Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Stealing from motor vehicles

In this section of the report, the findings are presented from a review of community-based crime prevention strategies that have as a primary goal a reduction in stealing from motor vehicles. Following a brief review of the literature examining issues relating to the prevention of stealing from motor vehicles, a summary of the evidence in support of intervention types reviewed by the research team, an explanation of how they work and the characteristics of successful strategies are outlined.

Preventing stealing from motor vehicles

Stealing from motor vehicles is a category offence encompassing:

  • theft of items left in cars, for example GPS, iPods, laptops, money and sunglasses;
  • theft of interior car parts such as radios or batteries; and
  • theft of external car parts such as wheels, registration plates and hubcaps (ABS 2011; Varshney & Fitzgerald 2008).

In 2010, there were 48,159 recorded incidents of theft from motor vehicle in New South Wales, a rate of 666 incidents per 100,000 population (Goh & Moffat 2012). However, these figures are most likely an underestimation of the extent of theft from motor vehicle offending in New South Wales. Research suggests that theft from car offences are significantly underreported, especially when compared with auto theft. For instance, the British Crime Survey found that only 43 percent of theft from vehicle offences were reported to the police during the 2009–10 period (Flatley et al. 2010). Recent data shows that less than half of all victims of theft from motor vehicle in New South Wales reported the most recent incident to police (ABS 2012).

When a theft from car offence is reported, police apprehension rates appear to be very low. It has been estimated that between 2006 and 2007, 32,000 offenders engaged in theft from vehicle offences in New South Wales, 17 percent of which were identified and convicted (Weatherburn, Hua & Moffat 2009).

The most common location for stealing from motor vehicle offences is residential locations, followed by public places (BOCSAR 2012). Research from the United Kingdom has demonstrated the importance of considering parking provisions in housing developments, recommending that vehicles should be parked in garages or within the immediate vicinity of the property, that consideration should be given to ensuring adequate natural surveillance of parked vehicles and that there is a need to consider both vehicle safety and the convenience of residents (Armitage 2011b).

However, a significant proportion of offences occur in parking facilities (BOCSAR 2012; Varshney & Fitzgerald 2008). Risk factors for theft from motor vehicle offences committed in parking facilities include:

  • Type of parking facility:
    • 24 hour parking facilities are more likely to be targeted.
    • Large facilities tend to have higher rates of theft than smaller ones.
    • Parking lots are more likely to be targeted than parking decks and garages. This has been attributed to garages having more rigorous security measures in place than lots.
  • Parking facility clientele:
    • Commuter car parks are more likely to be targeted than short-term parking facilities.
    • Parking facilities located on university campuses are more likely to be targeted and offenders may even be members of the student population.
  • Location of parking facility:
    • There is some evidence to suggest that parking facilities in urban areas are more likely to be targeted than those in regional areas.
    • Parking facilities that are adjacent to other businesses are less attractive to offenders due to natural surveillance opportunities.
  • Presence of pay-and-display meters and cash depositories.
  • Presence of pedestrian thoroughfares.
  • Poor perimeter security:
    • Cars parked in an open parking facility are more likely to be targeted than secured facilities.
  • Absence of parking attendants.
  • Inadequate lighting (Clarke 2002b; Clarke & Goldstein 2003).

Identifying risk factors for theft from car offences can inform the design and implementation of an appropriate and effective prevention strategy. To aid this process, a number of commentators have created a list of questions practitioners should answer during the earliest stages of project development (Clarke 2002b; Geason & Wilson 1990b).

  • Are there favoured methods of gaining entry to cars?
  • What is being stolen?
  • Is lack of natural surveillance a factor?
  • Is victim carelessness a contributory factor?
  • Which places within the facility are at greatest risk? (Clarke 2002b; Geason & Wilson 1990b)

The answers to these questions can provide insight into an appropriate response to the problem of theft from motor vehicle offences at a particular site.

Many of the strategies that seek to reduce theft from vehicle offending attempt to reach this goal by making it difficult for offenders to gain access to parking facilities, typically through the use of fencing or parking attendants. However, the National Audit Office (2007) suggests that practitioners target the offenders themselves and address the underlying causes of their offending behaviour.

