What is CPTED?

CPTED, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Risk Assessment

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design


Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)   is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts. 

Natural Surveillance: Design the site to keep intruders easily observable. This is promoted by features that maximize visibility of people, parking areas and building entrances; doors and windows that look out onto streets and parking areas; pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and street; porches or patios and adequate nighttime lighting. 

Natural Access Control: Design the site to decrease crime opportunity by denying access to crime targets and creating in offenders, a perception of risk. This can be accomplished by designing street, walkway, building and parking lot entrances to clearly indicate public routes and discourage access to private areas with structural and landscape elements. 

Territorial Reinforcement: Design can create or extend a sphere of influence, where users develop a sense of territorial control, while potential offenders are discouraged. This is promoted by incorporating features that define property lines and distinguish private spaces from public spaces such as; landscape plantings, pavement designs, gateway treatments and CPTED open design (see-through) fences.  

Physical Maintenance—the repair, replacement, and general upkeep of a space, building, or area. Key strategies include the use of low-maintenance landscaping and architectural materials, trash collection and removal, and other programs to maintain a clean and orderly environment. The objective is to allow for the continued use of a space for its intended purpose.

Order Maintenance—the attention to minor violations and reduction of opportunities for inappropriate behavior. Key strategies include posting rules and expectations, using graffiti- and vandalism-resistant materials, and imposing quick, fair, and consistent consequences for violations. The objectives are to foster safe, orderly, and predictable behavior.

Activity Support—the planning and placement of safe activities. Key strategies include sidewalk and street level activities, such as markets, fairs, and festivals, in key community areas. The objective is to increase the number of people using a space, thereby enhancing visibility, social comfort and control.  

Natural Surveillance

Example to create a "see and be seen" environment to deter potential offenders.

Natural Access Control

Clearly defined transitions from public, semi-public, and private areas of the property.