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Situational Crime Prevention

4. Designing Out Crime

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we consider the principles of 'design against crime', the idea that civic spaces can be designed in such a way to minimise crime, focusing in particular on: (i) the work of Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) and the concepts of New Urbanism, 'Eyes on the Street', and Place Management; (ii) the work of Oscar Newman (1935-2004) and the concept of defensible spaces; (iii) the principles of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design), in particular the concepts of territorial reinforcement and image management; and (iv) Thorpe and Gamman 2011 and the concept of socially responsive design.

– J. Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)
– O. Newman, Defensible Space: Crime Prevention Through Urban Design (1972)
– A. Thorpe and L. Gamman, 'Design with Society: Why Socially Responsive Design is Good Enough', CoDesign 7:3-4 (2011), pp. 217-230


In this course, Professor Kate Bowers (University College, London) explores the theory and practice of situational crime prevention (SCP). In the first lecture, we think about the role of situation and opportunity in crime, including the important concepts of rational choice theory and routine activity theory. In the second lecture, we think about the five principles of SCP – increasing the effort, increasing the risk, removing excuses, reducing provocations, and reducing rewards. In the third lecture, we look at three situations in which one or more of these principles have successfully been applied. Next, we take a step back from SCP to think about how entire spaces can be designed with the minimisation of crime in mind – a concept known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). In the fifth lecture, we consider some of the criticism of SCP.


Kate Bowers is a Professor in Crime Science at the UCL Department of Security and Crime Science. Kate has worked in the field of crime science for over 20 years, with research interests focusing on the use of quantitative methods in crime analysis and crime prevention Her most recent interests are big data approaches and the use of innovative data in understanding crime data. She has published over 100 papers and book chapters in criminology and in journals such as Criminology, the Journal of Quantitative Criminology and the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bowers, K. (2021, August 23). Situational Crime Prevention - Designing Out Crime [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bowers, K. "Situational Crime Prevention – Designing Out Crime." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

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