Main page


download, 73 kb.

Get the grade or your money back • Plagiarism-free • Delivered on time

Reviewing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Criminology Essay

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

I believe that CPTED is a valid crime prevention strategy. Oscar Newman (1972) determined that crime rates vary according to the four principles stated above. Surveillance is may be the most effective of all the approach since it can be easily installed. The most common form of this is the CCTV surveillance. In a study conducted in June 1997, Nieto concluded that “CCTV video surveillance is successful in reducing and preventing crimes and is helpful in prosecuting individuals caught in the act of committing a crime”(para. 4). He added that it is cost saving.

Crime prevention through Environmental Design has been used successfully as a method of crime control. The principle CPTED is to make the quality of life safer for people residing in communities, by making the environment safer through various scientific design methods that discourage criminal acts.

The other three principles, territoriality, image and environment serve as reliable guide for designing the safety of the place. It is important to note that crimes vary with the location of the institution. As Patricia and Paul Brantingham (1981) said, crimes like murder and assault occur in areas of economic decline and neglect, whereas white-collar crimes occur in area in which a high number of potential victims exist”(160-171). CPTED may have its drawback when implemented poorly but proper preparation for its implementation in an area definitely helps may it be in the prevention, an immediate response or a post-analysis of a crime.

There are many programs dealing with the problem of crime in society today. Most criminal justice scholars are focused on controlling crime, believing improving crime control will eventually reduce crime or prevent it in many situations.

As stated in the website of the Los Angeles Police Department(2010), “experience strongly suggests that application of CPTED in combination with other Department crime prevention programs will help reduce crime and fear of crime in the community”(para 14). Part II. Choose four of the physical security countermeasures listed in Box 10. 2 of the Security Operations text and identify the best location to utilize your selected countermeasures. Alarm Systems Alarm systems work best in facilities inside large buildings.

This is the reason so much attention is given to crime control methods throughout the criminal justice community today (Championp.6).

Purpose of CPTED

CPTED focuses on techniques and settings to decrease crime.

I. The following are the Four CPTED Principles arranged in their relative importance: 1. Surveillance- Surveillance for me is the most important of the four CPTED principles. This approach is direct; a person will avoid performing a crime when they feel that they can be observed. It is also important because it allows some level of control from the owner and other concerned parties. For example, a person is committing a crime, with surveillance, there is a high probability that the owner or other concerned citizens will see him, thus an immediate response can be done. 2.

CPTED means changing the elements in any environment to (1) prevent or lessen crime; (2) to lessen fear of crime and apprehension, of crime risks; (3) to increase the aesthetic value of an environment; and (4) to increase the qualitative value of life for law-abiding citizens, particularly by reducing the inclination of the physical environment to sustain criminal behavior (Robinson, p 169).
Signs that say no trespassing and indicating the corresponding penalties are useful enough to lessen the probability of having intruders. The strength of this is that it incurs very low cost (the cost is only for making the sign) and seldom needs follow-up maintenance. However, planned and determined offense can not be prevented by this measure. Access Control System The best location to use this countermeasure is in restricted areas where only few personnel are allowed to enter. It must be located in all access points such as the entrance and exits as well as in other machines and facilities.

The approach to crime prevention requires three important criteria:" (1) developing a strong police force; (2) organizing of an active group of citizens; and (3) initiating action to remove some of the causes of crime and conditions in which it flourishes."(Robinson p. 166). Robinson discussed several levels of analysis or approaches where CPTED is applicable-individual, group, school, community, and social.

The area must be large enough so that the function of the alarm system will be maximized, small areas often does not need such a system. Alarm systems are effective indoors because sensors are programmed to react with some variations in the conditions of the environment. Indoors are much more controlled than in the outdoors. Strength of this countermeasure is that the alarm communicates fast through out the facilities so that everybody can know if something wrong is happening. Also, it can be easily designed to suit the facility where it will be installed without adding much cost in the design.

Stating "The individual level includes programs that focus on the individual's behavior; the group level focuses on behavior as it stems from groups; and the school level approaches include a variety of strategies and techniques. The three levels focus appears to be on the physical environment-for example, clean and fenced schoolyard, controlling access, and so on, but it also includes discipline codes, mentoring, school uniforms, and so forth". The community approach includes programs involving the community members, one example might be, after-school programs, whereas on the social level government becomes involved, through grants such as "Cops in Schools." Robinson has advocated that the most effective method to preventing crime in schools would be a comprehensive crime prevention program that would be inclusive of all levels or approaches. (Robinson p.169). "Conflict resolution programs are some of the most written about in school CPTED approaches" (Robinson p.169).

Some basic principles of CPTED include target hardening (Target hardening means controlling access to neighborhoods to buildings also using surveillance on explicit areas to reduce crime opportunities).

Associated cost is low; it includes the installation, electricity cost and maintenance such as replacement of bulbs and repairs. III. Security Operations Management. Chapter #10, Question #2: Why must security planners be involved early in facility design? What is the expected payoff from such involvement? Security planners must be involved early in facility design because if the physical and technology based security measures will be done after the structure is designed or built, it will disrupt the existing situation and may cause the employees to feel that “the management is putting systems above people” (Mc Crie, 2007 p. 285).

