|Evening CPTED audits - the city at night - photo by snowycactus|
On one hand their observations suggested the area had "strong environmental design to prevent crime". Police on the audit confirmed "an overall safe downtown atmosphere with scattered incidents of [disorder]". On the other hand community members described fears of unsafe pockets and a sketchy area. Crime data suggested problems with theft and assault.
What to think? Who to believe? (I love conundrums like this for students!)
FEAR VS RISK
To the practitioner this is unsurprising. Crime geographers have been saying for some time that risk and fear are very different animals. One has a dangerous bite; the other frightens with a snarl. Yet it's impressive the students uncovered this so quickly.
To their credit the students dove deeper and discovered how events cluster around certain places and times (like bars at closing) and how to target solutions. Their recommendations spanned basic 1st Generation CPTED (better lighting, signage and cameras) and 2nd Generation CPTED (diversified land uses, evening farmers markets, night-time community walks).
For a first time CPTED project, that's not bad. Not bad at all!