Measure type: Target removal

From Securipedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Target removal is the measure of reducing risk by either removing the perceived attractive aspects from an attractive object, or removing the object as a whole.


If appropriately employed, target removal is one of most effective approaches to crime prevention[1], as it removes the object or subject suited to commit the crime to.


  • Removal of money-carrying devices such as pay phones from high-loitering areas
    Replacement of money pay phones by phones accepting only electronic payments can effectively reduce theft.
  • Omission of ground-level windows against vandalism
  • Concealing or placing out of reach of vulnerable parts
  • Using inlaid signs instead of mounted signs against vandalism
  • Removal of vandalism-prone street furniture, plants or fixtures or replacing them with less attractive targets
  • Removing people vulnerable for robbery and/or assault from high-risk locations by providing alternative routes or means of transport.
  • Removing masses as attractive target for fanatics by designing out crowds and busy places


Security issues where this measure can be effective and influenced by the urban planner, are:

Financial gain Boredom or compulsive behaviour Impulse Conflict in beliefs
Burglary{{#info:Burglary is the crime of illicitly entering a building with the intent to commit an offence, particularly (but not limited to) theft.}} Physical assault{{#info:Assault, is a crime which involves causing a victim to fear or to experience any type of violence, except for sexual violence}} Destruction by riots{{#info:Destruction by riots is the act of vandalism of property by organised groups for a shared rational or rationalised reason.}} Mass killing{{#info:Mass killing is the crime of purposely causing harm or death to a group of (unknown) people in order to make a statement or to influence the public opinion. This threat is exerted out of wilful action by fanatics: terrorists or criminal activists.}}
Ram-raiding{{#info:Ram raid is a particular technique for burglars to gain access to primarily commercial premises, by means of driving -usually stolen- vehicles into locked or closed entrances, exits or windows.}} Sexual assault{{#info:Sexual assault is assault of a sexual nature on another person, or any sexual act committed without consent}} Destruction of property by fanatics{{#info:Destruction by fanatics is the crime of purposely causing damage in order to make a statement or to influence the public opinion.}}
Pickpocketing{{#info:Pickpocketing is a form of theft that involves the stealing of valuables from a victim without their noticing the theft at the time. }} Vandalism{{#info:Vandalism is the act of wilful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement, or defacement of property without the consent of the owner or person having custody or control.}}
Robbery{{#info:Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. It is used her exclusively for acts committed to individual persons.}} Graffiti{{#info:Grafitti is the defacement of property by means of writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed on a surface in a public place without the consent of the owner or person having custody or control. }}
Raid{{#info:Raid is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value from a commercial venue by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear.}} Antisocial Behaviour{{#info:Antisocial behaviour is an accumulation category of relatively small crimes that highly influence the security perception of citizens. }}
Vehicle theft{{#info:Vehicle theft is the crime of theft, or attempt of theft of or from a motor vehicle (automobile, truck, bus, motorcycle, etc.).}}
table to be updated if security issue pages finished


General considerations

There are no specific environmental conditions required to make target removal effective, but a good target removal measure does require a good understanding what makes a situation attractive for a perpetrator and some creativity to remove the attractiveness of a target without impairing the function of the object (too much).

Urban planning considerations

Urban planning must consider how groups which are particularly vulnerable to criminal acts (women, the elderly etc.) can be removed from high risk locations. This can mean removing any need for such groups to visit these places. For example bus stops should not be located in isolated areas where potential for entrapment is high. In addition, public facilities such as restrooms, benches and luggage lockers should not be placed in locations of poor visibility where people have the opportunity to loiter.

Safety/security considerations

Targets might serve a role in providing safety, such as fire extinguishers that are regularly vandalised. Removing these should be done only after considering their effect on safety.

Social considerations

Economic considerations

Mobility considerations

Ethics considerations

Legal considerations

Footnotes and references