A Risky Facility Analysis of Crime and Disorder in Parks
: A Case Study of Kirklees

  • Jody Walker

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Parks are valuable to the well-being of society; however, they are also considered to be high-crime locations. There has been a growth of interest in studying micro-level crime concentrations and elements of environmental design at various facilities. However, there is limited research into park crime concentrations and few explanations for why crime occurs in park spaces. This study addresses this research gap by exploring how environmental design features may contribute to crime and disorder in parks. Building on existing research, this study asks how principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and guardianship can explain characteristics of spatial and temporal crime risk in parks.

This study included two phases: a secondary analysis of police crime data and a case study of two ‘risky’ parks. Phase 1 investigated the spatial distribution of recorded crime and police incidents and tested the effects of social disorganisation and park size. The analysis demonstrated that a small number of ‘risky’ parks are responsible for a large proportion of crime. The results also indicated that social disorganisation was not significantly associated with recorded crime, whereas park size was a contributory factor. Phase 2 explored the nature and temporal distribution of park crime, followed by site observations of environmental design and guardianship. When analysed together, the findings indicated that principles of CPTED and park usage patterns functioned to facilitate or prevent criminal opportunities in parks. This research concludes that environmental design and guardianship appear to be contributory factors in the spatial and temporal patterns of park crime. Due to the small sample size, findings cannot be generalised to all parks; however, it is recommended that this research informs the future design, management and policing of parks.
Date of Award28 Apr 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMelanie Flynn (Main Supervisor) & Leanne Monchuk (Co-Supervisor)

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