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Closing Off Opportunities for Crime: An Evaluation of Alley-Gating

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 10 Dated: 2004 Pages: 285-308
Kate J. Bowers; Shane D. Johnson; Alex F. G. Hirschfield
Date Published
24 pages

This paper examines the effects of installing gates to alleyways that run behind terraced properties in order to restrict access to local residents, and reduce opportunities and access to offenders.


A new situational crime prevention measure recently introduced into Great Britain involves the fitting of gates to alleyways running along the back of terraced properties to restrict access to local residents and reduce opportunities for offenders. A number of quantitative techniques were used to assess the success of the intervention in reducing burglary in the City of Liverpool. The results demonstrate that, relative to a suitable comparison area, burglary was reduced by approximately 37 percent, there was a diffusion of benefit to properties in the surrounding areas, and the scheme was cost beneficial with a saving of £1.86 for every pound spent. The analyses provide persuasive evidence that these reductions were attributable to the intervention. The authors argue that the methodological techniques demonstrated here can be applied more widely to crime prevention evaluations.