How Las Vegas Reduces Crime Through Managing The Environment

The free Jack Creek Campground is a small, relatively undeveloped campground on the banks of Jack Creek in a beautiful drainage below Jack’s Peak and north of the Independence Mountains. Opportunities abound for just about any outdoor sport.

The Ruby and East Humboldt Mountains have several campgrounds and picnic areas run by the concessionaire, Scenic Canyons. The company’s staff maintains the campgrounds, day-use areas, water systems and all other day-to-day operations associated with the facilities and sites. Fees at these locations go to staff for cleaning and maintenance.

Lamoille Canyon, sometimes called “the other Yosemite,” and a true jewel in the Ruby Mountains, is home to the Thomas Canyon Campground at the mouth of a spectacular rocky and steep canyon. A hiking trail is suitable for anyone with strong legs and lungs who wishes to access the high-alpine country. Hikers may be rewarded with sightings of mountain goats and Himalayan snowcock if they hike high enough and keep a sharp eye on the cliffs and ridges.

Through the years, each location has been the scene of a felony crime. Often gruesome, always cruel, crime in these vacation spots has been reduced through better design through the help of CPTED.

Las Vegas Outdoor Adventures

Las Vegas has long had some of the very best hiking, trail running, cycling, mountain biking and climbing destinations in the nation. Much of the current value and safety from a criminal point of view was originated by theories proposed by criminologist C. Ray Jeffery. Despite his book, “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” coming out in 1971, Jeffrey’s work was all but ignored through the late 70s. Eventually, his principles were adopted and Jeffrey was credited as the originator of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

Jeffrey continued to expand the multi-sport aspect of his approach and the most recent version was published in 1990. Ayşe Belkis Kubđlay expanded on much of Jeffery’s work and published in 2009.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies are ideal for police departments, city planners, landscape architects, security consultants or anyone interested in designing outdoor recreation areas into an innovative and effective way of fighting crime.

CPTED has proven to be efficient in rural and urban areas as counties and cities nationally are adopting CPTED ordinances with crime prevention in mind. CPTED ordinances and standards are being taken into account in the planning of neighborhoods, schools, revitalization efforts and rural, outdoor sporting areas.

Broken Windows

The “broken windows” theory of crime control explored the impact that visible neglect in outdoor sports venues have on behavior. Originally developed by Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in 1982. CPTED strategy on par with access control was implemented.

As crime is attracted to areas not take care of, or abandoned, CPTED adds a pride of ownership to the area. With no more “broken windows,” crime declines and eventually falls off entirely.

British criminologists Ronald Clark and Patricia Mayhew have advanced the “situational crime prevention” approach by incorporating CPTED into environmental design and management.

The Takeaway

The environment never influences behavior directly. Instead it influences through the brain. Any model of crime prevention must include the brain and the physical environment.

The external environment, I.e., the outdoor sporting venues, and the internal environment, a person’s psyche, must work together for the greatest benefit.

“Because the approach contained in Jeffrey’s CPTED model is based on many fields,” says Nicholas Wooldridge, a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney, “a focus on only external environmental crime prevention can be inadequate if it ignores the internal environment.”

Author

Jason has lived in Colorado for nearly 20 years and loves the outdoor lifestyle in the Western mountains. He enjoys exploring new areas and writing about them to help others in their journeys.

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