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Title: The carbon cost of crime
Author: Skudder, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 3652
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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Cutting carbon emissions is a global priority, wherever they occur, and those associated with crime are no exception. This research project explores the carbon cost of crime and crime prevention to ensure that carbon emissions can be considered wherever possible. Although this study focuses on crime in England and Wales as a case study, this can be applied elsewhere around the world. A lifecycle perspective was adopted throughout, to ensure that all aspects of the carbon footprint were accounted for. The carbon footprint of crime was estimated using Environmentally-Extended Input-Output Analysis (EE-IOA) multipliers, and crime prevention measures were analysed by systematically reviewing Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) environmental declarations. The study estimated that crime in England and Wales gave rise to over 4 million tCO2e in the year 2011, representing the ‘carbon cost of crime’. The falling number of criminal offences has resulted in a reduced carbon footprint from around 7 million tCO2e in 1995 to below 3 million tCO2e in 2015 (a cumulative reduction of over 54 million tCO2e). To explore burglary prevention measures, the carbon footprint was combined with an indicator of how secure against burglary the products were. Window and door locks were shown to be the highest performing individual measures with low carbon footprints and the highest chance of preventing crime. The highest performing combinations included window locks, internal lighting, door locks and external lighting. Burglar alarms were the worst performing measure, from both environmental and security perspectives. Overall, it is clear that crime and crime prevention have a carbon cost, and that carbon emissions need to be assessed and reduced wherever possible. The study has contributed towards informing practitioners and policy-makers of this connection between crime and the environment. If a low crime and low-carbon future is to be achieved, the encouraging trend of a decreasing carbon footprint attributable to crime needs to be maintained, and strategies must take into account environmental considerations alongside social and economic benefits.
Supervisor: Druckman, Angela ; Brunton-Smith, Ian Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council ; Home Office ; Secured by Design
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available