Research suggests that theft from vehicle offenders are typically young males, with the average age of onset being 12–14 years. Effective strategies could identify young people who are at risk of engaging in theft from vehicle offences and provide them with the opportunity to engage in programs that address multiple risk factors such as poor social skills and association with offending peer group. Potential strategies include youth groups and mentoring programs (National Audit Office 2007).

However, Geason and Wilson (1990b) argue that the majority of theft from car offences can be prevented by car owners adopting common sense precautions, such as:

  • making sure that the car is locked;
  • parking the car where they (or others) can see it;
  • not leaving valuables in the car; and
  • where possessions are left in the car, hiding them from sight.

Findings from the review

A comprehensive summary of the findings from a review of strategies designed to reduce theft form motor vehicles is presented in Table 10, which summarises the evidence for each intervention type identified by the review. Strategies examined as part of this review are described in Table 11. Overall, the review identified 13 studies that met the criteria for inclusion. While only two of these met level three on the SMS, it is possible to draw some conclusions about the effectiveness of specific interventions and their impact on stealing from motor vehicle offending rates.

The majority of the reviewed strategies were implemented in open air car parks, residential housing estate car parks and multi-storey parking facilities that had been identified as experiencing a specific theft from vehicle crime problem. This was determined after reviewing local crime statistics and/or on the basis of concerns raised by the community. It is important to note that there is limited research into the impact of strategies on offences that involve vehicles parked in the street. Therefore, the adaption of an intervention that was implemented in a parking facility to other contexts, such as public streets, needs to be considered carefully.

Interventions supported by evidence of effectiveness

After reviewing the available evidence, several interventions were supported by multiple evaluation studies finding evidence of effectiveness:

  • Access control measures improve the perimeter security of parking facilities. Strategies involved the installation of improved security measures (such as metal fencing, lockable gates and secure doors) or the presence of parking attendants during high-risk periods during the day to prevent individuals accessing vehicles in deserted parking facilities. In addition to limiting access to parking facilities, attendants also provided natural surveillance.
    • In five studies, with four showing evidence of effectiveness, access control measures were supported by other interventions.
    • In the one study that was not supported by evidence of effectiveness, the intervention was found to reduce theft of cars but not theft from cars.
    • In one study, also showing evidence of effectiveness, access control was the sole intervention.
  • CCTV involved the placement of cameras to capture images that are recorded or transmitted to monitors. This included the installation or upgrade of CCTV systems, fixed and mobile systems, and systems located within and overlooking parking facilities and lots. In five studies, all showing evidence of effectiveness, the use of CCTV was supported by other interventions (most commonly access control, campaigns to raise awareness of the presence of the cameras and CPTED).
  • The installation of improved lighting in and around car parks was included in seven of the reviewed strategies. In six programs, lighting improvements were introduced as part of a more comprehensive approach, with five showing evidence of effectiveness. Lighting improvements were also occasionally supplemented by measures to maximise luminosity, such as painting surfaces. In one study, which only appeared to have no impact on theft from auto offending, lighting improvements were the only intervention.
  • Awareness raising campaigns were delivered in support of other interventions and typically involved some form of signage to inform the community about the presence of improved security or CCTV or raise awareness among car park users of the risk of stealing from motor vehicle offences and strategies to minimise their risk of victimisation. In four studies, all showing evidence of effectiveness, awareness campaigns were delivered as part of a suite of interventions. For one of these, the awareness campaign was part of (and difficult to separate from) a community policing strategy.
  • Five of the six studies that involved some form of CPTED showed evidence of effectiveness. These interventions commonly involved improvements to visibility, either by designing spaces to increase natural surveillance or by removing obstructions (such as overgrown bushes). These projects also involved making improvements to the general amenity of parking facilities. All of these interventions were delivered in conjunction with other strategies.

Suitability for implementation by local government

The interventions identified in this section appear to be, for the most part, suitable for implementation by local government. These interventions are consistent with the types of strategies that frequently appear in local crime prevention plans (Morgan & Homel 2011). For example, the implementation of access control measures, the installation of street lighting and CCTV and CPTED in public car parking areas are all strategies that can be implemented by local government as part of their role in managing public space and building design. However, as has been noted earlier in this report, the immediate and longer term costs of establishing, maintaining and monitoring a CCTV system can be prohibitively expensive.