Additionally through, territorial reinforcement (which means ; raising the sense of security in settings people live and work in , by the encouragement of activities, thereby increasing informal control of the environment) (Fleissner, and Heinzelmann, 1996)

CPTED is very consistent with problem oriented policing, because it is concerned with a wide range of problems.

In this regard, crime prevention through environmental design can be considered to be slightly different from traditional policing, but its consistent with problem- oriented policing in four ways: first, touches on the broad scope of problem and not crime only; second, involves systematic analysis of crime factors, events and conditions that fosters crime occurrence; third, leads to design of proactive strategies tailored to problem and the specific geographical locations; fourth, involves all stakeholders and makes them active participants for the program for sake of long-term achievement and improvement (Cornish and Clarke 1986).

Besides that of crime per se, it is consistent within system analysis of the crime event, plus events that contribute to the opportunism for crime, which can inevitably be used as strategies designed handle to the problems in a particular situational area or locales.
According to Atlas (2008), Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a multidisciplinary approach to prevent criminal behavior through environmental design. In order to achieve deterrence effects of criminal behavior, CPTED strategies have been designed to rely on their ability to influence offender’s decision that precedes criminal acts. Therefore CPTED can be seen as an approach to problem solving that takes into account the environmental conditions and the opportunities they offer for criminal behavior occurrence (Cornish and Clarke 1986).

CPTED is involved and active with citizen's governmental agencies, as well as local institutions. CPTED has a role to perform in delineating the problem and making decisions with regard to appropriate solutions as well as responsibility for long-term solutions (Zahm, D 2007).
In her guidelines, she emphasized on the design that would lead to supporting natural surveillability, though Elizabeth’s ideas were never implemented, they evolved into simple implementation such as street lights to distinguish between outlaws and thieves from legitimate travelers (Luedtke et al, 1970). Today, evolution of theories and research behind CPTED design are rooted in the environmental criminology theories which explain the relationship between place and crime; and also borrow some ideas from rational theories focusing on situational prevention (Clarke, 1992).

The ultimate objective of CPTED is the reduction of opportunities for crime occurrence, by the application, of physical design features intentionally implemented for the purpose of discouraging crime, which simultaneously encourages legitimate uses of the environment (Gardner, R A., 1995).

This strategy aims at decreasing crime opportunity by employing design that denies access to crime targets while at the same time creating a risk perception in criminals (Goldstein, 1990). The strategy is achieved through street designs like side walks, entrance construction and neighbor’s gates; in order to prohibit entrance to private places that discourages ill motives. However, the essence and usefulness of the strategies used in CPTED is not in their effective design, but rather in their implementation and application to offer desired goal (Cornish and Clarke 1986).

CPTED is different when compared with other crime prevention or security measures because it specifically focuses on aspects of the design. Other procedures tend to be directed at denying access to a target using by using preventive security measure such as locks and bars, or relying on electronic technology such as alarms and surveillance cameras to detect and identify an offender, in conjunction with security guards.

Hallways are the area where lighting systems have important effect in terms of security measures. It works in two ways: it protects the employees from accidents with the fixtures of the area and personal assaults; it also protects the facility from intruders. This can be easily implemented in almost any condition and a tried and tested way of increasing security of a place. The weakness of this is that it is only a deterrent; it cannot stop an ongoing offense unless a security personnel is watching the place. So, it is important that with good lighting, the visibility of the area to other personnel is also ensured in the design consideration.

CPTED is also unusual when compared to some police activities, because CPTED encourages prevention and considers design and logistics, while traditionally policing has valued a swift reaction to incidents, and the identification and arrest of offenders (Zahm, 2007).
Furthermore, such analyses have proved that: crimes are specific and situational; crime distribution correlates to land use and transport network; and offenders are usually optimistic and commits crime in place they know well (Atlas, 2008). Moreover, these analyses reveal that opportunities for crime arise out of daily activities and crime places that are often without observer. In reaction to the analyses, criminologists who are proponents of CPTED designed necessary strategies in line with the findings.

Many crime prevention programs have been created by police agencies. These programs, or strategies, have been developed as policing policies, many under the heading of "community-oriented policing." Community-oriented policing strategies may take on any of several focuses within the community: specific areas and groups may be targeted, or general strategies may be adopted to prevent crime throughout the entire community. By focusing on the environmental aspects of the community, "the frequency of certain types of criminal behavior may be reduced through identification and modification of the environmental conditions under which such offenses occur" (Robinson, pp vii - viii). Many police agencies employ a combination of community-oriented policing programs, using specifically targeted strategies within a broader, general strategy (Robinson, pp vii - viii).

Why here? What can be done to solve it? And how well do we solve the problem? (Kruger and Liebermann, 2001) In order to address and satisfy these hypothetical questions in analyzing a crime scene to inform prevention through CPTED approach, application and implementation is usually done through four phases. These four phases of application as stipulated by Goldstein (1990) are: scanning, analyzing, response and assessment (Table1. Application and implementation phases).

