What makes people feel safe? Public perceptions of street-based safety

Ramachandran, Rajeswari and Ritchie, Kay (2023) What makes people feel safe? Public perceptions of street-based safety. Other. University of Lincoln.

Literature review
What Makes People Feel Safe - Literature Review.pdf - Review

Item Type:Paper or Report (Other)
Item Status:Live Archive



This review of literature was commissioned to examine factors that influence public perceptions of street-based safety, especially at night and investigate possible pragmatic solutions that can be adopted by stakeholders like law enforcement, policy makers, etc. to enhance feelings of safety.

Feeling unsafe on streets and fear of crime can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, increased carbon footprint, social isolation, reduced business, decreased use of public spaces, and negative perceptions of safety. This can lead to a cycle of fear and crime, straining community relationships.

There is a need for a multifaceted approach to address safety concerns, including tackling social, economic, and environmental factors as well as engaging with local communities. On an immediate stakeholder level, practical solutions would involve improved lighting and design, increased monitoring, and enhanced community partnerships.
1. Lighting is essential for feelings of safety, particularly at night. Features of streetlights such as their distribution, illuminance levels, location, frequency, and type are found to make a difference in perceptions of safety. White light with uniform distribution that leaves no blind spots is found to be an optimal solution.
2. CCTV is a means of monitoring public spaces that is viewed by the public as effective in apprehending offenders, deterring offenders, and reducing fear of crime. However, there is a discrepancy between presence of CCTV and perception of safety, so raising awareness about CCTV to the public may help reduce this. Further the use of additional safety measures and live monitoring along with CCTV produce best result.
3. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies can help create public spaces that foster a sense of safety, by designing open spaces that are inclusive, gender sensitive, easy to monitor, with few hiding spots.
4. Community Oriented Policing (COP) and community involvement in policing and safety, as well as reassurance policing, awareness, and intervention programs like Smart serve, Ask for Angela, Street safe, etc. can enhance perceptions of safety while also developing confidence in policing.

Perceptions of safety contribute to personal well-being and community health, it has economic implications, and is a matter of equity and social justice. Understanding and addressing perceptions of safety contributes to quality of life, creating safer, more inclusive, and vibrant public spaces that benefit communities and local businesses.

For more detailed information on factors that influence public perceptions of street-based safety, refer to the comprehensive literature review.

Keywords:policing, community policing, neighbourhood policing, public attitudes
Subjects:L Social studies > L430 Public Policy
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:54790
Deposited On:25 Jul 2023 16:13

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