Reducing student burglary victimisation using the Nudge approach

Jason Roach, Ashley Cartwright, Kevin Weir, Steve Richards, Matilda Weir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper presents a study employing nudge psychology to reduce burglary of properties in the twelve most victimised streets in the UK City of Durham. A bespoke survey was developed first, to raise residents’ awareness of the high burglary rate, and second, to nudge them into reflecting on their burglary prevention behaviour. The findings showed that a majority of residents were not previously aware that they were residing on one of 12 most burgled streets in the City of Durham and that they stated that they would adopt more security conscious burglary prevention behaviours as a consequence of taking-part in the survey. Fewer burglaries were recorded in the 12 streets for the period during and soon after administration of the survey, compared with police recorded burglaries for the same 12 streets for the same period of months in the two years previously. Although the limitations of the present paper are readily acknowledged, as police reported no other burglary related interventions (including targeted ‘burglar operations’) in the period in question, it is tentatively suggested that the administration of the survey had indeed produced a positive ‘nudge effect’ on residents’ burglary prevention behaviours. The paper concludes with some suggestions for how police might use the data gathered from this approach to develop future burglary prevention initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCrime Prevention and Community Safety
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 May 2020

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