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Effects of 'Alley-Gating' in an English Town

NCJ Number
European Journal of Criminology Volume: 6 Issue: 4 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 361-381
John Haywood; Paula Kautt; Andrew Whitaker
Date Published
July 2009
21 pages
This study examined the effectiveness of Alley-gating in preventing burglary at treatment sites in Oldham, England.
Parallel rows of back-to-back terraced houses with a shared rear alleyway are common in Britain's industrial towns, and particularly vulnerable to burglary. Alleyways afford ease and unobserved access to these properties. The crime reduction strategy, involving the restriction of alleyway access by installing gates, commonly termed Alley-gating is now prevalent in many urban residential areas; these gates span alley entry points and keys are issued to scheme residents. Findings demonstrate that Alley-gating, a popular structural intervention strategy, serves to reduce crime. In Oldham, Alley-gating significantly reduced burglaries in schemes protected by them and in the immediate surrounding area. Analyses uncovered no significant tactical displacement. Spatial displacement was minimal and limited to 200 meters. Temporal displacement by time of day was found, but this appeared to be short-lived and could be addressed via temporary increased police patrols in the mornings and evenings during the months following installation. Data were collected from 6,193 cases using police recorded data on burglaries; at the time of the study, Oldham had 766 Alley-gates installed. Tables, figure, and references