Security issues

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The types of criminal acts, which are deemed relevant for the urban planning process and to be explicitly elaborated upon in Urban Securipedia, are called Security Issues.


Security issues in the context of this Securipedia are crimes that are:

  • relevant in an urban environment;
  • potentially influenced or influenceable by the urban built environment.

When we filter a list of all crime types along these criteria, and group these crimes where possible, we get a list of 14 crimes that can be considered security issues from a viewpoint of an urban planner. These crimes are presented in the table below, together with a very short description (by clicking the ). Detailed information on each security issue can be found at the linked pages. For convenience, crimes are arranged by most likely to least likely motive for committing the crime.

Financial gain Boredom or compulsive behaviour Impulse Terrorism
Burglary Physical assault Destruction by riots Mass killing
Ram-raiding Sexual assault Destruction of property by fanatics
Pickpocketing Vandalism Terrorist threats
Robbery Graffiti
Vehicle theft

Crimes that are relevant in an urban environment, but are not included as security issue, are:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse. Although relevant enough to deserve a describing page, this crime is not included as security issue, as its effects are apparent through various other security issues. It is therefore included as disinhibitor for other crimes only.
  • Antisocial Behaviour is a category covering a broad range of relatively small crimes that highly influence the security perception of citizens. These relative small crimes combined, can have significant effects on the well-being of citizens and it therefore deserves an own page describing this type of crime. The diverse nature of this category makes it unsuited for concrete analysis and advise. Moreover, it is a problem that is traditionally included in the attention of the urban planner. That is why this type of crime is not included as a security issue.
  • Homicide is a crime type that is relatively rare. Also, for the majority of cases it is committed indoors, and when committed in a public place it is to a high degree spontaneous and not influenced by the built environment.

Footnotes and references