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DVD to reduce crime through environmental design

DVD to reduce crime through environmental design

"There has for a long time been a lack of understanding of how urban design can make our towns and cities safer. Crime, and fear of crime, affects every community. But there are steps we can take to create healthy, safe enjoyable environments and this is a concrete one."


A new aide to reduce crime through the use of Environmental Design was launched today at the Safer Communities Conference in Wellington by Justice and Local Government Minister Mark Burton.

The aide is in the form of a DVD which acts as a companion to the two-part "National Guidelines for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design in New Zealand" which was released in November last year.

"Effective urban planning, design and space management strategies can reduce the likelihood of crime and deliver numerous social and economic benefits over the long term," Mark Burton said.

"This DVD, together with the materials developed earlier, has been designed to help and inspire people working in this important area to create communities where people feel safe and secure. Their work results in physical environments which reduce, for example, violent crime through use of strategies such as better surveillance, lighting, signage and safe access to public transport stops and stations."

Following the DVD's launch by the Minister, it was presented to Conference delegates by the Director of the Crime Prevention Unit at the Justice Ministry, Mr Jeremy Wood.

Mr Wood says the DVD format was chosen because of a recognised need for an interactive and engaging approach for urban designers, planners and architects who will use the written and visual toolkit.

The DVD demonstrates, through video interviews and site assessments, the principles of CPTED and its application in three sites in New Zealand. Users can also run through possible CPTED responses to typical urban scenes and see for themselves the impact that such changes can make. These elements are designed to stimulate discussion and interest at the local level.

"There is no single answer to reducing crime through environmental design. Each site requires a unique response. But the material in this DVD has been developed to encourage people responsible for urban design to sit down and think and talk about effective measures. It's not a template, but food for thought."

International experts as well as local people contributed to the content of the DVD. New Zealand is believed to be the first government to produce a DVD of this kind.

Three case studies - Tokoroa, Palmerston North and Waitakere - are included in the DVD, along with interviews with Mayors and members of the public.

The DVD is part of the NZ Urban Design Protocol that has been developed by the Ministry for the Environment in conjunction with a range of other national and local organisations. The Protocol establishes, for the first time, a national protocol of what constitutes good urban design.

Mark Burton said, "I believe this tool will be enthusiastically received by local authorities working to build safer environments for their citizens.

"There has for a long time been a lack of understanding of how urban design can make our towns and cities safer. Crime, and fear of crime, affects every community. But there are steps we can take to create healthy, safe enjoyable environments and this is a concrete one."


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