Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

  • Buildings ants eye view

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Environmental design plays a large role in the grand scope of security patrol. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a set of design principles specifically created to discourage crime. These principles were formed based on the anticipation of potential offenders––as a result, an environment is created that discourages the follow-through of crime.

The four underlying steps of CPTED include natural surveillance, natural access control, territorial reinforcement and maintenance. Each of these factors plays an important role in reducing crime and allowing officers to patrol and monitor successfully.

Natural Surveillance

This design strategy specifically aims to keep intruders under consistent observation. Natural surveillance positions physical features, activities and people, such as security officers, to maximize natural visibility and observation. Placement selection of such components must be strategically considered to ensure the advantage of natural surveillance.

Natural Access Control

While natural surveillance aims to keep potential threats under observation, natural access control is formulated to decrease crime opportunities altogether. By preventing access to crime targets and establishing a perception of risk to potential offenders, this design strategy reduces escape opportunities and leads appropriate users safely through an environment.

Territorial Reinforcement

Territorial reinforcement creates or enhances a sphere of influence over specific properties. This concept clearly defines spaces as either public, semi-public or private, making proper ownership clearly known. Ownership of this type promotes behavior that challenges unwanted incidents.


Each of the design strategies listed above needs consistent maintenance. It’s vital to ensure each space, person and feature is used for their envisioned purpose. Well-maintained buildings, along with exceptional maintenance strategies, influence crime risk as well as the perception of an area’s security.

Security and surveillance officers must be familiar with the aspects of CPTED, regardless of the areas assigned to patrol. To achieve success when creating strategies and plans, it’s central to keep these design principles in mind.


By |2019-02-04T18:02:36+00:00February 4th, 2019|Blog|

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