The NSW CPD have developed a number of crime risk audit tools for car parks that can help local councils (and other car park owners) to more effectively identify and target risk factors for stealing from motor vehicle offences. Similarly, car park security signs have also been developed by the NSW CPD and could be used by local councils as part of an awareness campaign targeting car park users in support of other interventions to reduce stealing from motor vehicle offences.

Table 10: Evidence in support of crime prevention interventions targeting stealing from motor vehiclea
Intervention Description of intervention Supported interventions Evidence of effectiveness Where it works How it worksb Characteristics of successful strategies

Access control

Aims to increase the effort associated with committing an offence, usually through the alteration of the built environment or surroundings

Awareness campaigns

Police enforcement

Lighting

CPTED

Diversionary activities

CCTV

Access controls measures were used in six of the reviewed strategies, five of which demonstrated evidence of effectiveness. Four of the effective interventions were delivered as part of a multifaceted strategy. In one intervention, also demonstrating evidence of effectiveness, access control was the sole intervention

Parking lots where there is an identified lack of security at access points

Communities where there is a high level of support for preventative measures and concern about theft from motor vehicles

Make targets harder to penetrate and increases the perceived effort associated with the commission of a crime

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

The majority of successful strategies were introduced alongside other interventions, most commonly lighting and CPTED

Other factors that were present in at least some of the successful strategies included community involvement, the involvement of motivated and enthusiastic parking facility staff, and conducting an in-depth analysis of the crime problem during the early stages of program design and development

CCTV

CCTV involves the placement of cameras to capture images that are recorded or transmitted to monitors

Access control

Lighting

CPTED

Community patrol

CCTV

Awareness campaign

Five of the reviewed strategies, all of which demonstrated evidence of effectiveness, involved installing and/or upgrading CCTV systems. Four of the programs implemented CCTV in conjunction with another intervention and one was delivered in isolation

Parking facilities in which management is amenable to the proposed changes and have an appropriate layout for CCTV intervention and monitoring

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur and/or encourage behaviour that minimises opportunities for crime to occur

The majority of the effective interventions were introduced alongside other strategies, such as an awareness campaign, which informed potential offenders of the presence of CCTV cameras.

There were no other success factors that were common across interventions. This being said, there were a number of factors that could be attributed to program success. These included introducing cameras in areas that are suitable for CCTV monitoring eg flat car parks, the presence of motivate parking facility staff and stakeholder uptake and support of the scheme

CPTED

CPTED or urban renewal projects seek to reduce the opportunities for crime through the design and management of the built and landscaped environments. This includes strategies that involve modifying the built environment to create safer places that are less crime prone, or to make people safer

Access control

Lighting

Awareness campaigns

CPTED

Police enforcement

Community patrol

Service coordination

CCTV

Six of the reviewed strategies involved some form of CPTED, all of which demonstrated evidence of effectiveness. Every program that used CPTED introduced the measure as part of a multifaceted scheme

Parking facilities in which management is amenable to the proposed changes

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

All of the effective strategies were implemented alongside other interventions, notably access control and lighting improvements

A number of effective strategies involved an extensive consultation process with local residents and parking facility owners to ensure their support and compliance

Awareness campaigns

Awareness campaigns aim to provide information to a target group to raise awareness of specific issues, crimes services and/or prevention measures

Access control

Community patrol

Natural surveillance

CCTV

CPTED

Police enforcement

Service coordination

In four studies, all showing evidence of effectiveness, an awareness campaign was delivered as part of a suite of interventions

Communities where car owners are willing to adopt these measures

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to the target) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviours that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Effective programs delivered an awareness campaign in conjunction with other interventions. The aim of the campaign was typically to spread awareness of the program

In a number of the effective strategies, the development of the project was facilitated by strong stakeholder support and uptake

Lighting

Involves the placement or improvement of lighting to increase visibility in public spaces and thoroughfares

Access control

CPTED

Police enforcement

Diversionary activities

CCTV

Awareness campaign

Seven of the reviewed strategies involved upgrading or installing street lighting in and around parking facilities. Six were implemented alongside other interventions, five of which demonstrated evidence of effectiveness. Notably, one study that appeared to have no impact on offence rates was implemented in isolation

Parking facilities in which management is amenable to the proposed changes

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing the offence

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Strategies appeared to be more effective when delivered alongside other interventions, in particular CCTV and CPTED

