Simply put, A straight line to an entryway will allow an offender a faster time to get from point A to point B. By using the design of the environment along with symbolic barriers, the time from both points can be expanded. Greatening the time allows for the adversary to be exposed more and more emotional responses to possibly affect their choice.
Redesigning Entryways to mitigate violent offenders or unauthorized entries
Physical security is a necessity throughout the world. Everyone experiences it, some people experience it almost daily. The entire industry of physical security is rapidly growing with new technology; however, with technology, security professionals lose touch with the essential human function of people. Adversaries or human threats are just individuals who want to harm other people or a facility. Technology can be a lifesaver in some locations, and it can even be great for support, however, when dealing with humans, most of us are the same.
All humans bleed, most think the same, and most human beings have cognitive and emotional factors that allow each other to operate. Cognitive functions enable humans to be analytical and makes decisions, among other things (Van Gelder and De Vries 2014). Think about cognitive in the way deciding if someone wanted to ask their boss for a raise; people typically will weigh the cost and benefits to determine if they will proceed. Emotional responses, commonly known as feelings, would make someone nervous about asking their boss for that raise, maybe even scared. It is arousal of an emotion such as fear, sadness or any other sense (Van Gelder and De Vries 2014).
In the 1970’s several researchers were working on crime prevention programs and two particular researchers working on environmental design theories for crime prevention(Reynald 2014). One was an architect, and the other was a sociologist (Reynald 2014). However, they started the foundation of modern-day Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design or CPTED, which does work off of a person’s cognitive and emotional states like choice and fear (Tseng, Duane, and Hadipriono 2004). From the 1970’s on forward, there has been active and negative research on environmental design for security.
However, we live in a new era of security; threats are more dangerous and more abundant. There is terrorism happening all over the world with “soft targets” and designing safe and secure spaces that are controlled, doesn’t seem like it is getting a lot of research attention compared to other areas such as terrorism. The threats today aren’t to only mitigate risk against small local crime, threats today are to stop suicide bombers and terrorist from driving a massive truck through the front of a business plaza or building.
This paper is going to discuss the mixing of symbolic and manmade obstacles, layered security, together with the arousal of cognitive and emotional responses of humans. To ultimately manipulate and mitigate threats to all assets.
Part 1. Environment Design
Thinking about decision-making from perceived risk point of view
The process of delay and detection has its roots in the designing of a physical protection system from the American Society for Industry Security or ASIS as it’s better known as (ASIS International 2017). This paper draws parallels to risk perception, and a risk vs. reward type of mentality as the overwhelming amount of human beings perceive risk and react to this understanding (Pleskac and Hertwig 2014). As arousal of emotions like fear can make offenders perceive risk differently delaying an offender and causing detection for example.
When researchers think of crime, they can visualize three main elements that incorporate the offenders needs to commit these crimes (Brunet 2002). These items were broken down into three categories, motivation, target, and an opportunity (Cohen and Felson 1979). This came to be known as the Routine Activities Theory, RAT, of 1979 (Brunet 2002). Since then, there has been much more research on RAT, and it has developed into the triangle of crime.
If you notice in the elements of the underlying theory is an opportunity, or as Brunet put it “absence of capable guardians against a violation.” (Brunet 2002, 69) And if any one of these three elements is fractured the crime doesn’t occur (Cohen and Felson 1979).
Every human deal with risks every day, from getting into one’s car and driving; to asking their childhood crush on their very first date, they both have a risk and a reward. Whether the reward is getting to work on time without having to walk or the risk is getting your heart broken for the first time, humans do both.
The difference is how do risk differentiate between choice? One is set on a risk vs. reward analysis, and the other is a cost vs. benefit analysis, which almost appears the same. Humans are required to make decisions about these risk and reward options. Therefore decision theories come into play and cost to benefit analysis have more of a factor after an initial risk vs. reward analysis has processed. However, even though it might seem very confusing, it all can be done in seconds and sometimes it must be done in seconds. This is done with cognitive parts of a humans brain that analyze risk, rewards, cost, and benefits, and then decides (Van Gelder and De Vries 2014).
It also plays a part in the crime triangle as criminals tend to choose the offense based on cost vs. benefit (Steele 2015). Other factors may impede later decisions and raise the risk factors causing this cycle to repeat, and re-evaluation would need to be done (Van Gelder and De Vries 2014). A decision must be made on all elements of the crime triangle, or the triangle shatters, and the crime is not committed (Cohen and Felson 1979). These decisions are generally ‘rational’ in criminals except for crimes of passion or crimes of “right now” where processing information quickly may be confusing (Steele 2015).
Environmental Design Research
Fear is one of the foundations of the original environmental design theory by Oscar Newman in 1972 (Reynald 2014). Newman’s original theory of ‘Defensible Spaces’ based on his research of housing projects (Reynald 2014) did have the mindset of the residents in the community’s fear involved.
Newman, who was an architect and not a criminologist, but did set the groundwork for environmental design and crime prevention along with a sociologist named C. Ray Jeffrey (Clarke 1989). Newman’s research focused more on the design of the housing projects that created crime and Jeffrey’s study focused more on biological aspects to crime and environmental elements to preventing the opportunity for crime (Clarke 1989). This is where opportunity is first related to the environment during the research for this paper, as mentioned prior, the opportunity is a foundational piece in the triangle of crime (Cohen and Felson 1979).
This era, 1971-1972, is what ultimately pushed other researchers to further the development of new adaptations of environmental design. One of those adjustments is still widely in use today which is called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design or CPTED as it is commonly referred to (Reynald 2014). It is loosely set on Newman’s Defensible Space theory along with adaptations from other researchers such as Time Crowe who had by 1991 an entire set of guidelines based on environmental factors (Clarke 1989) and other researchers that have been involved since (Reynald 2014).