Process of Problem Solving with SARA

"In crime prevention through environmental design, the problem-solving process implemented is a series of steps designed to answer four questions: What is the problem? Why here? What can be done to solve the problem? How well are we doing?" (Zahm2007). Each of the aforementioned questions represents a segment in the SARA process: SARA is an acronym for scanning, analysis, response, and assessment.

The origin and formulation leading to emergence of CPTED was initially done by criminologist Jeffery Ray who termed it as defensible space and later on it was improved on by architect Newman Oscar (Jeffery1977; Newman1972). It’s a point of worth to note that both Newman and Jeffery were building on the work of Elizabeth Wood. By 1990s Jeffery and Newman models were expanded to involve a multidisciplinary with Newman`s model limiting itself to the built environment.

SARA serves as a guideline or perceptual framework for action; while SARA is a good place to start, the process may need to be adapted to the individual location and circumstances. The tangibility of the in each situation process depends on a variety of considerations, for example, an explicit crime problem in a particular setting.
On the other hand, when moving outside private property to public or semi-public spaces, utilizing access control devices needs more care (Iranmanesh & Etaati, 2009). Planned positioning of signs giving information, barriers, landscaping and lighting "can direct foot and vehicular traffic in ways that decreases criminal opportunities" (Iranmanesh & Etaati, 2009). This is where perceptual barriers could be used to meet the goal of access control. These barriers consist of: signs, paths, walkways, paving surfaces, or anything that announces the uniqueness of an area. All of these barriers guide movement throughout an area. Signs guide movement and provide who the intended users should be. So if a sign says employees only then abnormal uses will be easy to recognize. Public buildings should have paths going to desired location within the space that way people are not wandering and come upon an opportunity to commit a crime. The best example of perceptual barriers is Disney Land. They have colored roads directing you from one ride to another ride or to the restroom and food court. There is a path for wherever you need to be. The reason for a psychological barrier is that if a target appears difficult, it will become unattractive to potential criminals (Iranmanesh & Etaati, 2009).

Zahm. 2007). Analyses may focus on a single type of crime and, because crime data are already available for the problem site, therefore analysis for solutions can begin immediately. More time might be required, as issues become more complex, and will have a greater influence on larger areas with a bigger population having invested interests.
CPTED contains three categories of actors. These actors involve normal users, abnormal users, and observers (Paxton). These actors are people who relate one way or another to a space. The sole purpose of CPTED is to design an environment where normal users can use a space as desired while abnormal users are influenced to move past it (Paxton). This design also makes it easier for observers to monitor the space around them and report criminal acts (Paxton).

In such instances, it takes time to organize a problem-solving team and to collect data. Other considerations might be that it might be more difficult to find a solution that both addresses the problem and satisfies all those who are invested (Zahm, 2007).
Environments need to be designed where normal users have ample amount of chances to go about their day while observing the space around them (Crime). For example, a small day care installs windows on the back wall that way they can monitor the children playing in the playground while they make lunches inside. Windows are very important because they allow you to see the outside perimeter of your space as well. From inside your home or business you can look out the window to observe homes and business across the street (observers). These observers can watch parking areas and sidewalks for unusual behavior. Additionally, window surveillance only works when landscaping outside it well-kept and lighting is good. If you have bushes to high near your window it will provide offenders with places to hide. It blocks the view of non-abusers targeting your space. Outside landscaping needs to be maintained so observation can happen. Convenience stores that have a bunch of clutter and signs on their windows are obstructing the view to outside the store. Robbers will target that store since the normal users did not see them coming.

Important tools used in the CPTED


Surveillance is a primary weapon used in the safeguarding of an area. When there are elevated risks that their actions will be witnessed, criminals are less likely to commit a crime.

Crime prevention through environmental design assesses crime problems and the various ways that the environment presents opportunities for criminal behavior. This crime prevention strategy finds the problem areas and strives to eliminate or reduce opportunities. Changing several characteristics of a space and how that place is seen is how CPTED tries to eliminate and reduce opportunities. CPTED is not just utilized for businesses but for buildings, landmarks and neighborhoods. Physical security was always based on target hardening; make the location hard to get inside through barriers and mechanical objects. However, they never took into consideration that those barriers need to be maintained for it to actually work.

Environments where lawful occupants can apply a high degree of visual control increase the likelihood that criminal acts will be observed and reported (Gardner, 1995).

Informal Surveillance:

Informal Surveillance designed to reduce visual obstacles in addition to eliminating places of concealment for a possible assaulter offering the most protection against attack.

