Don Shomette

People are the Prize

What Do You See Wednesday? (12/11/2013)


Check out the comments to read what others have seen!

Being able to spot what is safe and unsafe takes practice. And experience is invaluable. We’re going to post a new picture each Wednesday and after everyone has had a chance to comment, we’ll post what we see.

With Christmas about two weeks away, I just had to post this picture.

This is a local department store and they’ve made a huge CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) mistake.  The store has blocked the walkway with merchandise.  The question is why?  Why did the store place merchandise here?  The obvious answer is to make more sales.  Christmas is the single greatest buying and selling time for stores and the more products they have on the sales floor the more products they can sell.  However, in their effort to increase revenue they’ve made the space less safe.  The mistake they have made is called space conflict and it happens in schools all the time.

From what you see in the picture, answer these two questions.

  1. What is space conflict (or what do you think it means)?
  2. What unwanted behaviors can we now expect in this space? (Put yourself there as a shopper.  Imagine you’re using the space.  This technique always helps me to understand what is happening and how to fix it.)

So what do you see?


Author: Don Shomette

Don Shomette is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and owner of People are the Prize, a violence prevention company that helps people to prevent and survive a school attack. He has spent a lifetime working with police officers and principals and is consistently evaluated by those who attend his trainings as one of the best instructors ever. Don challenges, entertains, and helps school personnel to think of preventing violence in a new and positive way.

2 thoughts on “What Do You See Wednesday? (12/11/2013)

  1. I think space conflict is simply competition between two or more activities for the same space. In the case of the department store, they have sales competing with customer movement through the store. During heavy shopping periods, the restricted movement corridor has the potential to cause frustration and anger in customers. Anger and frustration can lead to unwanted behaviors such as verbal and/or physical altercations. This kind of display would be particularly bad news on Black Friday and similar BIG sale events.

    • Wow, Rob. Excellent! Walkways are made for walking. The store has turned it into a place to stop and buy and therefore they have created space conflict. On a busy day with people trying to use the space for walking as well as buying, there is sure to be problems. Schools often do the same thing with halls except they tend to use them for storage. The end results are the same–frustration and unwanted behaviors.

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