Tilley and Webb (1994) concluded from the 10 case studies using the Safer Cities Programme (SCP) schemes that whole-area target hardening can reduce local burglary rates. Area-based target hardening can reduce burglary rates when the program is of a sufficiently high intensity. Victim-centered target hardening tends to reduce individual revictimization but does not necessarily affect area rates. Each of the 10 individual schemes had slightly different outcomes.
Primrose Estate Anti-Burglary Project. Target hardening reduced burglary rates in the targeted high-victimization area.
Brackenbank Scheme. During implementation, burglary declined compared to other similar areas, but began to increase a year later.
The Greatfield Estate Home Security Improvement Project. There were no statistically significant effects.
The Meadows Household Security Project. The treatment area experienced an increase in burglary of 9 percent, compared to the rest of the subdivision which experienced a 139 percent increase. Repeat burglaries dropped.
St. Ann’s Burglary Reduction Project. While burglary increased at a rate of 12.4 percent, this rate was lower than elsewhere in the subdivision.
The Belfield and Back O’Th’Moss Safe and Sound Projects. Burglary reductions were achieved in the target neighborhoods, compared to the area as a whole, where the incidence of burglary doubled.
Wardelworth Community Safety Scheme. Burglary was reduced, but community leaders felt that it was still a problem at the end of the program.
Plain Farm Estate Target Hardening Scheme. The part of the estate that was target hardened experienced a drop in burglary rates of 28 percent the 1st year and 35 percent the following year. This is in contrast to the subdivision rates, which rose by 16 percent in the 1st year and 57 percent in the 2nd year.
Tower Hamlets’ Multivictimisation Scheme. Target hardening reduced the rate of revictimization. Overall, the scheme led to a 9 percent reduction in incidence rates for burglaries.
The Lunt Estate Multiagency Project. Burglary fell by 43 percent, compared to the rest of the subdivision, where it rose by 9 percent.
Ekblom and colleagues (1996) found that while comparison cities showed an increase of 15 percent in burglary risk, on average, risks fell by 10 percent in low-intensity areas, 22 percent in medium-intensity areas, and 43 percent in high-intensity areas. The overall reduction was 21 percent. When background crime trends and demographic variables were taken into account, the risk of burglary fell by 24 percent in low-intensity areas, 33 percent in medium-intensity areas, and 37 percent in high-intensity areas. The program thus led to statistically significant reductions in burglary risk.
Target hardening reduced burglary under all conditions. The impact of community-oriented activities on reducing burglary was greater when there was more intense program activity. The most effective schemes combined elements of target hardening and community-oriented activities.
Fear of Burglary
Where action was perceived to be intensive, worry was reduced. Where action was perceived to be low-level, worry was increased.
Displacement and Diffusion of Benefits
Overall, displacement (that is, criminals offending in a different area or switching to a different type of crime) was correlated with low-intensity programs. This increase in crime in adjacent areas offset any benefits gained in the target areas. In contrast, for programs of moderate to high intensity, surrounding areas actually benefitted from the implementation of programs in target areas, so that crime rates dropped in surrounding areas.