Crime Prevention Week – November 3rd to 9th, 2019

Here is a crime prevention tip that can be applied to almost any location. We call it CPTED, pronounced (SEPTED)

What is CPTED?

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is a proactive crime prevention strategy predicated on the belief that proper design and management can lead to a reduction in the incidence and fear of crime and an improvement in the quality of life. CPTED strategies will reduce the likelihood of becoming a target of a break and enter and other crimes. By making changes to the physical layout or design of a location we can reduce crime by making the target less desirable. There are several ways to accomplish this which could include trimming bushes to increase sight-lines or adding surveillance cameras in conspicuous locations to act as a deterrent. See further info below.

Benefits of CPTED:
• Reduces crime and the perception of crime
• Reduces liability
• Saves costs (initial development)
• Promotes partnerships and enhances problem solving
• Improves the quality of life for all

Three Main Principles of CPTED:
1. Natural surveillance:
Natural surveillance is a design strategy that is directed at keeping intruders under observation. It is based on a simple premise that a person inclined to engage in criminality will be less likely to act on their impulse if he or she can be seen. Many criminals look for ways to commit their crime without being detected. If the risk of detection is too great then it is likely that the criminal will move on.
Successful natural surveillance applications include:
• Orienting driveways and paths towards natural forms of surveillance such as building entrances and windows
• Increasing visual permeability of vulnerable areas
• Lighting pathways
• Adding a surveillance system
• Developing uses for the environment that are capable of strategically generating activity. This can include the establishment of sidewalk patios, seating areas and other amenities

2. Natural access control:
Natural access control is a design concept that is directed at decreasing crime opportunity. It is based on the simple premise that a person who is confronted with a clearly defined and/or strategically developed boundary, will typically show it some deference by respecting the way it guides and influences their movement as they transition from public through private spaces.
Successful natural access control applications include:
• Providing clear border definition of controlled spaces
• Limiting uncontrolled and/or unobserved access onto properties, buildings and private space
• Adding dense or thorny landscaping as a natural barrier to reinforce fences and discourage unwanted entry. Be careful not to let this natural barrier to become overgrown and provide concealment for a person to hide while committing a crime.
• Using space to provide natural barriers to conflicting activities

3. Territorial reinforcement
Territorial reinforcement is a design concept that realizes that physical design can create or extend a sphere of influence so that users develop a sense of proprietorship that is noticeable to the offender.
Successful territorial reinforcement applications include:
• Creating clearly marked transitional zones as persons move from public to semi-public and private space using paving patterns, symbolic barriers or markers, signs and other visual cues
• Providing amenities in communal area that encourages activity and use
• Developing visitor reporting procedures for larger scale entities that regularly receive people
• Conducting timely maintenance

Crime Prevention Tips for your House:
• Cut back shrubs/ bushes
• Install motion sensor lights or active timers so your home remains lit when you are not there
• Add a surveillance system
• Keep curtains closed
• Always close and lock garage doors even when you’re at home. It only takes a thief a second to steal something
• Secure any important documents in a safety deposit box. If the box is kept at home,screw the safety deposit box to the floor in an inconspicuous location
• Place contact alarms on windows and doors

There are many CPTED ideas that you can implement do to make your property a less desirable target for would be thieves.