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Current methods in planning for security improvements in residential areas generally proceed with an inadequate empirical base. As a result, security plans often fail to address a community's real problems or to employ realistic methodology to ameliorate the apparent problem. Such methodological weakness can cause a security program to have no impact or to exhibit poor benefit-to-cost ratios. This paper examines these problems and outlines a methodology by which to improve security planning, refine the allocation of security resources and enhance benefit-cost relationships. The following parts of this paper: (a) describe the scope of the residential security problem; (b) delineate the most common failings of current planning practices; and (c) propose a methodology for addressing the problem more effectively.
building security, security planning, methodology, residential security, burglary
Research director, National Office for Social Responsibility, Alexandria, Va.