The concept of crime prevention through environmental design is nothing new as the design of physical space has long been identified as being important in understanding and mitigating criminal behaviour (Newman, 1972). Defensible space can be created when the physical space is structured in a way that reinforces the social structure that defends itself. For example, a farm or factory design could in itself help or hinder the social culture of the organisation in which people work and their psychological engagement with the space itself.
Newman identified four areas of defensible space and these have been adapted in this research to considerations of a food factory environment:
- Territoriality – creating a sense of legitimate and illegitimate access to space i.e. if the appropriate people are in the space and visible this will deter illicit individuals entering that space;
- Natural surveillance – designing the physical space in a way that assists legitimate users to observe the behaviors of both employees and visitors e.g. temporary workers, service engineers, contract cleaners etc.
- Image – a sense that the physical space within the factory and externally is well cared for and that from the appearance there are area of the site that appear remote, little used, not regularly visited; and
- Milieu – which in the context of the food chain is what is the image, natural surveillance and territoriality of other businesses that interface with the factory. Is there a sense that other businesses undertake opaque practices, lack transparency?