Crime Prevention Through Enviromental Design

Overlapping Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Strategies


Natural Surveillance


A design concept directed primarily at keeping intruders easily observable. Promoted by features that maximize visibility of people, parking areas and building entrances: pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and streets; adequate nighttime lighting, as well as:
  • All doors that open to the outside should be well lit
  • All four facade should have windows
  • Buildings should be sited so that the windows and doors of one unit are visible from another
  • Dumpsters should not create blind spots or hiding areas
  • Elevators and stairwells should be clearly visible from windows and doors
  • Exterior doors should be visible from the street or by neighbors
  • Parking areas and pedestrian walkways should be well lit
  • Parking areas should be visible from windows and doors
  • Parking spaces should be assigned to each unit located adjacent to that unit, and not marked by unit numbers
  • Recreation areas should be visible from a multitude of windows and doors
  • Shrubbery should be no more than three feet high for clear visibility
  • Stairwells should be well lit and open to view; not behind solid walls
  • Visitor parking should be designated

Territorial Reinforcement


Physical design can create or extend a sphere of influence. Users then develop a sense of territorial control while potential offenders, perceiving this control, are discouraged. Promoted by features that define property lines and distinguish private spaces from public spaces using landscape plantings, pavement designs, gateway treatments, and CPTED fences can be used, along with the following:
  • All buildings and residential units should be clearly identified by street address numbers that are a minimum of five inches high, and well lit at night
  • Low shrubbery and fencing should allow visibility from the street
  • Mailboxes should be located next to the appropriate residences
  • Building entrances should be accentuated by architectural elements, lighting and /or landscaping
  • Common doorways should have windows and be key controlled by residents
  • Door knobs should be 40 inches from window panes
  • Property lines should be defined by landscaping or post and pillar fencing

Natural Access Control


A design concept directed primarily at decreasing crime opportunity by denying access to crime targets and creating in offenders a perception of risk. This is gained by designing streets, sidewalks, building entrances and neighborhood gateways to clearly indicate public routes and discouraging access to private areas with structural elements including:
  • Access to the building should be limited to no more than two points
  • Balcony railings should never be a solid opaque material or more, than 42 inches high
  • Common building entrances should have locks that automatically lock when the door closes
  • Dead end spaces should be blocked by a fence or gate
  • Elevators and stairwells should be centrally located
  • Entrances into parking lots should be defined by landscaping, architectural design, or monitored by a guard
  • Hallways should be well lit
  • No move than four apartments should share the same entrance

Target Hardening


Target hardening is accomplished by features that prohibit entry or access: window locks, dead bolts for doors, interior door hinges. Presented along with each of these CPTED strategies are guidelines which, as a homeowner, builder or remodel contractor, you can apply to reduce the fear and incidence of crime and improve the quality of life use the following strategies:
  • Cylinder dead bolt locks should be installed on all exterior doors
  • Door hinges should be located on the interior side of the door
  • Sliding glass doors should have one permanent door on the outside and on the inside moving