- Commonly known as CPTED (pronounced "sep-ted") is a pro-active
crime prevention strategy utilized by planners, architects, police
services, security professionals and everyday users of space.
- CPTED surmizes that the proper design and effective use of the
built environment can lead to a reduction in the incidence and fear
of crime and improve the quality of life.
- Emphasis is placed on the physical environment, productive use
of space, and behavior of people to create environments that are
absent of environmental cues that cause opportunities for crime
- CPTED is common sense.
- Applying CPTED starts by asking what is the designated purpose
of the space, how is the space defined and how well does the physical
design support the intended function? Only then, can effective design
or problem solving begin.
- There are four underlying CPTED concepts:
- Natural Surveillance - Is the placement of physical
features and/or activities, and people that maximizes natural
visibility or observation.
|A basement computer lab
with no natural observation.
||Improved natural observation
of the same lab by addition of windows.
||This picture (left) illustrates natural
observation of a parking garage stair tower.
- Natural Access Control - Deters access to a target
and creates a perception of risk to the offender.
|This photo illustrates both
natural observation from a business reception area to
an elevator lobby area and natural access control. Visitors
can clearly identify where they may go.
||The use of landscape prevents
easy access to a roof top, as well as a deterrent to graffiti.
- Territorial Reinforcement - Defines clear borders of
controlled space from public to semi-private to private, so
that users of an area develop a sense of proprietorship over
|This photo clearly demarks
public from private space with the use of a fence.
||These apartments lack clear
definition. Note the ground level windows in this photo.
This has been a source of unauthorized access and criminal
||(Left) The roadway and sidewalks in this
photo are defined by using different building materials
such as cobble stone and interlocking brick. The bollards
further define the space. Another advantage for using
multiple surface materials is that it can alert those
with visual impairments that there is a change in the
- Maintenance - Allows for the continued use of a space
for its intended purpose.
* * *
CPTED is good planning. It is where you start,
with good procedural and physical security
- Timothy D. Crowe
Author, Crime Prevention Through Environmental
©Copyright 2002 CPTED. All Rights Reserved.