Lighting is very important for natural surveillance. Efficient illumination is essential for people to see and be seen. Secondly, the placement of lighting is vital to observation and the reduction of fear of crime. Lighting must be focused on roadways and possible entrapment areas like restrooms and vacant spaces under stairwells (National Crime Prevention Council, 2003). When lights are used for the night time the placement can make or break whether an offender will be observed. All paths, signs, walkways, exits, entrances and so on should be properly lit up or opportunities of crimes may arise. Being able to maintain lighting is the glue to the effectiveness of visibility. All of those overgrown landscapes of flowers, bushes and trees that are blocking the light need to be clipped. (National Crime Prevention Council, 2003) Lastly, light bulbs break, die and get vandalized. Maintaining that those bulbs are constantly replaced and fixed will show the offender that this place is well taken care of. This place is constantly under observation so they will be caught. Without maintenance of lighting, offenders will come take advantage of that chance to commit criminal activity.

These open designs also encourage use of the environment, as people feel safer when they can easily see and be sighted (Gardner, 1995).

The use of defensible space in conjunction with natural surveillance is a potent crime prevention tool.

When contemplating how you want to control access of your space, the importance of surveillance should not be forgotten. These strategies overlap so you can't think about one without the other. These two concepts can occasionally conflict with one another. For example, a low- level row of thorny bushes under the windows circulating a house. The low level of the bush results in good surveillance while the thorns effectively reduce access control. In addition, fencing defines boundary lines that deter and delay intruders. When installing a fence, it should be a type of fencing where you can see through it. Therefore, you are preventing access control by adding a fence but also keeping up with natural surveillance. In addition, the height of the fence can make a big difference as well. If you have the fence too high, you won't be able to see past the fence to what is on the other side.

On the behalf of the resident/ proprietor, an intruder's entrance into restricted space creates cause for attention and potential alarm. For the intruder, entering into a restricted area puts him into the spotlight, heightens his anxiety level, furthermore increasing his risk of being discovered and caught (Gardner, 1995).
There are four basic overlapping principles of CPTED as shown in the previous example: natural surveillance (will I be seen), natural access control (can I get in and out), territoriality (does anyone care what happens here), and maintenance. The first principle of CPTED is natural surveillance which uses design to see and be seen. This concept takes advantage of the fear of abnormal users of being observed, recognized and detained (). This is turn, reinforces the feeling of safety and security to the user. Criminals don't want to be seen which is why natural surveillance is a great for keeping them under surveillance. Different design features play a part in increasing visibility of a property or building. Normally, surveillance is done by law enforcement patrols and camera systems within buildings and businesses. That is the traditional approach which takes a back seat to CPTED. Therefore, natural surveillance can be accomplished by several techniques. Strategically placing of windows, lighting and landscaping will heighten the normal user's ability to observe abnormal users (White, 2000). Natural surveillance can also take the role of normal users taking note of strangers (abnormal users).


Lighting can be one of the most effective crime deterrents. Light is a tool used to defer crime when it is well thought out and properly planned, it discourages criminal activity, reduces fear and enhances natural surveillance opportunities (Gardner, 1995).

Natural Surveillance tries to deter criminals by planning various ways for people to observe possible criminal behavior. "In a review of studies relating to residential burglary, Sorenson (2003) observes how burglars avoid targets that are readily overlooked by neighbors and/or passers-by. Properties with low levels of lighting at night, high fences, or thick shrubs can provide concealment opportunities for burglars particularly when close to points of access such as windows and doors (Weisel, 2002)" (Paul, Saville & Hiller). When natural surveillance is employed to an utmost extent, it increases the chances to prevent crime by making the offender clearly obvious to a normal users or police (Crime).

The type and quantity of light required will vary depending on the situational logistics etc., but the goal consistently remains the same in all cases. To the highest degree possible, a level of light providing good visibility should be constantly maintained at night.

Maintenance is the last principle of CPTED which brings together all the other principles. It relates to the neighborhood's sense of admiration and territoriality (National Crime Prevention Council, 2003). The more rundown an area, the more likely it is to attract unwelcome behaviors. This is because it seems like no one is concerned about what goes on. However, if the area is well preserved it will demote the area as a target because it shows people are concerned with their area. The maintenance and image is the main influence on whether a space is targeted. This is also known as the Broken Windows theory by James Wilson and George Kelling. The physical appearance of a place can enhance or detract how its community sees it as well as outsiders. Moreover, its purpose is to heighten the visibility of natural surveillance by keeping trees and bushes trimmed and to make sure outdoor lighting is all working for the night time. Lastly, the upkeep of your access controls (no chipped paint on the fences) will show that the community and residents care about this area and what happens to it.

The level of light, provided it meets minimum standards, is not as critical as the evenness of the light. Bright spots and shadows are not advised because; highly vulnerable areas and those that could conceal a potential attacker should be illuminated more brightly than other areas.
The second principle is natural access control which is a strategy used to control access to an area, deny access, reduce crime opportunity and to create a perception of risk in criminals. "The "National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities" project reported that during 1980-1985, 13 percent of all occupational fatalities were a result of homicide" (Thomas, 1992). Another study done is 1992 on injury and fatality found evidence of OVC in employment establishments (Thomas, 1992). The majority of industries that are highly vulnerable to OVC have one thing in common: employment activities occur in what is usually an unsecured environment.

