The function of security in reducing women's fear of crime in open public spaces: A case study of serial sex attacks at a western australian university
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Security Science / Centre for Security Research
A case study of serial sex attacks in Western Australia examined a specific criminal problem in a defined area of a university campus. Coinciding with these attacks, media attention was focused on a high-profile Western Australian serial killer investigation. This study assessed the impact of continued sexual offences in the same location on a group of women's fear of crime, reinforced by the media reporting of other, similar localized crimes. It broadly examined the university's security framework before, during and after the attacks and how responses may have been enhanced to reduce fear and enhance feelings of safety. The case study involved speaking to female campus users to gather data on what crimes women fear most and how serial sex attacks have impacted on their perceptions of safety while on campus grounds. The study involved interviews with key stakeholders and examined the functions that security must have in order to make women feel safer when in open public space on a university campus.