What is CPTED?

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What is CPTED?
CPTED stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Its concept involves designing of the physical environment so as to reduce the chances of crime being committed.

CPTED has four main principles. The first of which is Natural Surveillance. The most important concept for this principle is that crimes are less likely to be committed when there are people around. For the would-be offender, it would likely deter him/her to do what he intends to do simply because many people could stop him or could become witnesses. But this concept also applies to being in a place where other people can see you. These people doesn’t necessarily have to be physically near you, but they could also be a crime deterrent if they can see you from a window or terrace nearby. Natural Surveillance also involves lighting and landscape of the physical space. For obvious reasons, offenders may not be comfortable committing their crimes in well-lighted areas and in spaces where they can clearly be seen without obstruction.

The 2nd principle is Natural Access Control. This involves proper planning of walkways, lighting, fences, and landscape to give the people a guide on where to be at a particular place in time. People should clearly know where to enter a particular space or where to park their cars so as to have a sense of control and security.

The 3rd principle involves Territorial Reinforcement. This refers to “owning” a particular space and getting authority over it. Like in designing landscapes and pavements, signages may be put up to distinguish which area is public and which is private. This type of area classification will create a sense of control on which people can be at any part of the property at a given time. And this setup may discourage would-be trespassers.

Maintenance is the 4th principle and revolves around the idea that having “poorly-maintained” houses or buildings may lead to more criminal activity.

CPTED principles were originally used for housing communities. But these can also be applied to businesses, industries, public places, and schools.

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