Other factors that were present in at least some of the successful strategies included community support, the presence of motivated and enthusiastic parking facility staff and the formation of a steering community comprised of representatives from key stakeholder groups to oversee the design, implementation and management of the project

a: Limited to those interventions for which there was more than one evaluated strategy

b: Based on those mechanisms that were identified for effective strategies

Table 11: Crime prevention strategies targeting stealing from motor vehicle
Source Context Intervention(s) Mechanism(s) Outcomes Research design

Bozkurt in Osborn (1994)

Target crime—residential burglary, assault, criminal damage, theft from auto, auto theft

Nature of problem—high crime rates on public housing estates

Target location—Golf Links Housing Estate in London. Area characterised by high crime rates, large ethnic minority population, high rates of unemployment and a transitory residential population

Access control—installation of improved security doors

Lighting–upgraded lighting inside the estate and on the surrounding streets

CPTED—improvements to the general amenity of the estate

Police enforcement—police increased their presence on the estate and a police station was established in one of the blocks

Diversionary activities—provision of afterschool and weekend activities for children living on the estate

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase the perceived effort or rewards associated with a crime by making targets harder to access, remove or dispose

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—theft from car rates decreased by 48 percent

Evaluation focus: Process and outcome

Evaluation design: Before-after

Research methods and source of data: Police records

Level on SMS—2

Shaftoe (1994a)

Target crime—street robbery, theft from cars, residential burglary, vandalism and malicious damage

Nature of problem—higher than average rates of crime

Target group or beneficiaries—local residents

Target location—Easton/Ashley, Bristol

Lighting—lighting was improved on streets that were identified as a priority by the local police and the city’s lighting engineers

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Uncertain effect)

Intervention 1—some reductions in night-time offences but could not be definitively associated with the lighting improvements

Intervention 2—recorded crime decreased by eight percent, while night-time crime decreased by 14 percent

Comparison—recorded crime decreased by nine percent, while night-time crime decreased by 14 percent

The police division as a whole experienced a decrease in overall recorded crimes

Evaluation focus—outcome evaluation

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

Hesseling (1995)

Target crime: Theft from cars

Nature of problem: Significant increase in theft from car offences, particularly in the CBD

Target group or beneficiaries: Vehicle owners

Target location: Rotterdam CBD, Netherlands

Police enforcement: Increased police presence at 10 identified ‘hot spots’. Increased enforcement of theft from vehicle offences- apprehended offenders were taken into custody immediately

Access control: Small car park near a popular tourist attraction was guarded by employees, 7 days a week between 11am and 7pm

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations in which there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—substantial reduction in the number of theft from car offences in the inner city and East precinct

Adjacent—relative changes in theft from cars since 1991 in the inner city was zero percent compared with the North precinct (+33%), West precinct (+6%), East (+2%), South (+18%) and Grijs (+18%) in the same period

Evaluation focus—outcome evaluation

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Earle & Edmunds (2004)

Operation COBRA

Target crime—steal of and from motor vehicle

Nature of problem—increase in vehicle crime

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location—Portsmouth, England

Awareness campaign—two different awareness campaigns with two different aims

(1) Street signs provided drivers with information about how to reduce their risk of victimisation

(2) Community provided with information about Operation Cobra through local media, road shows, resident briefings and posters displayed in police stations, residential areas and Local Authority foyers

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—33 percent reduction in theft from vehicle offences

Comparison—similar reductions were not experienced elsewhere in Hampshire.

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Tilley (1993)

Safer Cities

Target crime—steal of and from motor vehicle

Nature of problem—high rates of vehicle crime in car parks.

