News Article



Key Principles of CPTED

How an area is designed, maintained and managed contributes to its safety as it can directly influence individual and group behaviour. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (“CPTED”) should involve a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach that encourages a sense of community by those who frequent the area. A good CEPTD approach also deters criminal behaviour with many research projects reporting substantial improvements in the quality of life and less crime that is based upon subtle changes to the design of the area.

The key principles for CPTED are:

  1. Natural surveillance - the design and placement of physical features to maximise visibility and surveillance. Many practitioners seek to connect eyes between those in and around buildings or areas and those passing by;
  2. Natural access management - physical guidance of people and vehicles using real or perceived barriers such as fencing, vegetation, lighting and signage;
  3. Territorial reinforcement - involves the use of physical indicators to delineate space and express a positive sense of control. The approach indicates a space is cared for and protected;
  4. Physical maintenance - includes the repair, replacement and general upkeep of a space, building or area. This can involve removal of graffiti, collection of rubbish and a strategy to maintain the area as clean and orderly; and
  5. Target hardening - making potential targets resistant to criminal attack. Strategies include access control, presence of capable guardianship, and physical security devices such as perimeter barriers, signs, locks, alarms and CCTV.

In an appropriate context, practically applied CPTED principles that are based upon the assessment of risk will minimise levels of crime. The strategy will also improve user perception of safety and security for the area – Dr Tony Zalewski