Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

There are four main principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED):

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

Natural Surveillance

  • Criminals do not want to be seen
  • The primary aim of natural surveillance is to keep intruders under observation

Natural Access Control

  • Natural access control relies on doors, fences, shrubs, and other physical elements to keep unauthorized persons out of a particular place

Territorial Reinforcement

  • People naturally protect a territory that they feel is their own. Good maintenance and landscaping are ways to express ownership.

Maintenance & Management

The more dilapidated an area, the more likely it is to attract unwanted activities. The maintenance and the ‘image’ of an area can have a major impact on whether it will become targeted. Helpful tips include:

  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back from windows, doors and walkways. Keep shrubs trimmed to three feet and prune lower branches of trees up to six feet to maintain clear visibility
  • Use exterior lighting at night and keep it in working order
  • Maintain signs, fencing, and report and remove graffiti promptly
  • Maintain parking areas to high standards without potholes or trash
  • Interaction between neighbors is vital to the awareness of persons and activities in the area. Management may need to create opportunities for neighbors to get to know one another
  • And of course there is always establishing a Neighborhood Watch Group