Parks, which are publicly owned land set aside for recreational use and open to the general public, are both praised and vilified with regard to their safety and security. Proponents see parks as neighborhood amenities, places where community members of different socioeconomic status interact and play together while building strong community identities and enjoying the tranquility of natural surroundings. Opponents believe that parks can be frightening and dangerous places, easily taken over for undesirable activities, including living spaces for the homeless, markets for drug dealers, and places that act as delinquent behavior magnets for juveniles. Parks are often seen in this negative light because many legitimate users believe that parks lack adequate surveillance and guardianship, especially when located in urban environments. Recent research supports ...

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