Cover: Effectiveness of Public Area Surveillance for Crime Prevention

Effectiveness of public area surveillance for crime prevention

Security guards, place managers and defensible space
A report on the effiency of public area surveillance in reducing and controlling crime in public spaces.
Security guards, place managers and defensible space are among the most used and discussed alternative forms of public surveillance, aimed at reducing and controlling crime in public spaces. But how well do they work? What does the research tell us?
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A summary of research findings

Finding one´s bearings in relation to a constantly growing body of research and drawing one´s own conclusions is often difficult. This also applies to research on the effects produced by measures intended to combat crime. Systematic reviews are one means of helping people to pick their way through the jungle of research findings. Systematic reviews combine a number of evaluations that are considered to satisfy a list of empirical criteria for measuring effects as reliably as possible. The results of these evaluations are then used to calculate and produce an overall picture of the effects that a given measure does and does not produce.

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå) has therefore initiated the publication of a series of systematic reviews, in the context of which internationally renowned researchers are commissioned to perform the studies on our behalf. In this study the authors have carried out a systematic review of the effects on crime of three major forms of public area surveillance: security guards, place managers, and defensible space.

Brandon C. Welsh is an Associate Professor in the College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, and Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, Free University in Amsterdam.

David P. Farrington is Professor of Psychological Criminology at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University.

Sean J. O´Dell is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Facts about the publication

Authors: Brandon C. Welsh, David P. Farrington, Sean J. O´Dell
Year of publication: 2010

Publication number: ISBN 978-91-86027-49-0

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