Gating alleys to reduce crime: A meta-analysis and realist synthesis

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'Access control' is used to describe the limiting or restriction of access to those with criminal intent or where their gathering could or would facilitate the opportunity for a crime to take place. In addition it can also refer to restricting the use of certain resources. This is done by the use of physical situational measures that are designed to restrict access such as locks on windows and side gates and the use of alley gates.

This systematic review has two objectives. The first is to assess the evidence on whether access control has been found effective as a method of reducing crime in the physical environment. The second is to tease out how, in what forms, for what crime types and under what conditions access control has been found to be effective, ineffective and to have produced unintended negative effects.

A research protocol has been included below.  However, the protocol was for a broader review on access control which ultimately proved to be too ambitious.  The focus of the review was consequently narrowed to alley gating, a specific form of access control.

This systematic review was undertaken by Dr Aiden Sidebottom from  UCL Department of Security and Crime Science, University College London and the University of Surrey as part of the Commissioned Partnership Programme.  It is the first in a series of reviews.

For more information about the What Works Centre, email whatworks@college.pnn.police.uk