Place, space and urban (in)security

Authored by: Sophie Body-Gendrot

The Routledge Handbook of European Criminology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415685849
eBook ISBN: 9780203083505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136185496


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This topic relates to the possible link between residential territories and specific behaviours harming the collective well-being of residents. It is part of the trend called environmental criminology, fully developed in the United States and in the United Kingdom and in numerous European countries, such as the Netherlands and Sweden, but less so in Southern Europe. Researchers disagree on the importance to be given to places as location of offences, victimization and fear, to the individual or to the collective characteristics of residents as offenders and/or victims in such places. Whether one type of assumption is preferred to the other, the levers of action to restore urban safety differ. Emphasis may be put on crime prevention and defensible spaces here or on social prevention reinforcing community logics of efficacy there or on combating fear of crime via a mix of public and private measures at various levels.

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