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Conference paper

Investigating crime precipitators and the 'environmental backcloth' of the night time economy: an environmental criminology perspective from an Australian Capital City.

Cities and towns Crime prevention Night time economy Urban planning Crime Australia
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apo-nid60049.pdf 305.96 KB

Abstract: In many Western, post-industrial cities of the 21st Century, entertainment districts play an increasingly significant place-making role and contribute much to their night-time economies. However, many of these cities are experiencing increased levels of crime and fear of crime within their alcohol-oriented entertainment districts. This paper investigates crime and the night-time economy (NTE) associated with an entertainment district in an Australian capital city. It discusses the concept of the ‘environmental backcloth’ (Brantingham and Brantinham, 1993) to this area as important contextual background to some of the contemporary crime problems. The paper highlights examples of situational crime precipitators (Wortley, 2008) from observational research and detailed land-use and pedestrian surveys conducted in the entertainment district. Seen within the context of the ‘environmental backcloth’ these ‘situations’ and settings can create irritation, frustration and pressures and potentially prompt / trigger or provoke criminality in otherwise, law-abiding citizens. The authors highlights the contribution that an environmental criminology perspective can provide to understanding the propensity for night-time entertainment districts to act as generators of and attractors for crime and anti-social behaviour. They set out a Scale Conscious Environmental Backcloth and Crime Precipitator Framework to assist in understanding crime and the NTE. The paper calls for more critical and detailed urban design studies and for ‘criminogenic environments’ to be taken more seriously within planning.

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