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.