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Personal profile

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20 Last checked 1 July 2020


Prof. Rachel Armitage is a Professor of Criminology within the School of Human and Health Sciences at the University of Huddersfield. She founded the highly successful multi-disciplinary institute - The Secure Societies Institute (SSI), which she directed between 2014 and 2018. Prof. Armitage’s research focuses upon the role of design (place, space, products and systems) in influencing both anti-social and pro-social behaviour. She has conducted research on the subject of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) for over 20 years - evaluating the effectiveness of the Secured by Design (SBD) award scheme, investigating the links between housing design and crime risk, exploring the tensions and synergies between security and sustainability and studying international approaches to preventing crime through design. Her work has been referenced in local, national and international planning policy and guidance, and she aims to ensure that consideration for crime prevention is on the agenda of all agencies involved in planning and developing the built environment. More recently, she has conducted several projects exploring the role of design in counterterrorism at critical infrastructure sites, in particular, multi-modal passenger terminals. Rachel is currently working closely with major supermarket chains (in the UK) and local police forces to establish the extent to which design changes can impact upon shoplifters’ perceptions of risk. Rachel is also part of the national Problem Oriented Policing project - Research and Evaluation Services In Relation To Problem Solving in Policing, led by University College London.

Rachel has published extensively on the subject of designing out crime, including a sole authored book: Crime Prevention through Housing Design (2013) published by Palgrave Macmillan, and edited collections: Rebuilding Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (2019) published by Routledgeand Retail Crime – International Evidence and Prevention (2018) published by Palgrave Macmillan. She is on the Editorial Board of several journals including: Security Journal (Book Reviews Editor), the European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, Crime Prevention and Community Safety and Frontiers in Psychology, Forensic and Legal Psychology.

Rachel is an invited member of the Expert Group for the Cambridge University led Digital Built Britain, she is an invited member of the China Safe Cities Advisory Group, an invited expert on the Home Office National Burglary Taskforce, an invited expert for the ActEarly City Collaboratory project (led by Bradford Institute for Health Research) to develop innovative approaches to the prevention of ill health. Rachel is also a trustee for the Marie Collins Foundation – working to reduce the impact of child sexual abuse and exploitation experienced via the internet. 


Research Expertise and Interests

  • Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).
  • The role of design (place, space, products, systems) in influencing anti-social and pro-social behaviour.
  • Designing out Crime/Designing in Wellbeing.
  • The role of design in counter-terrorism.
  • The public engagement video Designing out Crime: Building Safer Communities, on the subject of designing out crime, demonstrates the concepts and also the effectiveness of this crime reduction measure.

Research Degree Supervision

Click Here to see all postgraduate research opportunities with Professor Rachel Armitage

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)
  • Designing out Crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Designing in pro-social behaviour and wellbeing
  • The role of design in counter-terrorism


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