U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Fear of Crime in Relation to Three Exterior Site Features: Prospect, Refuge, and Escape

NCJ Number
Environment and Behavior Volume: 24 Issue: 1 Dated: (January 1992) Pages: 35-65
B S Fisher; J L Nasar
Date Published
31 pages
Interviews and observations were used in three studies that tested a theoretical model that asserts that fear of crime is related to exterior site features of a location.
According to the model, places that afford offenders refuge and victims limited prospect and escape will be seen as unsafe. The research focused on the Wexner Center for the Visual Arts which was completed in 1989 at Ohio State University. Information was gathered from observations of behavior of pedestrians and interviews regarding the site plans and perceptions of safety to exterior areas that varied in prospect, refuge, and escape. The findings confirmed that fear of crime was highest in areas with refuge for potential offenders and low prospect and escape for potential victims. Results indicated that in places such as campuses, which have pronounced fear of crime, designs that manipulate prospect, refuge, and escape could reduce the fear of crime as well as opportunities for crime. Tables, notes, and 36 references