Dr Andrew Newton, member of the Applied Criminology Centre at the University of Huddersfield, has published a paper in the Security Journal exploring the effect station surroundings have on the levels of crime within them.
This piece of work takes into account a range of possible predictor variables of pick-pocketing, selected from both the internal design of stations and features of their nearby environments. These included station age and depth; number of gates and personal validators; ticket machines; lifts and escalators; staffing levels; and number of platforms; nearby variables included a range of socio-demographic data; accessibility measures based on roads and paths; nearby crime levels; and local land use amenities.
The results revealed that risk was increased by factors associated with higher levels of congestion within stations including lifts, waiting rooms and fewer platforms; greater levels of accessibility close to stations, more paths and roads. Risk was reduced by factors likely to encourage detection and guardianship including stations with more personal validators, staff levels and shop rentals; and the presence of more domestic buildings nearby.
Station type was also important; those that were 'attractors' of crime (which had both high counts of pick-pocketing, and high rates of pick-pocketing per million passengers at the station) and those frequently used by tourists were at greater risk. The findings suggest a transmission of theft risk between the internal settings of underground stations and their nearby surroundings.
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