTS WITH THE HIGHEST DESIGN RATING SCORES ALSO HAD A HIGHER INCIDENCE OF BURGLARY. THE LACK OF SIMILARITY AMONG THE COMMUNITIES STUDIED AND THE SMALLNESS OF THE SAMPLE SIZE ARE BELIEVED TO UNDERMINE THE VALIDITY OF THIS PARTICULAR STUDY. WAYS IN WHICH MORE ATTENTION AND IMPLEMENTATION CAN BE BROUGHT ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN TO COMBAT CRIME ARE BRIEFLY SUGGESTED. A SHORTENED VERSION OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE USED IN THE SURVEY IS PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Architectural design; California; Crime prevention measures; Environmental design; Evaluation; Questionnaires; Studies; Surveys
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49635

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