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location—Coventry, United Kingdom

CCTV—installation of CCTV

Access control—installation of high fencing

Lighting—improvement in lighting

CPTED—painted fences, cut back bushes and overgrown foliage

Make target enclosures harder to penetrate to increase the perceived effort associated with a crime

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—theft from vehicle offences decreased by 64 percent

Comparison—theft from vehicle offences decreased by 11 percent

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Tilley (1993)

Safer Cities

Target crime—steal of and from motor vehicle

Nature of problem—high rates of vehicle crime in parking facilities

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location—Hartlepool, United Kingdom

Community patrol—security guards respond to CCTV alerts

CCTV—installation of CCTV

Awareness campaign—signs placed round the car park indicating the use of CCTV

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—nine percent reduction in theft from vehicle offences

Comparison—three percent increase in theft from vehicle offences

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Tilley (1993)

Safer Cities

Target crime—steal from motor vehicle, theft of motor vehicle

Nature of problem—high levels of car crime in parking facilities

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location: Bradford, United Kingdom

CCTV: Installation of CCTV on each floor of the car park

Awareness campaign: Signs placed round the car park advertising the use of CCTV

Lighting: Improvement in lighting in and around parking facility

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—68 percent reduction in theft from car offences

Comparison—some increase in overall car crime

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Tilley N (1993)

Safer Cities

Target crime—steal from and damage to motor vehicle, theft of motor vehicle

Nature of problem—high levels of car crime in a car park.

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location: Hull, United Kingdom

CCTV—installation of CCTV cameras within and around parking facility

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—theft from car offences reduced by 76.3 percent

Comparison—theft from car offences rose by three percent

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

McCauley and Opie (2007)

Car safe project

Target crime—steal from motor vehicle, theft of motor vehicle.

Nature of problem—increasing rates of vehicle crime, especially during holiday periods.

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location—Bethells Beach, Waitakere, New Zealand

Awareness campaign—signage in the car park encouraged drivers to minimise their risk of victimisation ‘Keep it safe, Keep it hidden, Keep it locked’

Community patrol—increased park ranger presence in the car park and surrounding areas

Police enforcement—increased police presence in the car park and surrounding areas

Service coordination—enhanced communication between police, rangers, parking staff, key council members and the wider community

CPTED—installed a picnic table in the car park, trimmed overgrowth and vegetation and a mobile cafe began operating

Introduce or improve informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Minimise the likelihood of stressful events that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or, when these events do occur, minimise their potential negative impact

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—reported theft from car offences decreased from 25 during the pre-intervention period (2003–04) to one incident in the post intervention period (2005–06)

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Laycock and Austin (1992)

Target crime—steal from motor vehicle

Nature of problem—high levels of vehicle crime

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location—Basingstoke, Southern England, United Kingdom

Access control: Presence of two parking attendants during high-risk periods

Introduce or improve informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

Make target enclosures harder to penetrate to increase the perceived effort associated with a crime

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—66 percent reduction in theft from car offences

Adjacent—nearby catchment areas showed slight increase of 14 percent and seven percent in steal from motor vehicle offences

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, some control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

Tseng, Duane and Haripriono (2004)

Target crime—steal from motor vehicle

Nature of problem—persistent and high levels of theft from car offences in university parking facilities

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location—parking garages at Ohio State University

Lighting: Installed bright lighting and luminaries. Increased illumination by painting ceilings a highly-reflective white

CPTED—located elevators and stairwells in places open to public view. Planted shrubs along the garage perimeter to limit criminal access and hiding spots

Access control—installed black chain-link inserts in lower wall openings to limit access while maintaining visibility

Introduce or improve informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—in the two year post-intervention period, the average annual incidence of crime fell by more than half

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Poyner B (1991)

Target crime—theft from motor vehicle, auto theft

Nature of problem—high levels of theft and vandalism over a long period of time

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location—multi-level public parking garage in Dover, Kent

Access control—installation of mesh in the gaps above the ground level floor. Pedestrian exit points fitted with a self-closing steel door so it could only be used as an exit

CPTED—an office was constructed next to the garage’s main entrance and leased to a taxi company to operate from the parking garage

Lighting—improved lighting at the main entrance and pedestrian exit door

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Introduce or improve informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Null effect)

Intervention—no reduction in theft from vehicle offences

Significant reduction in auto theft rates

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Poyner B (1991)

Target crime—steal from motor vehicle

Nature of problem—significantly high rates of theft from motor vehicles in an open car park

Target group or beneficiaries—vehicle owners

Target location—open parking lot at the University of Surrey, Guildford England

CPTED—cutting back and pruning trees

Lighting—improved lighting

CCTV—CCTV cameras installed in a tower overlooking the two largest adjacent parking facilities

Introduce or improve informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—theft from car offences dropped substantially (64%) between 1985 –86 (following introduction of CCTV)

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—university security records

Level on SMS—2