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Risky Facilities: Analysis of Crime Concentration in High-Rise Buildings

NCJ Number
Michael Townsley; Sacha Reid; Danielle Reynald; John Rynne; Benjamin Hutchins
Date Published
June 2014
7 pages

This study analyzed the concentration of crime in high-rise apartment buildings along the Gold Coast in Australia.


Key findings from this study on crime concentration rates in high-rise apartment buildings in Australian cities include the following: for short-term and mixed tenure buildings, 10 percent of the buildings had 50 percent of the recorded crime; buildings with mixed tenure residents recorded most of the crime while buildings with long-term tenure residents recorded considerably lower rates of crime; and higher levels of place management and guardianship by residents were generally associated with lower recorded crime counts. This study analyzed the concentration of crime in high-rise apartment buildings along the Gold Coast in Australia to determine whether management practices were effective at reducing and preventing crime in these facilities. Three types of residential settings were examined: long-term residential, short-term residential and mixed residential. A total of 290 residential properties with 3 or more stories were identified for the study. A review of the police database found that 11,055 unique criminal matters were associated with these 290 buildings. Observations were conducted at 125 of the identified buildings (43 percent of the sample) to measure the intensity of the guardianship provided by the residents, the intensity of place management available at the buildings, and aspects of the physical environment that could be related to guardianship, place management, and crime levels. The findings from this study support previous research that has shown a downward trend in crime as levels of guardianship increase at long-term and mixed residential buildings, and extends the findings to high-density vertical buildings located in tourist areas. Implications for policy and future research are discussed. Tables, figures, and references