Nudging as a crime prevention strategy: the use of nudges to improve cyclists’ locking behavior and reduce the opportunities for bicycle theft

Marlies Sas, Koen Ponnet, Genserik Reniers, Wim Hardyns

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Abstract

As policy makers are developing new alternative strategies to prevent bicycle theft, a nudging approach could provide useful insights in this field. In the current study, two different nudges were implemented at a selection of bicycle parking facilities in the neighborhood of a Belgian university campus. To measure the effectiveness of the nudges, a multi-method approach was used with a combination of observations (n = 3963) and questionnaires (n = 197). The results showed that both nudges had a positive impact on cyclists’ locking behavior. Based on these findings, it can be concluded that nudging can be a rather cheap and easy way to improve secure behavior. However, concerns such as the limitations of increased awareness on behavior and the excessive focus on the victim need to be taken into account when implementing nudges in the field of security.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSecurity Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Bicycle theft
  • Crime prevention
  • Nudging
  • Security
  • University campus

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