The placement of physical features, activities and people in a way that maximizes visibility. A potential criminal is less likely to attempt a crime if he or she is at risk of being observed. At the same time, we are likely to feel safer when we can see and be seen.
Promoted by features that maximize visibility of people, parking areas and building entrances: doors and windows that look out on to streets and parking areas; pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and streets; front porches; adequate nighttime lighting. Making the offender’s behavior more easily noticeable will cause potential offender’s to think twice before committing a crime in an area where they feel they may be easily caught.
Natural surveillance increases the threat of apprehension by taking steps to increase the perception that people can be seen. Natural surveillance occurs by designing the placement of physical features, activities and people in such a way as to maximize visibility and foster positive social interaction among legitimate users of private and public space.
Below is a diagram the shows good lines of sight on a neighborhood street. People and vehicles can clearly be seen from many different angles.
The following examples show how landscaping can affect lines of sight around a home. This first picture shows how the plants don't allow people to see the street or other people in the area easily. This creates place for people to hid or commit crimes that won't be easily caught.
This picture shows how appropriate plants and lighting can allow everyone to see what is happening on and near the street around a home. This reduces the incentive for a someone to commit a crime in the area.