Evaluation and Crime Prevention: An Investigation of Evaluation and Monitoring of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Initiatives in New Zealand
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) has become an increasingly popular tool for local authorities to adopt in their effort to reduce and prevent crime. Scholars have drawn attention to the shortcomings of crime prevention approaches including the proliferation of negative side-effects, its adoption for political reasons, and its role in causing social exclusion, all of which undermine the credibility of such approaches. However, the effectiveness of CPTED is rarely questioned by practitioners who commonly consider that it is guaranteed to produce positive results. As such, the practice of evaluation is largely a forgotten process whereby its value to a more informed, ethical, and effective delivery of CPTED remains untapped. The purpose of this research was to investigate the evaluation and monitoring process of CPTED projects and initiatives by local authorities in New Zealand. This was achieved by adopting an interpretive-qualitative research approach in order to gain the views and opinions of those experienced with the use of CPTED. The findings of the research suggest that issues which undermine the effectiveness of CPTED exist in the New Zealand context including examples of negative side effects and the common perception among practitioners that results will always produce positive results. Unsurprisingly, the research found that evaluation remains a neglected element of CPTED delivery in New Zealand, however, practitioners illustrated that they were aware of the benefits that evaluation can provide. Importantly, the findings suggest that there is a growing interest in undertaking evaluation among New Zealand practitioners however a number of barriers and limitations restrict opportunities to do so. These barriers included reliability and availability of crime statistics, lack of knowledge, loss of knowledge, fear of failure, limited resources, and the importance of service delivery. This research has identified several ways in which CPTED evaluation can be facilitated and encouraged throughout New Zealand. This includes providing training for evaluation and including evaluation as a prerequisite of funding provision. Additionally, evaluation can be encouraged through the promotion of methods and measures which are sympathetic to the realities and restrictions that practitioners face in their daily routines. Finally, greater central guidance is required which could be facilitated through the establishment of a professional CPTED body and a centre for information providing access to research findings and information allowing practitioners to learn from past, and each other’s, experiences. Through these means a better indication of CPTEDs effectiveness can be gained. By facilitating the adoption of CPTED evaluation practitioners can work towards a more informed, effective, ethical, and sustainable delivery of CPTED throughout New Zealand.
Advisor: Thompson-Fawcett, Michelle
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Department of Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Planning; Crime; Prevention; Evaluation; monitoring; environmental; criminology; resource; management; New Zealand; CPTED; crime; prevention; through; design; urban
Research Type: Thesis