Fear of Crime in Relation to Three Exterior Site Features: Prospect, Refuge, and Escape

  • Fisher B
  • Nasar J
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This article examines fear of crime in relation to exterior site features on a college campus. The authors propose and test a theoretical model that posits that places that afford offenders refuge, and victims limited prospect and escape, will be seen as unsafe. In three studies, the authors observed behavior, obtained responses to site plans and on-site responses to perceptions of safety in relation to exterior campus areas that varied in prospect, refuge, and escape. The findings confirmed that fear of crime was highest in areas with refuge for potential offenders and low prospect and escape for potential victims. In places such as campuses, which have pronounced fear of crime, designs that manipulate prospect, refuge, and escape could reduce the fear of crime, as well as opportunities for crime.

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  • Bonnie S. Fisher

  • Jack L. Nasar

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