Does Environmental Design Matter? : Fear of Crime and Victimization Reduction on College Campuses
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The Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that college campuses in America have low crime rates in general, however, perceptions of fear of crime among college students have increased gradually given the numerous campus shooting incidents that have occurred in the past decades. Despite the negative perceptions of campus safety that might be attributed to by news coverage and incidents portrayed by media, students’ fear of crime on campus has been argued in relation to the physical features of the campus. For instance, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) has been found to improve quality of life and fear of crime and incident reduction because CPTED could form a positive prospect-refuge relationship. Nevertheless, only a handful of studies examine the importance of CPTED on campus settings. Hence, this study aims to explore the relationship between students’ perception of safety and exterior site features on college campuses such as lighting on paths or parking lots, presence of signage, emergency phones, and CCTV devices. The current study also indicated that there is a great need to address physical attributes and efforts to assure campus safety on college campuses and reduce vulnerability to victimization and fear of crime by providing a safe learning environment for faculty and students.