The objective is more visibility of the criminal without spotlighting the victim (Gardner, 1995).

A bright, cheerful environment is much more pleasing than one that appears dark and lifeless. As used in CPTED, lighting plays a part in creating the ability to feel good about one's environment, which is important in developing a sense of pride and ownership and a feeling of territoriality.

There are many things to consider when displaying territorial reinforcement. Territorial methods include natural surveillance and natural access strategies. Each place should be unique in who belongs there. We need to keep abnormal users out of these normal user areas. A company sign is something that shows uniqueness to a company as well as establishes ownership towards that building. Other reinforcements include: landscaping, flags, fences and pavements. All of these things express proprietorship and the vested interest the owner has over their property. Ownership creates and environment where strangers stand out in the crowd.

Lighting can influence an individual's feelings about his environment from an aesthetic as well as a safety standpoint (Gardner, 1995).

Landscaping design

Landscaping design plays a significant role in CPTED.

These phases of application and implementation stages addresses environmental design issues that are critical to applying CPTED strategies in order to solve security problems. Importantly, various factors ought to be considered when applying the program in relation to specific locations and circumstances. As Atlas (2008) acknowledges, easy said than done also do apply to implementation of CPTED program. Challenges in implementing CPTED Like any other project, implementation is usually engulfed in normal problems that face any change process not mentioning resistance.

Versatility to landscaping can be used to perform a variety of design functions. (Gardner 1995). As a representative barrier, landscaping can delineate the changeover between zones. Decorative fencing, flowerbeds, ground cover, and varied patterns in cement work can clearly show division between zones.
Such areas are the research facilities of companies. The access to such areas needs to be limited because the operations performed are critical and confidential. As stated on Table 10. 2 (Mc Crie, 2007), it can deter, delay and detect. The strength of this system lies in the fast growth of technologies available to facilitate such measure. With these technologies, a company can choose from a variety of system that can fit their needs and budget. The weakness of this is some access controls can be stolen from the authorized person. This involves IDs and sometimes passwords.

More substantial barriers are, shrubbery such as evergreen hedges and can be used to create more formidable obstacles if necessary (Gardner 1995).From a surveillance standpoint, landscaping can be very important.
Both cluster of theories focus on the crime events and how criminal understand and use environmental to their advantage to commit crimes. This evolution in research and theoretical foundation has played a central role in informing strategic design to employ. Strategies utilized in CPTED Strategies formulation in relation to CPTED approach are rooted in the theoretical foundation and scholarly research conducted by criminologists. Crowe (2000) reports that the central tenet used to arrive at the strategies is the analysis of crime and the environment where it occur using an analytic question “why here”.

Factors such as growth characteristics of plants and their placement in relation to potentially vulnerable areas are especially important (Gardner 1995).It is important to maintain visual corridors in open, park-like areas as well as in densely planted areas.
Territoriality- This is next to surveillance because it also shows control. Distinguishing private areas from public will discourage people from approaching the area without a purpose. It shows that the proprietor knows and cares for his area of responsibility and any intruder is subject to the proprietor’s discretion. 3. Image- After the territory is marked, the image of the palace must be developed to strengthen it. By maintaining a positive image of the area, the owner is establishing it as a holistic area where good natured and productive deeds are done thus, showing that wrongdoings are not welcomed and will not be tolerated.

Generally, visual surveillance corridors can be maintained by limiting growth of shrubbery to a maximum height of three feet and trees to a minimum height of six feet at the lowest branches, thus ensuring that visibility between three and six feet from the ground will always be relatively unimpaired (Gardner1995).
Weaknesses of this as Mc Crie (2007) stated is that the wires or cables that are used to transmit signal can be cut easily either intentional or by accident. The usual costs associated are for installation cost and maintenance. Based on Table 10. 2 (Mc Crie, 2007), the total cost is relatively high. Signs This countermeasure is useful in areas that do not require much protection that is when the harm that can be done is small. A good example is private properties that are under construction or not yet in use.

Another function of landscaping in crime prevention is aesthetics, because aesthetics are important, an attractive environment brings about a feeling of a pride and ownership (Gardner1995).

Physical Security

The problem with the physical security of most building projects lies in the fact that the designers of projects do not understand crime and criminals, or the positive an effect they can have on the averting of crime by taking positive steps during the designing stages of their work.

These are; Natural surveillance, target hardening, terrestrial reinforcement and natural access control (Newman1972; Crowe, 2000) Territorial reinforcement This is physical design that extends a sphere of influence that enhances users to develop sense of territorial control while potential criminals are discouraged while perceiving these controls (Goldstein, 1990). This is promoted and facilitated by features defining property line such as public and private, signs, pavement designs, or gardens well maintained indicate someone takes care of it.

The ignoring of crime prevention through environmental design can result in soaring residential and commercial burglary rates (Gardner, 1995).

Sophisticated physical security planning can contribute considerably to the general success of a project.

