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Crime Risk Assessment in New South Wales

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2011 Pages: 55-67
Garner Clancey
Date Published
March 2011
13 pages
This article examines the effectiveness of using environmental design in New South Wales as a crime prevention measure.
Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) guidelines have been adopted in numerous jurisdictions around the world. In 2001, guidelines were introduced in New South Wales (Australia) to ensure that proposed developments/redevelopments of the built environment reflected key CPTED principles. The guidelines state that in certain circumstances a crime risk assessment is required for the proposed development and the resulting report forms part of the development application, which is reviewed by the relevant consent authority (a council or state government department depending upon the size of the development). To date, these guidelines have not been evaluated, making it impossible to assess their impact and the utility of the associated crime risk assessment reports. Moreover, much of the academic literature on CPTED has historically tended to focus on the implementation of CPTED strategies and not on the processes adopted pre-development. To partially fill this gap in knowledge, a small number (four) of publicly available crime risk assessment reports have been reviewed here and key issues highlighted. In particular, the relevance of some aspects of these reports is questioned, as is the impact of the relationship between the client (i.e. developer) commissioning the report and the findings of the 'independent' consultant. The small sample of risk assessment reports randomly selected for review cannot be considered representative of the larger body of such reports. Nonetheless, the insights generated from this exercise should be of interest to policymakers and practitioners engaged in this work. (Published Abstract)