Shopping Centre Design, Decline and Crime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


It is now widely accepted that the design of buildings and their surroundings can influence the commission of crime and nuisance behaviour (Garrad, 1999) and that the proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear and incidence of crime, and an improvement in the quality of life (Skogan, 1990a). This article reports on research undertaken to determine whether architects, designing shopping centres in the 1960s and late 1990s, were aware of the link between environmental design and criminal opportunity. It goes on to examine what relation that ignorance/awareness might have to criminal opportunity, nuisance behaviour, and fear of crime in users. The related issue of management/maintenance of centres is also examined. The design of two Portsmouth, England, shopping centres (the ‘Tricorn’—planned and built in the 1960s and ‘Gunwhaf Quays' — planned and built in the late 1990s) is compared. The research findings utilising interviews, questionnaires and examination of local newspaper reports suggest that users found the ‘Tricorn’ to be poorly designed, ill maintained, to attract crime and nuisance behaviour, and to make them feel unsafe whilst, in contrast, users felt that ‘Gunwharf Quays' is well designed and maintained. Many feel that these factors may be connected to their feelings of safety, and to what they observed as low levels of crime and nuisance behaviour.
Overall, the findings indicate that design and maintenance are important elements in relation to levels of crime, nuisance, and fear of crime in shopping centres. Several recommendations are made in the light of these findings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science & Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Shopping Centre Design, Decline and Crime'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this