Designing Crime Precipitators in Northbridge after dark: Urban Governance in Slumber
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Entertainment districts play a significant role in the post-industrial place-making for the night-time economies of many Western cities, and they are significant contributors to these economies. However, many cities are experiencing increased levels of crime in their alcohol-oriented entertainment districts. This paper explores crime in Northbridge entertainment district in Perth, Western Australia and highlights how the legacy of governance can operate counter-intuitively, to foster crime precipitators (Wortley, 2008), which can increase opportunities for crime. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Situational Crime Prevention (SCP) are briefly discussed and the authors argued that SCP is a more appropriate strategy to use in the dynamic and complex environmental setting of Northbridge. Based on several years of scientific observation, land-use surveys and pedestrian surveys, the authors provide a critical narrative of Northbridge and crime precipitators after dark. This narrative is expressed from the perspective of environmental criminology and SCP. This exploratory study concludes that Northbridge is in part, a legacy of previous single-issue governance, which has inadvertently created crime precipitators, which exacerbate the problems of crime in the entertainment district after dark. The need for further research is identified and the adoption of a more strategic, multi-issue and multi-agency approach is recommended.
Originally published in the Proceedings of the Annual State of Australian Cities (SOAC)Conference: City Growth, Sustainability, Vitality and Vulnerability. University of Western Australia, Perth, November 24-27th. ISBN: 1863081569.
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