Traditionally, crime prevention worked with organized and mechanical strategies. Organized strategies are considered the use of people like law enforcement, patrol, neighborhood watch teams and security personnel to control crime. The mechanical strategies traditionally are target hardening strategies. This includes anything that is electronic and mechanical like alarm systems, camera systems and locks to deny access to an offender. However, this traditional approach overlooks how the environment can provide opportunities. CPTED uses organized and mechanical approaches as a secondary model. Its primary focus is on natural design strategies. A natural approach enhances safety without creating a prison like environment while reinforcing an atmosphere of comfort.

The appropriate application of security hardware and the elimination of security flaws will from a structural viewpoint, significantly have a positive impact on future crime problems (Gardner 1995). As an element of CPTED, the goal physical security planning is to make penetration more difficult and time-consuming, because the degree of difficulty and length of delay are key factors in reducing the probability that crime will occur (Gardner 1995).
But by 2004, the adopted CPTED model s were those of Newman and Crowe, since Jeffery model was more of psychology and biology and could not fully support the 2nd generation CPTED (Jeffery1977; Newman1972; Crowe, 2000). Furthermore, in 2005 CPTED has gained internationally recognition and acceptance with dropping off Jeffery `s notion of offender’s internal environment (Jeffery1977 Crowe, 2000). The theoretically foundation evolution of CPTED can be traced back in 1960s when Elizabeth Wood developed guidelines aimed at addressing security issues when she was working with Chicago housing authority (Clarke, 1992).

Many of the individual CPTED elements should be familiar to the security professional. Hardware, lighting, and surveillance are all standard tools of the trade. The emphasis of CPTED is not just on the tools, however.

However, the major problems that can be conceptualized in the implementation process of CPTED program are two. First, time allocation for the program implementation may hamper realization of the project goals (Cohen, 1979; Goldstein, 1990). This is in the sense that sometimes time allocated for the implementation of the program may require additional of a longer duration as a result of complexities arising from project implementation while impacting a larger geographical area with a larger number of stakeholders (Table2.

It is how the tools are used that makes the difference. Normally, a building is built and then secured. With CPTED, it is secured, and then built. More importantly, not just the building is secured but also the space around it. Importantly the security program is integrated into the environment, not just added on (Gardner, 1995).

CPTED was originally developed to reduce crime in public housing projects, but its applications are unlimited. It is a concept that can work not only in housing, but also in businesses, industries, public buildings, parks and recreation areas, and schools.

All of these functions are not intended to stop anyone from actually intruding into a person or companies space. The point of territoriality is to convey a message to abnormal users that the property belongs to somebody and they should stay away. For buildings and businesses it sends a message of fear to offenders. Territorial reinforcement mixed with natural surveillance and access control, encourages more awareness by normal users in protecting their territory.

It is a concept that is useful in effectively securing one building or an entire city (Gardner, 1995).

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies aspire to change factors in various environments to lessen the opportunity for those environments to support crime.

Thereafter, it utilizes those perceived opportunities responsible for causing crimes to control access, provide opportunity to see and to be seen and defines ownership while encouraging territory maintenance (Luedtke et al, 1970). In this context CPTED approach to criminology differs greatly from other policing approaches in the sense that CPTED focuses on design in crime prevention unlike other approaches that employ target hardening. Furthermore, CPTED encourage crime prevention through design and place, while policing values effective response to crime incidences by identification and arresting the offenders (Kruger and Liebermann, 2001).

This can be achieved in many types of environments, which makes it a superlative concept to effect many areas of the population, in all different venues, such as commercial properties, shopping malls, residential governmental housing, and in private and public school environments.
The third principle is territorial reinforcement which uses design to show ownership.

Although school violence has not increased in the last decade, CPTED strategies could still be employed to reduce school violence even further (Robinson p. 70). CPTED is also geared to reduce fear of crime and perceptions of crime risks, enhancing the aesthetic quality of an environment, and adding to the quality of life for law-abiding citizens, by reducing the physical environment's capacity to support criminal behavior (Robinson p. 70).

Examples of Successful Projects: (Curries Woods Public housing Renovation, Jersey City, N.J.) and The Westside Waterfront, Troy, N.Y.

Curries Woods Public housing Renovation

Curries Woods like many public housing projects was built in the late 1970s. In recent years, it had become a hot spot for crime, even the Jersey City Police Department did not like to even respond to calls there. New efforts were recently undertaken to change the nature of Curries Woods, with an emphasis on crime prevention (Robinson p. 170).

Five main strategies were undertaken to achieve the goal crime reductions .The first strategy involved CPTED. First, old high rises were demolished and construction of low-density town houses took place. New fences, lighting, limited entrances, manned monitoring booths, and parking stickers were all added to improve the general environment. Secondly, screening and eviction enforcement policies. Residents would now have to meet placement eligibility standards and agree to all aspects of the lease agreement, which included a "one strike and you're out" clause. Violators of the lease were evicted (Robinson p. 170).

