This study examines the relationship between crime and fear of crime, the
built environment and its relationship to a sense of place in terms of the
current planning and design initiatives to assist in the prevention of crime
within the built environment.
A non-gated community located in the east of Pretoria, Kilner Park and
Queenswood is utilised as a study area.
From national and international authors, it was found that crime and fear of
crime have an influence, firstly on the built environment, and secondly on a
sense of community. The following schools of thought, relevant to this
particular study, were identified as planning initiatives focused on crime
prevention within the built environment:
? The Broken Windows Theory
? The Defensible Space Theory Situational Crime Prevention Theory
? Crime Prevention through Environment Design (CPTED) Theory.
The research design of this study is based on a case study approach,
addressing social and spatial elements. A mix-used research approach
was followed, consisting of qualitative and quantitative analysis
components. The qualitative analysis consists of interviews conducted with
local law enforcement and related parties. Additionally, focus groups were
conducted with community members. The quantitative data consists of
statistical data obtained from the Villieria Police Precinct.
It is evident from the study that the main crime generators are the physical
structuring elements - freeways, railway line, open space systems and
main movement network - as these elements serve as escape routes. It is
noted that a sense of community and community participation play a
significant role in crime prevention. Crime and fear of crime has not influenced the communities? sense of place, although community members
are more vigilant and selective in the utilisation of the built environment.
The physical changes within the built environment have to some degree
restricted communication, although not negatively influencing the overall
sense of place experienced by community members. Planning and design
should take cognisance of these findings, and in conjunction with law
enforcement, structure future planning accordingly. Planning theory should
take into account that physical crime prevention mechanism is not the
answer to crime prevention alone. It is a tool to deter criminal activity, even
displace crime, but not to prevent crime. In most instances, physical crime
prevention mechanisms hinder crime prevention initiatives. Stronger
emphasis should be placed on community integration and participation in
crime prevention, as social control of neighbourhoods (ownership) creates
symbolic barriers which deter criminal activity.
Dissertation (MTRP)--University of Pretoria, 2016.