Crime Prevention Through Environmental Deisgn

Commonly referred to as CPTED, is defined as the proper design and effective use of the built environment that can lead to a reduction in the fear of crime and the incidence of crime and an improvement in the quality of life.

The goal of CPTED is to reduce the opportunites from crime that are inherent to the design of structures or neighborhoods

CPTED is based on four overlapping concepts:

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

The placement of physical features, activities, and people in a way that maximizes visibility.

Natural Surveillance increases the threat of apprehension by taking steps to increase the perception that people can be seen.

Natural Surveillance can be maximized by:

  • Designing landscapes that allow clear, unobstructed views of surrounding areas.
  • Improving visibility with lighting or transparent building materials.
  • Avoiding lighting that creates glare or shadows.
  • Avoiding the creation of building entrapment areas.
Natural Access Control

Physically guiding people though a place by the strategic design of streets, sidewalks, building entrances, and landscaping.

Natural Access Control can be maximized by:

  • Clearly defining entryways and controlling other points of access.
  • Ensuring entrances are well lit with good visibility.
  • Clearly marking public walkways.
  • A comprehensive way-finding system.
Territorial Reinforcement

The use of physical attributes that express ownership.

Territorial reinforcement can be displayed by:

  • Fencing
  • Pavement treatments
  • Signage
  • Landscaping

Proper maintenance allows for a space to be used for its intended purpose.

Proper maintenance can also:

  • Express ownership
  • Prevent a reduction in visibility from overgrown landscaping
  • Prevent a reduction in visibility from obstructed or inoperable lighting
Broken Windows Theory states the presence of a broken window will entice vandals to break more windows in the vicinity. The presence of vandalism and graffiti encourage more vandalism and graffiti.
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