Ninety-six large family units converted to ninety-one smaller occupant units, where six lower level apartments were converted to accommodate the physically handicapped, and the remaining apartments were reduced in size and fitted properly to house senior citizens and disabled persons. A number of young adult residents were relocated. Self-locking doors where installed, as well as apartment buzzers with an intercom, surveillance cameras, glass panels to the lobby and ground floor, a reduced sized lobby, and a wrought iron fence around the building to protect the ground level window. Since the CDTED renovations, the building's security has improved because, these techniques have increased access control and reduced the number of crowds that often congregated in the lobby (Robinson, pp 116 - 117).

When Curries Woods residents were surveyed in 1995, loitering, drinking, and drug activities were three of the most common problems occurring in the lobby area. After the renovation, crowd congregations have been eliminated and the all day and night pedestrian traffic has decreased (Robinson, pp 116 - 117).

Unlike the former building, which had three entrances accessible to the public, this building has only one entrance. The former two exits are only for emergency use. For security purposes, to gain access into the renovated building, nonresidents are now required to stop at the resident monitor's desk and sign the visitor's book to record his/her name and destination. The resident monitors are required to sit inside a glass-enclosed office located across from the building's two elevators, thus having the ability to observe the incoming and exiting pedestrian traffic (Robinson, pp 116 - 117)..

The use of residents to maintain foyer and lobby area surveillance increases resident ownership and promotes resident involvement to maintain building safety. Closed circuit television was installed in each resident's apartment and in the manager's office to widen the use of video surveillance. An easily accessible on-site manager's office used during day and evening hours, promoted daily business activity, as well as the use of the community room and laundry room, and reduces the opportunity for criminal and deviant behavior (Robinson, pp 116 - 117)..

An additional measure to reduce criminal opportunity was the installation of windows around the building to enhance natural surveillance and bring more light onto the floors. Extensive use of windows now adds much more natural light to the floor halls, and, the street lamp illuminates the landings nearest the elevators during the night hours. The widening of the all hallways has brought increased lighting to the floors. (Robinson, pp 116 - 117).

The combination of well-lit floors, wider halls, and large windows increases visibility inside the building. The increased hall space eases pedestrian movement and reduced close public contact when walking. The additional windows provide residents an opportunity to observe their cars while parked in front of the building, or sit and wait for a family member who is coming in a car. Parking in front of the building increases car surveillance and decreases the risk of auto theft. It also enables management to more easily identify resident cars and remove those cars, belonging to nonresidents (Robinson, pp 116 - 117).

Disabled parking is situated directly in front of the building to shorten the walking distance to and from the building. The sidewalk is accessible for wheelchair usage and is much narrower than the previous sidewalks. Wide sidewalks drew larger crowd gatherings hence causing passageway obstructions. The increase in the presence of resident monitors promotes building pride and develops tenant responsibility and accountability (Robinson, pp 116 - 117).

The reconstruction of 3 New Heckman Drive for seniors, the disabled and small-sized families has been successful using the CPTED strategies, and it has significantly reduced criminal opportunity and deterred unwanted visitors. (Robinson, pp 116 - 117).

The Westside Waterfront, Troy, N.Y.

For the last few years NCPC has been working closely with Weed and Seed sites across the country, conducting Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) training and technical assistance (Coletrane, 2009). Currently, NCPC is working with Weed and Seed sites in Montgomery, AL; Washington, DC; Manchester, NH; Rome, NY; Troy, NY; Schenectady, NY; N. Charleston, SC; and Dallas, TX. Troy, for example, has had great success as a direct result of implementing an action plan using the CPTED principles learned through NCPC's training.(Coletrane, 2009)

The Westside Waterfront Weed and Seed location in Troy houses over 3,500 households, the majority are renters. This West side waterfront community wanted to lower the amount of property crime and reclaim its green areas that had become populated by drug traffickers and users (Coletrane, 2009).

This Weed and Seed site increased and improved used signs at the apartment buildings to make it easier to define where private and public property began and ended. They renovated the playground to make it more user-friendly and appealing by laying mulch on the surface, improving the lighting, and installing a small "splash pad" with a water sprinkler for children. Landscaping was improved, the parking lot was re-lined, and a wrought-iron fence will soon be installed.The site also focused on reclaiming Troy's Canal Avenue Park for family use. This park was in disrepair and disfigured with graffiti . The area had rusted playground equipment and Older youth loitered there intimidating the younger children and families who might have wanted to use the park (Coletrane, 2009).

Local partners were contacted and engaged with successfully; the city administration agreed to develop a work plan and new vision for the park. The fire department agreed to open and lock the gates to the park every day. The community-policing unit agreed to patrol more regularly, the Osgood Crime Watch Association agreed to maintain the park, and this past April, on Earth Day service projects had 60 neighbors volunteer to remove graffiti, clean up and paint playground equipment, and trim trees to help sightlines and lighting. In addition, the United Way organized a revitalization team of 100 volunteers to take out the old playground equipment and ready the site for new, toddler-scaled playground equipment; install new picnic tables and barbeque grills; and design and install a children's literacy trail garden based on the book Flower Garden by Eve Bunting. Signs displaying the simple verses of the children's tale illustrate the garden and the path through it (Coletrane, 2009).


