Crime prevention in urban spaces through environmental design: A critical UK perspective

Poorang Piroozfar*, Eric R.P. Farr, Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo, J. Osei-Berchie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence of crime is widely accepted to be context-specific. Some explanatory theories have focused on social disorder, alluding to the notion that if such disorders are eliminated from society, serious crime would be eradicated. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) has been adopted to enable the effective use of the built environment to reduce crime. The main aim of this study is to gain further understanding of stakeholders' perceptions of Brixton Town Centre (BTC) in London with reference to CPTED. Using a mixed methodology, a visual audit of CPTED, critical analyses of police crime data, questionnaire surveys and semi-structured interviews were carried out to gauge the effectiveness of key CPTED intervention principles in BTC. It was revealed that since the interventionary measures were introduced in 2011, BTC has experienced a decline in crime rates, whilst there has been an increase for other parts of England and Wales. A positive correlation was found between length of residency and fear of crime. Lighting showed critical in perception of security. Finally, research revealed that despite fallen crime rates, stakeholders agree that further improvement was required. The research concludes with a proposal of further study that will theorize the phenomenon occurring at BTC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102411
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Brixton
  • Crime prevention
  • Crime rates
  • Defensible Space Theory

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