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Rapid Evidence Review: What Changes to the Built Environment Can Mitigate the Health Impacts of Crime?

This rapid evidence review examined strategies for modifying the built environment to mitigate the health impacts of crime.

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Rapid Evidence Review

Crime and fear of crime are associated with a range of negative physical and mental health outcomes, affecting both the direct victims of crime as well as members of the broader community in which crime occurs.

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This review, conducted over two weeks by AcademyHealth’s Translation and Dissemination Institute, found that improving street lighting and installing closed-circuit television systems in public places are two promising strategies for reducing crime and potentially its negative health impacts. However, the effectiveness of these strategies varies depending on the type of crime being addressed and the specific setting in which the intervention is implemented. It is not clear what changes to the built environment are effective for reducing individuals’ fear of crime, as the quality of the evidence on this topic is low.

This rapid evidence review is part of an AcademyHealth series that seeks to pilot innovative approaches to quickly, but rigorously identify and communicate evidence to inform public and private decision-making. The series examines questions relevant to building a Culture of Health, the current focus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the project’s funder.