Burglaries and entry controls in gated communities

Blog post by Zengli Wang and Lin Liu

19 Jan 2021, 1:07 p.m.
Zengli Wang and Lin Liu



Gated communities are one particular feature of the urban backcloths designed to provide residents with a controlled space, to reduce the fear of crime. However, the literature on whether or not gated communities reduce crime is mixed. Some research found burglary and property crime in gated communities are higher than those in non-gated communities. In contrast, other research showed that housing units in gated communities experienced less burglary relative to those in non-gated communities. Still many studies suggested that there is no significant difference in crime rates between gated and non-gated communities.

However, none of the literature has examined the varying impact of different entry controls on crime. This study fills this gap by providing the following empirical evidence in a Chinese city.

Higher levels of entry control are associated with lower burglary rates in gated communities. Management fee, building height, and housing price could influence crime levels by increasing the risk and/or cost for potential offenders. House for sale, rental house, and proportion of the floating population could boost crime by weakening the informal social control of communities. It should be pointed out that the impact of entry controls on crime is lower than those of management fee, rental house, and housing price. These findings suggested that the relationship between gated communities and crime is more nuanced than what has been previously revealed in the literature.


Read the accompanying article on Urban Studies OnlineFirst here.



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