Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)

CPTED is defined as: “A crime prevention philosophy based on the theory that the proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear of crime as well as an improvement in the quality of life.” CPTED is an assessment of the entire layout of your facility with three concepts in mind:

  • Decreasing Fear of CrimeCPTED
  • Increasing the Quality of Life
  • Decreasing Crime

These three concepts are achieved by focusing on five areas dealing with your facility. Criminals like to operate in blind corners and in the shadows to avoid being seen or caught.

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The first area CPTED looks at is natural surveillance.  This deals with opening up your facility to ensure people can be seen throughout your facility and ensuring that it is always well lite. This helps to decrease criminal activity by always making them feel like they can be monitored and are being watched.  Natural surveillance is achieved by increasing windows and activity around your facility.  It is also achieved by maintaining all landscaping to the four foot by six foot rule; this rule means keeping all low landscaping below four feet high and not allowing any higher landscaping to hang below six feet.  By following the four foot by six foot rule you ensure your landscaping doesn’t block the view of people looking across your facility and decreases hiding spots for criminals.

The second area CPTED looks at is Territoriality.  Territoriality is all about defining what is public space, what semi-public space is, and what is private space.  Territoriality is all about identifying what activities are acceptable in what areas.  Criminals operate in the gray areas where they are allowed to operate but by clearly identifying territoriality you eliminate these gray areas.

The third area CPTED looks at is access control.  This are directly relates to territoriality by directing people where to go and denying them access to areas that they do not belong in.  This is accomplished through having established vehicle and pedestrian entrances and exits, fencing, door and window locks, and appropriate, visible signage.

The fourth area CPTED looks at is maintenance. Dilapidated and run down areas attract unwanted people and activities.  Proper maintenance of landscaping, lighting, and other features is vital to ensuring that CPTED elements serve their intended purpose.

The final area CPTED looks at is activity support.  Activity support involves both passive and active efforts to promote the presence of responsible pedestrian users in a given area, thus increasing the community value of the area, while discouraging actions by would-be offenders who desire anonymity for their actions.

CRSI has extensive experience with CPTED and numerous other physical security philosophies gained from projects successfully completed across North America.

CRSI strategically partnered with more than 250 electric utilities in the last five (5) years for their NERC CIP Compliance Solutions. To find out more about how to create your Security Compliance Roadmap, call us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

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