Crime and the sense of insecurity in urban neighborhoods, particularly in large cities and metropolitan areas have been the main concern of both citizens and local authorities. Now-a-days the insufficiency of the social sanctions and penalties regarding to the prevention and remedial measures of deviant behaviors and crimes in human societies resulted in a very rapid increase in the incidence of all types of crimes almost every where, both in less and highly developed industrialized countries.
The aim of this research is to study; the sources of crimes, types of crimes and the factors which bring about unsafe and insecure environment in urban communities. To find an appropriate strategy to face with such a social obstacle is another part of the aim of the research.
The methodology of the research is based on descriptive analysis. The data have been gathered through field research, interview and filling out the related questionnaires. The respondents have been selected among the residents of the neighborhoods of the 17th. Region of the City of Tehran were selected as the site of the research. A part of the needed data and information and documents have been collected from libraries. SPSS and GIS soft wares are used for processing and analyzing the data. The hypothesis of the research is: the mixed usage of urban lands around the public spaces in the district under investigation affects the increase of the inhabitants' feeling of security.
Results and Discussion
The results of the research according to the relevant maps, analytic and scientific reasoning show that higher feeling of security among citizens in those places with more public spaces and amenities have been much more than those areas which had been vacant or have had less public spaces and facilities (i.e. Mix land use). The results also show that those places of the area under research which were dispersed and far from sight of the people have been used by the consumers of all types of drugs, particularly at the sunset and late evening. While those places which are crowded due to various kind of land use such as shops, mosques, main streets, well-lighted open spaces, etc. have been free from criminals as those places are always under the direct watch and inspection of the citizens. The results also indicated that 40 percent of the incidence of crimes was related to the drugs.
Another important result is that like other socio-economic, political or hygienic issues, “prevention is better than cure” and applying the policy of “Nip in the bud” can play a very positive and effective role in keeping our neighborhoods far from crimes and criminals.
To attain more secure and safe urban environment, we have to practice our social laws and regulations more strictly and vigorously. To get to such a condition, local authorities and other governmental and semi governmental organizations have to be supported by the citizens in various ways. For instance, the municipality ought to try to enhance the lighting of the streets, recreation areas, isolated corners, parks, bridges, etc. and put more policemen to control indefensible places of the neighborhoods at nights. This will be good to some extent to reduce the incidence of crimes; but will not be enough. Here the citizens themselves have to participate with the police via watching and inspecting their living environment carefully and responding to the authorities regarding what might be happened as deviancies or crimes in their living territories.
A very good case where people participation is practiced in regard with neighborhood security protection and control is Australia. In all Australian cities there are huge numbers of small and large billboards, each signed by the picture of a police, a man, a woman and a child. Under these billboards its written "Watching Area". It means that these places are under the direct and indirect inspection of everybody during day and night; therefore, nobody dares to commit any deviant behavior in these places.
It’s a good experience for any urban community to learn lessons of experiences from others. If we add this experience to what we have in our religion, Islam as the Institution of “ Amr-e- Be Marouf Va Nah-ye As Monkar” (To encourage norms, good manners and ethics and to discourage abnormal behaviors and deviancies in our communities); we will have more safe and sound neighborhoods all over our country.