Refresher: CPTED

This material is summarized from the Center for Problem Oriented Policing’s CPTED resource.

CPTED or “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” focuses on examining features of the environment and determining the opportunities they create for crime. Examples of these features are: bus stops where individuals congregate, trees and shrubbery that block visibility, lack of lighting, traffic direction or lack of signaling, abandoned buildings, alleyways or cuts in-between buildings, empty lots hidden from the street, etc.

CPTED focuses on reducing the opportunity for offending and crime by adjusting these environmental features. For example, this might include cutting down shrubbery to increase visibility, adding lighting to a dark alley, boarding up abandoned homes used for drug distribution or prostitution, or improving traffic conditions by adding signage, signals, speed bumps, etc.

The strategies and goals of CPTED are varied. Adjustments can be implemented to:

  • control or make access more difficult
  • deter offenders by increasing risk of apprehension
  • increase visibility
  • increase or encourage guardianship
  • regulate or adjust behaviors and routines
  • reduce the rewards for crime

A related approach is “Situational Crime Prevention”. A Refresher on Situational Crime Prevention is provided within this app.

In an effort to provide helpful suggestions in areas that have not yet been fully studied or evaluated, we have included ideas for responses and activities that may not yet be considered evidence-based or evidence-informed. Therefore, not all actions and strategies included within this App are evidence-based or evidence-informed.