Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

neighborhood homes and street

What is "CPTED"?

Crime prevention through environmental design, or CPTED, is a multi-disciplinary approach to reducing crime and increasing perceived safety. CPTED relies upon the influence of offender behavior. It seeks to dissuade offenders from committing crimes by manipulating the physical environment in which those crimes occur.

Principle #1

Natural Surveillance

"See and be seen" is the overall goal when it comes to CPTED. A person is less likely to commit a crime if they think someone will see them do it. Lighting and landscape play an important role in CPTED.

Principle #2

Natural Access Control

Natural Access Control is more than a high block wall topped with barbed wire. CPTED utilizes the use of walkways, fences, lighting, signage and landscape to clearly guide people and vehicles to and from the proper entrances. The goal with this CPTED principle is not necessarily to keep intruders out, but to direct the flow of people while decreasing the opportunity for crime.

Principle #3

Territorial Reinforcement

Creating or extending a "sphere of influence" by utilizing physical designs such as pavement treatments, landscaping and signage that enable users of an area to develop a sense of proprietorship over it is the goal of this CPTED principle. Public areas are clearly distinguished from private ones. Potential trespassers perceive this control and are thereby discouraged.

Principle #4


CPTED and the "Broken Window Theory" suggests that one "broken window" or nuisance, if allowed to exist, will lead to others and ultimately to the decline of an entire neighborhood. Neglected and poorly maintained properties are breeding grounds for criminal activity. We will work with you to develop a formal CPTED based maintenance plan to help you preserve your property value and make it a safer place.