"Many crime prevention programs work, others do not. Most programs have not yet been evaluated with enough scientific evidence to draw conclusions "(Sherman, et-al 1998). Experimental designs are more difficult to conduct with CPTED strategies. A multitude of CPTED studies has been conducted, trying to determine the impact of the strategies on specific geographic areas. When the units of measurement are areas instead of individuals, experimental designs are more challenging because random assignment is more difficult to accomplish, plus it is often difficult to identify comparable areas to serve as controls, and it can be challenging to ensure that the intervention does not inadvertently affect the control area. Use of statistical techniques control for other variables influencing outcomes will help increase scientific a more stringent control of the evaluations (Anonymous na.). Environmental factors require longer data collection periods. Although research indicates that fear of crime and perceptions of safety are affected by time of year, many CPTED studies have not had long enough follow-up periods that report seasonal variations (Anonymous na.).

A solution would be longer follow-up periods that would allow comparison periods correctly matched by time of year to decrease the chance that fluctuations in factors such as temperature or hours of daylight, which can effect for observed outcomes. Additionally, studies of CPTED strategies in the vein of street lighting or outdoor cameras should take into account environmental factors such as time of day since these types of strategies may have different effects on different types of crime depending on whether it is day or night. Use of statistical techniques to control other variables that might be influencing outcomes, could help increase the scientific accuracy of the evaluations (Anonymous na.).

Another difficulty is that Multiple CPTED strategies are often implemented together making more difficult to determine which individual components of the various strategies are responsible for reductions in crime (Anonymous na.).

Accounting for successes and failures is difficult when program implementation data is incomplete. Many times in studies when CPTED strategies are implemented, the process of collecting data that would show why and how a CPTED strategy was implemented has been overlooked in favor of collecting outcome data to show its impact. Therefore, it is more difficult to determine potential reasons for a program's success or failure if implementation has not been properly documented. Data indicating why a strategy was chosen as well, as how it was implemented would provide information on how these factors affected program outcomes (Anonymous na.).

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Crime Prevention

Primary Crime Prevention

Primary crime prevention models all involve some level of community involvement. However, each type of prevention focuses on a specific developmental stage of crime. Primary prevention addresses the conditions in the natural environment that may lead to the development and prevalence of crime. Lack of street maintenance, broken windows, abandoned buildings, and broken down cars are a few examples of a disorganized community. Primary prevention seeks to alleviate the factors that may lead to crime Safetycops (na.).

Secondary Crime Prevention

Secondary crime prevention attempts to prevent crime by focusing on at-risk offenders or potential opportunities that may foster criminal activity. The main tool used in secondary crime prevention is identification and prediction. There are many theoretical bases for the implementation of secondary crime prevention programs. Once able to identify potential places, people, situations, or opportunities that are at-risk for criminal activity it may be possible to predict and prevent any future criminal occurrence. By reducing the potential opportunities to commit crime, increasing the risks of the crime, and by minimizing the would-be gains of the criminal act, it is more likely that the criminal be discouraged and not engage in such behavior (Safetycops (na.).

Tertiary Crime Prevention

Tertiary prevention, unlike primary and secondary prevention focuses on prevention after a crime has occurred. The focus is to reduce the recidivism rate of criminals and insure that steps are taken so that a victim will not be re-victimized Serious violent crimes often occur in what is normally called "hot spots." targeting these areas and using a combination of programs reduction of crime is possible. Situational Crime Prevention has been shown to dramatically reduce burglary crimes. In a Maryland Report, over 90% of the studies evaluated on situational crime prevention show reductions in crime. Approaches such as target hardening had a significant effect on crime rates Safetycops (na.).

I feel the CPTED programs have several advantages over the other programs, by planning strategies that avert or eliminate crime opportunities .CPTED treats whole areas at a time, instead of the emphasis being on treating problems on an individual basis, or person-to-person basis, bringing swifter results, effecting whole communities. CPTED is flexible; its variables can be integrated into most crime programs as part of the solution to avert crime through readdressing public areas problems, commercial areas, residential communities or public housing, parks, government facilities and schools. It can embrace the best components and strategies of other programs, such as, surveillance technologies policing, and psychological tools, as well as parts of other successful programs proven successful strategies in the reduction crime.

The criterion principle is to make the quality of life safer for people residing in communities by making the environment safer through various scientific and design methods that discourage criminal acts. Crime prevention through Environmental Design has been proven to work successfully as a method of modern crime control alone, and combined with other crime preventions programs. In new schools being built, CPTED planning it is a prerequisite to get government contracts and funding in certain towns and states. I think its future is very promising and will be implemented and intergraded into many future projects.

Video: Discover UK Essays!

Need help with your work?

  • We provide top quality academic writing to assist with your essay and help you achieve success!
download, 73 kb.
  • 1.
  • 9.1%
  • 2.
  • 2.9%
  • 3.
  • 8.3%
  • 4.
  • 9.4%
© 2018