Explaining Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Posted by David Skuy on

Each of the services offered by Secured Property Group adheres to the principle of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). We believe this policy allows our team to holistically care for the welfare of our clients’ property, offering benefits to value, efficiency and effectiveness.

A question we often hear from clients is – what exactly is crime prevention through environmental design? In this blog, we’re going to answer that question while explaining some of the benefits it offers.

What is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design?

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is a set of principles that discourages crime by creating an environment hostile towards criminal behaviour. For hundreds of years, buildings have been designed to prevent damage from weather and natural disasters; why not crime too?

The basic principles of CPTED are founded on anticipating the common behaviours of criminals and attempting to create an environment that discourages their actions. Through years of experience in the security field, we’ve found most crimes are crimes of opportunity. Removing this opportunity has a dramatic effect on reducing criminality. 

Improving Security Through CPTED

The good news is, a building doesn’t have to be designed from the ground up with CPTED principles in mind to bolster security. Improvements can be made to existing buildings and staffing arrangements that quickly bring about an improvement in security. At Secured Property Group, our team achieves this in several ways:

  • Natural Surveillance
  • Access Control
  • Boundary Reinforcement
  • High Maintenance Standards

Let's quickly run through how each of these aspects of CPTED makes a difference in building security.

Natural Surveillance

Criminals love to operate in a quiet and discreet environment where they can’t be seen. They flock to areas of a property where they can hide from view and also make a quick escape. While carrying out an audit of your building security, small changes to areas such as lighting, landscaping and installation of CCTV cameras can act as a powerful deterrent. After all, if a person feels like they’re being watched, they’re less likely to engage in illegal activity.


Access Control

By clearly marking the approaches to buildings and funneling visitors into a defined area, it’s possible to remove any ambiguity surrounding who should be where within a property. Avenues for a quick entrance and escape are some of the first things a criminal will look for. Ensure any vulnerable points – such as cash registers, coat check etc. – are hidden behind maze entrances. Cut off straight-line access to these potential targets and it makes them much less attractive. This idea also extends to windows and doors, which should be reinforced with deadbolts and security railings in places of high vulnerability such as the ground floor.


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Boundary Reinforcement

Boundary reinforcement involves creating a clear difference between the private and public parts of the building. If sensitive areas of the building can only be accessed via keycards, it creates a sense of ownership among legitimate occupants. Intruders will find it hard to access sensitive areas of the building. And, if they manage to get in, they won’t be able to blend in. Any visitors who are legitimately allowed into private areas should receive a staff escort. Also, ensure staff have an easy and quick way to report any suspicious individuals.


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An underrated aspect of CPTED is property maintenance. We train all our team members to act as the eyes and ears of a building while carrying out property maintenance. These individuals are typically the first to notice if something seems wrong. Properly maintaining a building also shows property managers are watchful and care about their building. We’ve noticed that a vandalized area offers an open invitation for higher levels of crime. 

Find Out More

Interested in hearing how Secured Property Group’s focus on CPTED can help protect your property? We’re standing by to assist with any aspect of your property management needs. Contact Us and let’s chat.