For instance, the original Defensible Space Theory had only three different phases, “Territoriality, natural surveillance, and image/milieu” (Reynald 2014, 74). These different stages or categories were used when Newman was studying housing projects for crime in the early 1970’s (Reynald 2014). By the early 1990’s, CPTED had developed splitting up the category of territoriality into two categories, one being access control and the other being territoriality and image being changed to maintenance (Reynald 2014). At this point, there were now four different categories in a basic CPTED design instead of the three in defensible space theory (Reynald 2014). As more research was being conducted, they added a subcategory to make sure it was even better called “activities and support” (Reynald 2014).
The primary functions of CPTED are to limit the access criminals have to an area, facility, etc. (Tseng, Duane, and Hadipriono 2004) and to create “an environment that is unattractive to criminals” (Tseng, Duane, and Hadipriono 2004, 22). CPTED is also meant to make the offender’s anxiety rise and the guest or resident fear of crime lower (Tseng, Duane, and Hadipriono 2004) along with “an environment that evokes a perception of risk in offenders” (Tseng, Duane, and Hadipriono 2004, 22).
Other formations of environmental security theories formed such as Situational Crime Prevention was developed which is a theory that is widely based on the environment and more man-made security utilities (Hayward 2007). CPTED is based more on symbolic or natural measures and is more of a guideline for builders; Situational Crime Prevention is more for immediate action and more as a reaction to business (Hayward 2007).
Both theories have measures that can be taken from them and both play on the cognitive and emotional states of offenders. To say either one is better than the other is a personal preference and an opinion. It is possible to learn from both and apply that to further research.
Cognitive and Emotional Responses of Criminals
Your brain and your body work in mysterious ways, and they in connection with each other (Van Gelder and De Vries 2014). Your mind is always analyzing what is going on around you and sending messages to your body, for example when you know something is going to hurt you automatically stiffen up and try to prepare for the pain. This is the cognitive behavior of your brain, it controls the underlying thinking, analyzing decision-making, etc. while sending signals like emotions out through the body to give a more physiological reaction (Van Gelder and De Vries 2014). These responses can be fear, love, happiness, etc., anything where someone feels or their body changes.
Criminals as well have, generally, the same makeup as normal humans when it comes to their cognitive and emotional behaviors (Steele 2015). Some research by criminologist over the past several decades has gone into looking at decision-making with criminals and how choice theories affect criminals compared to average humans. Most of the research has found very little in the way of differences when it comes to measuring cost vs. benefit (Steele 2015).
Other research has taken a more in-depth look at the brain itself and studied not only choice but the activity of behavior in criminals. This action plays out with the cognitive parts of the brain analyzing the cost and benefits before a crime occurring (Van Gelder and De Vries 2014). In 1962 two researchers, Schachter and Singer did an experiment that showed artificially arousing a person’s physiological state mixed with their cognitive state while manipulating the environment can alter their emotions (Mezzaceppa 1999). Even though this experiment involved pharmaceuticals and individuals as the environment, it showed that there is a possibility of manipulating emotions with environments. However, since the 1962 study of Schachter and Singer, many others have tested their theory have challenged it with different, same, or slightly different results (Mezzaceppa 1999).
This research, along with the environmental theories builds up an approach for the hypothesis of designing an environment for an entryway that is unattractive to criminals; it creates a spike in their emotions to affect their ability to make rational decisions on cost vs. benefit.
Entryways into and Human Threats
These components have been selected due to their capacity to loop everything together and theorize the perfect access point is utilizing specific parts from different areas to create an entryway. CPTED tells us natural surveillance, access control, and territoriality is extremely important to crime prevention (Reynald 2014). Part 2 discusses the role of how cognitive and emotion is controlled in the body and that it is possible, but not guaranteed, to manipulate the behaviors. Mix all of this and out will come the perfect solution to an entryway.
CPTED argues for the use of natural and manmade objects to be used to design an environment for the security. As mentioned earlier, in this day in age, security threats are more significant than ever, and security professionals must think outside the box. Mixing symbolic materials which would be considered landscaping, fountains, natural barriers, benches, etc. with security technology is what is needed in today’s world. Complete control over the flow of people and where they go, using concepts already researched is the new direction of environmental security design.
Defense-in-depth is a known security measure that almost every facility uses, and even executive protection teams use (ASIS International 2009). Defense-in-depth can be described as layers of security where the outer most layer is furthest away from the most valuable asset, and an adversary would have to face a countermeasure at each layer (ASIS International 2009). Depending on the security level, the facility or person might have anywhere from three to ten layers of security.
The fastest way from one point to the next is a straight line. People know this from shared knowledge and life experience. Many entrances to facilities allow for a straight line from the parking area to the reception area.
Just mixing some of these issues anyone can see a formation coming together. Combining layered security, with two of the CPTED guidelines (access control and natural surveillance), along with not allowing a straight line from the parking area to the reception area, will affect a human threats ability on a facility.
If a human threat were to attempt to get into a facility to shoot someone, they would have to go through an outer layer which would have a gate and possibly a guard. They would have to park on the side of the building but visible (natural surveillance) and walk a long distance, zig-zagging while being visible (delaying). Before reaching the front reception area which is layer 2 and should be locked down at this point.
This is just one example of this application could be used for many environments that could have more cognitive and emotional effects on the human threat due to the natural surveillance aspect of the design. The more criminals are seen, the less likely they typically are to commit a crime (Tseng, Duane, and Hadipriono 2004).
The studies of environmental design theories have been evolving for decades and will continue. We live in an ever-growing era of rising threats from both criminals and terrorism and need further studies and research in the field of security science and design. The government typically has the market on security design topics, but the area is rapidly growing, and soon more and more private security officers will be seen in public places.
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