Crime and residential security shutters in an Australian suburb: Exploring perceptions of ‘Eyes on the Street’, social interaction and personal safety
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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Crime Prevention and Community Safety. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, Cozens, Paul and Davies, Tom. 2013. Crime and residential security shutters in an Australian suburb: Exploring perceptions of ‘Eyes on the Street’, social interaction and personal safety. Crime Prevention and Community Safety. 15 (3): pp. 175-191, is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1057/cpcs.2013.5
The use of crime prevention technology continues to expand within the urban environments of post-industrial cities. Target-hardening technologies such as alarms, shutters, bars, gates, walls and CCTV are increasingly being used to protect retail, industrial and residential properties. The use of security shutters on windows in residential settings in Western Australia is a relatively recent development. This trend is increasing, despite a lack of evidence to support their effectiveness in reducing crime. This article investigates crime and security shutters in a residential setting and reports on the perceptions of 353 respondents (residents in a Perth suburb). The survey explores perceptions of crime and ‘eyes on the street’ and contrasts perceptions of crime associated with shuttered and non-shuttered properties. Respondents were shown photographs of properties as environmental stimuli to elicit insights into their perceptions of burglary risk, levels of surveillance of the street, levels of social interaction and levels of safety. Although shutters were perceived to reduce burglary in individual properties, this was believed to be at the cost of reduced surveillance, social interaction and personal safety at the street level.
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