This research aimed to inform housing and planning policy development by exploring the variation in types and volumes of crime in a range of existing high-density communities. The methodological approach comprised quantitative analysis, in depth interviews and systematic observations. Quantitative analyses showed a high degree of concentration of crimes in a small proportion of high-rise buildings, regardless of crime type or time of year. Interviews with residents, police officers, and building managers indicated that tenure and design aspects of the buildings had a significant influence upon perceived safety and security. These findings have direct policy implications for future urban planning and property development agenda. Existing regulations and legislation specify operational and management governance, structural and building safety, health, amenity and sustainability but appear to disregard the social and human factors involved in high density residential environments. As many communities adopt a compact city planning approach, increases in community density will require policies that detail best practice in building management and its interaction with policing for safer environments.