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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

It has been shown through research, that both the opportunity for crime and the fear of crime can be reduced by utilizing the four basic principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). 

What is CPTED? It is an approach to planning and development that reduces opportunities for crime. The general concept is simple.  A CPTED practitioner, who has studied the principals of CPTED, views property by anticipating the thought processes of a potential offender.   They then create an environment that discourages perpetrators acting upon their criminal intent.

Communities, neighborhoods, individual homes, and other buildings, streets, and parks can all be made safer through the application of design principles that make it more difficult to carry out inappropriate activities.  This helps create safer neighborhoods and communities.

CPTED is a set of four design principles that are used to discourage crime. 
The four principles of CPTED are:

  • Natural Surveillance
  • Natural Access Control
  • Territorial Reinforcement
  • Maintenance

Natural Surveillance: Criminals and vandals do not like to be witnessed committing their crime.  A person is less likely to commit a crime if they think someone is watching them.  Using landscaping, lighting, windows, stairways, entrance placements can maximize the ability of people in the area to observe individuals in the vicinity.  This will allow observers to view external activities from adjacent areas and call for help.

Natural Access Control: CPTED utilizes the use of fences, walkways, landscaping, lighting and signage to guide people and vehicles where you want them to go.  These controls discourage access to private areas, which decrease an opportunity for crime.

Territorial Reinforcement: By utilizing physical design, CPTED clearly designate public areas from private areas.  This will develop a sense of ownership by those that use the space on a regular basis.  They will then be more inclined to be watchful for unwanted activity on this property.  Potential trespassers perceive this control and are discouraged to frequent the area.

Maintenance:  CPTED practitioners refer to the “Broken Window Theory”, which suggests that one broken window, or piece of graffiti, if allowed to exist, will lead to others and ultimately to the decline of the entire neighborhood, apartment building or business.  Poorly maintained properties are breeding grounds for criminal activity.  A CPTED based maintenance plan will preserve the property value and make it a safer area for everyone to frequent.  

What is the CPTED process?

  • Beginning by first engaging the support of residents/employees and other key partners who use or frequent the property.  Town Hall or office meetings are utilized to collect their concerns and knowledge of crime in the area.
  • Using insurance claim records, incident reports and talking with police officials, crime or disorder problems are identified that are happening in the area.
  • Examination of blueprints, design material and walking around the site of the current or proposed design of the property is undertaken.  Then the information is analyzed and compared to crime trends for that area.
  • Preventive or corrective design options are developed.
  • The preferred design changes are implemented.
  • Conduct follow-up monitoring and evaluation on the design implementations and their affects on criminal activity.
  • The results are publicized to the stakeholders to help enforce a sense of pride and safety within the community.

How to start?
Simply call 780-460-3028 and arrange a consultation with Dave Rodwell. The first meeting is complementary.  Our CPTED security consultants have over 2 weeks of in-depth CPTED training and are certified as CPTED practitioners.

© 2014 Dave Rodwell. All rights reserved.


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