Preventing crime through design

Authorities are using environmental design strategies to reduce crime and improve quality of life on Beaufort Street.

A report titled What’s Up on Beaufort Street, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design by Curtin University experts was presented to the City of Stirling in December.

The report found graffiti and vandalism were the most prominent crimes in the area, followed by robbery and theft.

Inglewood on Beaufort chair Damien Giudici said businesses were exposed to break-ins and theft.

“I know that we’ve got a liquor store, they get wine and alcohol stolen all the time just from people picking it up and walking out,” Mr Giudici said.

“A CPTED report starts to clarify where the problem areas are and we can perhaps change that.”

It was hoped that through better design people would be more attracted to utilising Beaufort Street, staying longer and creating crowds that would deter crime.

Curtin University urban and regional planning lecturer Paul Cozens wrote the report, undertaking a crime risk analysis which would help in the production of a targeted design approach.

Dr Paul Cozens is an environment criminologist and a lecturer at Curtin University.
Photo: Foo Xian.

Dr Cozens said the Beaufort Street report examined 57 different parts of the street and alleyways that ran behind it.

“Analysing more sites gives you more insight,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ve come up with some solutions on what they could do and what they could look at even more.”

Mr Giudici said the Inglewood on Beaufort team had started developing various environmental design projects such as integrated seating with shelter along the street.

“Trying to create places that people want to hang around for longer, that’s what those initiatives are seeking to do,” he said.

Mr Giudici said his group was recently successful in advocating for the lowering of speed limits from 60km/h to 40km/h along Beaufort Street.

“It’s quite an inhospitable environment when you’ve got buses and cars in two lanes of traffic in each direction,” he said.

According to Mr Giudici, the Inglewood Monday Night Markets was the biggest initiative by the organisation, followed by numerous commissioned murals and games designed by artists and children.

He said these methods would ward off crime by brightening up the street and provide opportunities for residents to get together.

Residents enjoying food and music at the Inglewood Monday Night Market.
Photo: Foo Xian.
A commissioned wall mural along Beaufort Street. Photo: Foo Xian.

Mr Giudici said more developments would take place in 2020 to lessen the potential of crime and boost the welcoming nature of the street.

He said official CPTED strategies would be completed before the end of this year.

Dr Cozens said he hoped to continue observing the progress on Beaufort Street.

“If it didn’t work, we need to know that it didn’t work … so we can learn from that,” he said.

“Monitoring what you did is also … part of what you should do.”