Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Crime prevention can be done through many tactics, but CPTED is the most effective. This environment-focused design is focused on preventing crime and could be a crucial part of your security program. Blocking the effects of natural disasters and crime requires the use of creativity and design. Buildings & properties should be designed to do just that with advice from a trusted security manager and an outsourced security team.

Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is a practice that leads to an environment where criminals are discouraged and good citizens feel that there’s a watchful eye.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a design approach that has been around for decades and is currently being used by many organizations to reduce crime. CPTED is effective at preventing crime because it relies on anticipating the thought processes of a potential offender and creating an environment that discourages follow-through. In addition, CPTED has the added advantage of creating a sense of safety and community.

When CPTED is used, the environment that’s created discourages criminal behavior and encourages people to watch out for one another.

Crime prevention is a measure of how an environment can be designed to discourage criminal behavior. The environmental design of any space is intended to make the probability of committing a crime less likely. Environmental design is conceptually inseparable from urban planning and architecture.

The idea of crime prevention through environmental design was first proposed by criminologist Oscar Newman in 1969. Newman observed that while police and other measures may reduce the likelihood that crimes will occur, it is not always possible to eliminate them. Therefore, buildings and neighborhoods should be designed in such a way as to reduce potential opportunities for crime, promote social integration and improve the quality of life for residents.

Principles of CPTED

CPTED has four main principles that ensure its efficiency: 

  • Natural access control
  • Natural surveillance
  • Territorial reinforcement
  • Maintenance

These principles can be applied to property security for the benefit of all industries.

Natural Access Control

Natural access control is a way to direct and channel persons to specific areas. Criminals like to feel they are in control. However, this sense of control is thwarted by watching the approach to buildings and property and channeling visitors into a set area. Here are some tips for creating natural access controls:

  • Complex, maze-like entrances in public areas, like lobby areas, can prevent unwanted access. By removing straight-line access to employees like bank tellers and retail cashiers, it minimizes the risk of crime. 
  • Curbing and landscaping can be used in parking lots to direct motor traffic and foot traffic into controlled, visible areas.

Natural Surveillance

Criminals will do anything to avoid getting caught, so they will take advantage of any opportunity they can. You can use this knowledge to your advantage in your business. Natural surveillance is about making it easier for detection and minimizing blind spots.

  • The importance of lighting cannot be overstated. Lighting makes spaces feel safer, more welcoming and easier to navigate. This creates a clear line of sight,
  • Hiding spots create vulnerabilities on property. Cut down vegetation like hedges, remove trees, large bushes, fences and barriers that may create blind spots.
  • Keep and maintain low thorny vegetation around access points like windows. This acts as a deterrent because they are not a comfortable hiding space, but it won’t obstruct the line of sight. 
  • Camera surveillance systems are crucial to property security maintaining 24/7 monitoring of areas, especially if they are not within the natural line of sight. Keeping public monitors can also be a deterrent since criminals will think twice about entering a place when they see themselves on screen. It lets them know they are being watched and recorded.

Territorial Reinforcement 

Territorial reinforcement distinguishes between public and private property. This is especially important because occupants will have a sense of ownership and will notice intruders. Intruders will have a harder time accessing the premises and blending in.

  • Front-desk security and physical security guards should have clear sightlines to all access points. Also, make it easy for them to alert emergency services or request assistance. Panic buttons should be accessible and discrete for security guards to alert emergency services. 
  • Signage for security services should be visible on all entry points and exit points.
  • Physical security guards can monitor access points and security systems like keycard access or biometric security can be used to enhance your business security.

This way, employees have a better sense of their space and feel secure. Immediately, intruders are put in a defensive situation because of this. 

Maintenance and Management

Maintenance and management are directly linked to territorial reinforcement. 

A well-maintained area sends the message that people actively use and an area. HIgh-activity areas are at a lower risk of theft and criminal activity. Visible neglect tells criminals that there isn’t anyone monitoring the area. Simple landscaping, cleaning, and painting can act as a deterrent. For warehouse security, this could mean keeping loading docks clear and operable. For corporate businesses, this could be as simple as maintaining the landscape and keeping the exterior polished.

Safety Management Systems in the Workplace and How They Can Improve Your Business Success

Safety management systems help businesses to reduce work-related incidents and increase safety in the workplace. They are designed to integrate with other business systems so that they can be applied effectively.

A business is only as good as its employees, and employees are only as effective as the company’s safety management system. Adding an effective safety management system to your business will improve your sales, better manage resources, increase productivity and make it easier for you to operate at scale.

What is the Benefit of Optimizing Your Business Security?

When it comes to business, security is often viewed as a very important aspect. However, marketers often underestimate how important it is to optimize their brand’s security. People have been able to hack brands for years. Adding CPTED procedures to your property security with a trustworthy security partner at the helm could add immense value to your brand. 

Brand image is one of the most important aspects of marketing. With an optimized brand’s security, you are well on your way to better business and increased brand value.

The benefits of optimizing your brand’s security include:

  • Preventing unauthorized use or disclosure of information
  • Preventing disruptions that may affect the company’s activities

The Importance of Environmental Design in Crime Prevention

Environmental design can be a powerful tool in crime prevention. It can help change the mindset of consumers and influencers or help to control crime.

The study of environmental design has been around for centuries. Historically, it was seen as a way to improve the aesthetics of spaces and make them more pleasant to inhabit. Today, environmental design is still seen as a way of beautifying spaces; however, we now view it as a way to affect our behavior and overall well-being.

About OPS

OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, you can contact us at

About OPS

OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, contact us!


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