Perceptions of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) at Australian Railway Stations

  • Paul Cozens, Tiffany van der Linde, Harley Dykstra
  • Published 2015

Abstract

Personal safety and security are essential criteria for measuring the quality of public transport, and research has consistently demonstrated that crime and fear of crime affect levels of patronage. Although authorities throughout the world are implementing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), research and practice commonly focus on the elements of surveillance, territoriality, and controlling access. Few studies have investigated the CPTED concepts of “image management” or “geographical juxtaposition” (the surrounding environment). This research compares and contrasts the perceptions of rail users and security experts in relation to two railway stations in Perth, Western Australia. One station was designed in accordance with CPTED principles, and one was not. Interestingly, the findings indicate that the rail users perceived the station that was not designed using CPTED to be marginally safer and to exhibit slightly higher levels of CPTED qualities. This exploratory investigation suggests that the effectiveness of CPTED is mediated by the local environment surrounding each station and its associated image. Introduction One of the essential criteria for measuring the quality of public transport is safety and security (Dragu, Roman, and Roman 2013). Although “crime on public transport is relatively rare” (Batley et al. 2014, 33), research has demonstrated consistently that crime and fear of crime can affect levels of patronage (Crime Concern 1997, 2002, 2004; Cozens et al. 2004; Delbosc and Currie 2012). Patronage levels could be more than 10% higher if people felt more secure when traveling and waiting at railway stations (Crime Concern 2002, 2004). Perceptions of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) at Australian Railway Stations Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 18, No. 4, 2015 74 Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) has been increasingly used to reduce crime on public transport and, in particular, in and around railway stations (Carr and Spring 1993; Loukaitou-Sideris and Banerjee 1994; Department of Transport and the Regions 1998a; Cozens 2003a, 2003b, 2004). However, most research and applications of CPTED have concentrated on Newman’s (1973) concepts promoting surveillance and territoriality (e.g., La Vigne 1996, 1997; Department of Transport and the Regions 1998b; Cozens 2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2004) and in managing graffiti and vandalism (Sloan-Hewitt and Kelling 1997; Thompson et al. 2012). This study explores the relatively under-researched CPTED elements of image and stigma and geographical juxtaposition in relation to two railway stations in Perth, Western Australia (WA). Furthermore, since the research indicates there are reported differences in the perceptions of “experts” and the general public (Groat 1982; Devlin 1990; Downing 1992; Purcell and Nasar 1992; Stamps and Nasar 1997), this research compares rail users’ and security “experts” perceptions of crime, image management, geographical juxtaposition, and CPTED at two railway stations in WA. One of these stations was designed using CPTED and the other was not. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Perceptions of safety are influenced by many factors, including the built environment and the design of railway stations (Gilling 1997; Smith and Clarke 2000; Schmucki 2002; Cozens et al. 2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2004; Smith 2008; Sorensen, Hayes, and Atlas 2008; Vilalta 2011; Delbosc and Currie 2012). Thus, it follows that good environmental design may decrease crime and fear of crime. CPTED is now a relatively common approach used to reduce crime and the fear of crime in and around railway stations (La Vigne, 1996; 1997; Department of Transport and the Regions 1998b; Cozens 2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2004; Batley et al. 2012). A recent review of the UKs Secured Station Scheme (SSS) reveals that reductions in crime (e.g., theft from the person, criminal damage, and vehicle crimes), higher levels of personal safety, and increases in patronage were associated with stations which were awarded SSS accreditation (Batley et al. 2014). This scheme was launched in 1998, and more than 1,250 stations have received accreditation (Batley et al. 2014) based on three criteria: (1) stations must achieve a specific ratio of crimes per passengers, (2) stations must achieve a high CPTED audit score, and (3) stations must demonstrate adequate management processes and low levels of passenger perceptions of crime (DETR 1998a, 1998b). Crucially, accreditation is for a two-year period, after which re-accreditation is necessary. CPTED focuses on seven key concepts—territoriality, surveillance, image management, activity support, access control, target hardening, and geographical juxtaposition (see Figure 1). These ideas have been presented at length elsewhere (e.g., see Cozens et al. 2005; Ekblom 2011; Cozens 2014; Cozens and Love 2015) and are discussed briefly below. Perceptions of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) at Australian Railway Stations Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 18, No. 4, 2015 75 Territoriality

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Cozens2015PerceptionsOC, title={Perceptions of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) at Australian Railway Stations}, author={Paul Cozens and Tiffany van der Linde and Harley Dykstra}, year={2015} }