Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
We don't usually notice when the places we go in our daily lives make us feel safe, but we certainly do notice when a place makes us feel unsafe. Environmental features can contribute to our feelings of safety or danger, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) can help us alter places that give us those "unsafe" signals.
The LCSC helps educate property owners, small businesses and community groups on the effectiveness of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design or CPTED (pronounced "SEP-ted"). Some LCSC staff are certified in basic and/or advanced CPTED concepts by the nationally recognized Advanced Crime Prevention Institute.
CPTED may be one the most misunderstood concepts in the security arena. Many security practitioners associate it with deciding the placement of CCTV cameras or where heavy turnstiles should be installed in front of sports venues. Still others harbor misconceptions about CPTED that are so egregious that they may be making decisions that actually nurture crime where they seek to stop it.
At its core, CPTED is about modifying human behavior in the most nuanced of ways. One-third alchemy, one-third psychology and one-third common sense, the art of CPTED seeks to make the legitimate user of a space feel welcome and the potential criminal feel vulnerable. It may be about leveraging the smallest of elements, such as the placement of a soda machine to attract employees into a hallway where thefts have occurred or posting a greeter near the door of bank. It might be called the feng shui of loss prevention.
“Perhaps one reason that CPTED has remained a relatively obscure branch of security,” said Art Hushen, President of the National Institute of Crime Prevention, “is its cumbersome acronym. Our European counterparts don’t refer to it using an acronym. In Europe, terms like “Secured by Design” or “Design Out Crime” are used.
Many problems can be easily addressed through proper design and products commonly found at major home improvement stores. Click on the links to read more about the four components of CPTED:
Natural Surveillance - keeps people easily observable in public places. It is promoted by design that increases the visibility of people, parking areas and building entrances. It is an essential element in urban safety. Read More >>
Territorial Reinforcement - uses physical design to create or extend a sphere of influence. It is promoted by features that define property lines and distinguishes private spaces from public spaces using landscape plantings, pavement designs, gateways and fences. Read More >>
Natural Access Control - decreases crime opportunities by denying access to crime targets and creating a perception of risk for offenders. This includes designing streets, sidewalks, building entrances and neighborhood gateways to clearly indicate public routes and discourage access to private areas. Read More >>
Maintenance - shows that an area is cared for and people are paying attention. Trash free sidewalks, trimmed trees and vegetation, no graffiti, and no visible signs of damage like broken windows distinguishes an area that is well maintained. Read More >>