Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design or CPTED (pronounced “sep-ted”) is a series of design strategies based upon the principle that “…The proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction of fear and incidences of crime, and an improvement in the quality of life.”  CPTED is a multi-disciplinary approach aimed at deterring criminal behavior through environmental design.  It is based upon the belief that crime can be directly related to the physical environment.

CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence criminal decisions that precede criminal acts.  Research into criminal behavior indicates the decision whether to commit a criminal offense is more influenced by cues to the personal risk of being caught than by cues to reward or ease of entry.

Law enforcement professionals, construction and facility planners and architects should be well versed in the principles and strategies associated with CPTED.  They should subsequently work collaboratively to implement appropriate CPTED strategies on new buildings and facilities as well as major renovation projects in order to minimize the occurrence of crime and provide for a safer environment.

Most new buildings are usually planned and designed to last and be functional for at least 50 years.  When integrated into the programming stage of new or renovated buildings and facilities, CPTED can positively influence the safety and security of these facilities through their entire life span of use.



CPTED design guidelines


There are four important CPTED design guidelines which you should follow when conducting a CPTED security property assessment. Following are a brief overview of the four main CPTED design guidelines widely accepted by CPTED practitioners.

CPTED Principle #1 - Natural Surveillance

"See and be seen" is the overall goal when it comes to CPTED and natural surveillance. A person is less likely to commit a crime if they think someone will see them do it. Lighting and landscape play an important role in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.

CPTED Principle #2 - Natural Access Control

Natural Access Control is more than a high block wall topped with barbed wire. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design or CPTED utilizes the use of walkways, fences, lighting, signage and landscape to clearly guide people and vehicles to and from the proper entrances. The goal with this CPTED principle is not necessarily to keep intruders out, but to direct the flow of people while decreasing the opportunity for crime.

CPTED Principle #3 - Territorial Reinforcement

Creating or extending a "sphere of influence" by utilizing physical designs such as pavement treatments, landscaping and signage that enable users of an area to develop a sense of proprietorship over it is the goal of this CPTED principle. Public areas are clearly distinguished from private ones. Potential trespassers perceive this control and are thereby discouraged.

CPTED Principle #4 - Maintenance

CPTED and the "Broken Window Theory" suggests that one "broken window" or nuisance, if allowed to exist, will lead to others and ultimately to the decline of an entire neighborhood. Neglected and poorly maintained properties are breeding grounds for criminal activity. We will work with you to develop a formal CPTED based maintenance plan to help you preserve your property value and make it a safer place.