1. Natural surveillance is much more than 'eyes on the street'
2. There are 8 aspects of natural surveillance to consider in effective CPTED
New Amazon Ring increases fear of crime
Evidence indicates fear of crime is almost completely driven by exposure to media news stories and gossip and is almost completely unrelated to actual crime risks.
The more crime stories are repeated, the higher the levels of fear of crime - even when risk of crime is minimal.
The process is similar to the fear people had after watching the movie Jaws, that a shark might leap out of any rain puddle.
Amazon’s Ring doorbell-security camera sends alerts to user's phones, the cloud, to Amazon and the local police department when the camera detects motion or someone rings the doorbell.
This can give residents the false picture that the house is under continuous siege and crime risk.
The result is a false increase in fear of crime - and of course, social pressure for increased purchases of Amazon Ring.
Early evidence also shows increased concerns about privacy-related issues and of the Amazon Ring generating tensions in communities and increasing suspicion on minority groups. This damages the community efficacy on which much crime prevention depends.
The Amazon Ring (and similar cameras) raise 3 CPTED challenges:
1. How to gain any potential benefits without the increased fear of crime and destroying community efficacy.
2. The increased fear of crime is generated falsely and not reduced by CPTED, security and policing.
3. Professional criminals who will develop new ways of conducting crime. In the case of the Amazon Ring (as for security cameras) the methods will likely be a mix of physical and electronic.