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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), an approach to crime prevention, has been around for decades. The basic principle of CPTED is that people's behavior is influenced by the physical environment in which they work or live. If a person feels threatened or unsafe in their surroundings due to crime and lack of security, they will be less likely to take risks such as speaking up against bad behavior or confronting someone who might cause them harm.

What is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design?

The CPTED model is a crime prevention strategy that uses environmental design to reduce the opportunity for crime. It can be used in the design and management of public spaces, buildings, and infrastructure. For example:

  • A business owner may install lighting around his/her store so customers feel safe walking around at night. This will help prevent theft or vandalism from occurring on his/her property because there are no shadows for criminals to hide under during daylight hours.

  • If a business has assets in a high-crime area, physical barriers to entry could proactively prevent criminal activity from occurring. This can include shutters which roll down to protect windows, bars across a door, or "buzzing" customers into a store.

    • The Manitoba Liquor Commission in Canada implemented a security checkpoint at all liquor stores in the greater Winnipeg area in response to high levels of shoplifting occurring in their stores, with the final straw being a robbery with violence occurring against one of the employees. These checkpoints had a minimal impact on customer satisfaction, while increasing overall safety for employees, customers, and reduced criminal activity.

  • A homeowner may choose not to keep valuable items like jewelry out in the open where they could easily be stolen by burglars looking through windows with binoculars from across the street (or even just passing by).

  • A city planner may put up streetlights in a high-traffic area so people feel safe walking around at night. This will help prevent crime because criminals can’t hide in the shadows while they scope out their next target. Another example would be the homeowner could also install motion-sensor lights, which would turn on when someone walked by and then turn off after a set period of time. Motion-sensing lights can be used indoors or outdoors and are often programmed to respond differently based on the amount of light in the room or outside at any given moment.

Implement CPTED in Your Workplace.

CPTED can be applied to any building or space, and has been used to attempt to reduce crime in identified problem areas by police departments and city planners. Business owners, and even residential property owners, can utilize the but it's most commonly used on commercial properties such as retail stores and banks. The goal is to make it less attractive as a target for crime and also safer by implementing measures that deter potential offenders from committing offenses against you or your business property.

CPTED is most effective when implemented as part of a wider crime prevention strategy. It's important to remember that CPTED is only one component in the fight against crime, so it shouldn't be used alone. Other measures include:

  • Have effective security systems and alarms installed on your property. This includes fire alarms to prevent accidental and deliberately set fires.

  • Install good lighting around your building and parking lot

  • Provide adequate surveillance cameras throughout the property

  • Keep the property clean, tidy and well maintained

  • Ensure that you have adequate security staff on hand at all times

  • Implement a crime prevention awareness program amongst staff

  • Discuss with front-line staff what can be done to make the workplace secure

Territorial Reinforcement

Territorial reinforcement is a concept that involves the use of physical barriers to reduce criminal opportunity. A simple example would be the use of a fence, which can serve as both an actual barrier and a symbol of separation between two areas. This can create or extend a "sphere of influence" for the property and also uses natural surveillance and natural access control strategies.

In addition to using fences and gates, you should also consider using lighting (natural or artificial) where possible. Lighting not only makes it harder for criminals to commit crimes at night but also helps create natural surveillance in your space by making it easier for people passing by your property to see what's going on inside your home or office building. You can also use landscaping features that act as barriers between public areas like sidewalks and private properties like homes; these include hedges along sidewalks or fencing around yards (which may include hedges).

The use of territorial reinforcement is a concept that can be applied to any space, including your home or business. The idea is to make it harder for criminals to commit crimes against you by making them feel like they are not welcome on your property. In conjunction with an effective CPTED strategy, territorial reinforcement can help deter criminals and keep them from targeting your business or home.

Using CPTED Without Affecting Your Customers

  • Avoid making your customers feel uncomfortable.

  • Don't make them feel trapped, as this will likely cause them to leave the business and go elsewhere. There is a fine line between crime prevention strategies that are effective and ones that will reduce business performance. If you want to prevent crime in an area, it's important that the design of that space encourages people to stay there and enjoy themselves instead of feeling anxious or afraid.

  • Avoid using bright colors or neon lights (unless they're part of an aesthetic theme), as these can add unnecessary glare when it comes time for someone who may be trying to hide from view--or worse yet, act suspiciously--to blend into their surroundings better than they otherwise would have been able to do so otherwise!

It's important to consider how lighting and sound can be used to make an area feel safer. If there are dark corners or poorly-lit passageways where criminals could hide, then it's important that these aren't left unaddressed. It might not seem like much at first glance but when someone is trying to break into someone else's home, for example, having a light switch close by so they don't have to walk all the way back out of the house before flipping it on can make all the difference in whether or not their plan succeeds!

In general, it's important to think about what you can do to make an area feel safer. This doesn't just mean installing security cameras--although that is certainly one way of doing so--but also ensuring that there are no dark corners where criminals could hide and making sure that any lights in the area aren't glaringly bright or obnoxiously loud.

Contact us for a Security Risk Assessment at your location.

If you are interested in a Security Risk Assessment at your location, please contact us. The process involves an evaluation of the building's current state, including its access points and security hardware. We will then provide recommendations on how to improve the building's overall safety and security.

Security Risk Assessments are a vital tool for businesses with assets, employees, and customers. I can help you protect against the risk of theft, vandalism and other threats to your property. Contact me today for more information about this service.


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