OALibJ  Vol.2 No.1 , January 2015
Territorial Functioning: A Crime Prevention Mechanism in Reducing Victimization and Fear of Crime in Malaysia
Abstract: Many researchers have done a number of studies by introducing Territorial Functioning as a crime prevention tool in reducing victimization and fear of crime in a high crime housing area. There are three elements in territorial functioning namely territorial behaviour, territorial markers and territorial attitudes. Most studies that had examined territorial marking emphasized the results in adaptable social interaction primarily by preventing unnecessary social encounters. It is also stated that markers are placed to restrain territorial encroachment. Three elements: territorial attitudes, territorial markers and territorial behaviour are interwoven and responded to support and stimulate one another. If one of the elements is high, other elements should be high as well. The research discusses on territorial functioning in the context of victimization and public housing in Malaysia. This research focused on territorial functioning and its relationship with victimisation, which vary according to the resident’s characteristics. In particular, this study, which was quantitative in nature, was conducted in Subang Jaya housing area. The data were collected and administered through face to face interviews with the household in the Subang Jaya housing area. The stratified random sampling obtained from the survey was 73% of the total 300 households with 218 samples of the Subang Jaya housing area. The data were then examined using SPSS through descriptive and inferential analysis. Territorial markers, territorial behaviour and territorial attitudes were also tested using factor analysis. The main purpose of the process is to calculate and combine territorial attitudes and marking behaviour as to create the overall total for territorial functioning as a whole figure. The whole figure obtained known as territorial functioning is correlated with demographic data and victimization. Results show that Territorial behaviour is high and reflected in the territorial displays which are chairs and tables outside the homes. Meaning that the more displays outside homes can deter intruders and strangers. Presence of real barriers and plantings is interpreted as deterrent to intrusion and an indication of a stronger occupant territorial attitude.
Cite this paper: Haron, S. (2015) Territorial Functioning: A Crime Prevention Mechanism in Reducing Victimization and Fear of Crime in Malaysia. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101143.

[1]   Brower, S.N. (1980) Territory in Urban Settings. In: Altman, I., Rapoport, A. and Wohlwill, J., Eds., Human Behavior and Environment, Plenum, New York.

[2]   Greenberg, S.W. and Rohe, W.M. (1984) Neighbourhood Design and Crime. Journal of the American Planning Association, 50, 48-61.

[3]   Sarkawi, A.A. and Abdullah, A. (2008) Urban Planning. Arah Publications, Shah Alam.

[4]   Osborn, D.R. and Tseloni, A. (1998) The Distribution of Household Property Crimes. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 14, 307-330.

[5]   Sparks, R., Genn, H. and Dodd, D. (1977) Surveying Victims. Wiley, London.

[6]   Zelinka, A. and Brennan, D. (2001) Safescape Creating Safer; More Livable Communities through Planning and Design. American Planning Association, Chicago.

[7]   Newman, O. (1972) Defensible Space People and Design in the Violent City. Architecture Press, London.

[8]   Taylor, R.B. (1988) Human Territorial Functioning: An Empirical, Evolutionary Perspective on Individual and Small Group Territorial Cognitions, Behaviours and Consequences. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

[9]   Simon and Schuster (1970) Webster New World Dictionary of the American Language: Second College Edition. Simon and Schuster Inc., New York.

[10]   Promoting Safe City through Environmental Design Seminar (2004) Kuliyyah of Architecture and Environmental Design, (KAED), International Islamic University Malaysia. Centre for Built Environment.

[11]   Haron, S.H. (2008) The Relationship between Territorial Functioning and Victimization, Fear of Crime, Neighbourhood Watch and Ethnic Relations: A Case Study of Subang Jaya Housing Scheme. USM, Penang.

[12]   Altman, I. (1975) The Environment and Social Behavior: Privacy, Personal Space, Territory, Crowding. Brooks/Cole Pub., Co., Belmont.

[13]   Abu-Ghazzeh, T.M. (2000) Environmental Messages in Multiple-Family Housing: Territory and Personalization. Landscape Research, 25, 97-115.

[14]   Alland, A.J. (1972) The Human Imperative. Columbia University Press, New York.

[15]   Edney, J.J. (1976) Human Territories: Comment on Functional Properties. Environment and Behaviour, 8, 31-47.

[16]   Rapoport, A. (1980) Environmental Preference, Habitat Selection and Urban Housing. Journal of Social Issues, 36, 118-134.

[17]   Edney, J.J. (1972) Property, Possession and Permanence: A Field Study of Human Territoriality. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2, 275-282.

[18]   Patterson, A.H. (1978) Territorial Behavior and Fear of Crime in the Elderly. Environmental Psychology and Nonverbal Behavior, 2, 131-145.

[19]   Taylor, R.B., Gottfredson, S.D. and Brower, S. (1981) Territorial Cognitions and Social Climate in Urban Neighborhoods. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 2, 289-303.

[20]   De Vaus, D.A. (1986) Surveys in Social Research. Unwin Hyman, London.

[21]   Abdullah, A., Marzbali, M.H., Bahauddin, A. and Maghsodi, J. (2012) The Relationship between Territorial Functioning and Victimization: A Comparative Study of High and Low Crime Rate Estates. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 50, 899-908.