Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
By: Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department
Spring has arrived, flowers are in bloom, and now is the time to reduce your risk of being victimized. Utilizing the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), you can protect your home and decrease opportunities for criminal activity in your neighborhood.
Whether you live in a single-family home, a condo, or an apartment, when CPTED principals are used together they can provide an effective defense mechanism. Criminals do not like to be seen or heard; so when you reduce places to hide, light-up dark areas, and reduce opportunities for easy access, you’ve successfully hardened your target. The five main overlapping strategies of CPTED are: natural access control, natural surveillance, territorial reinforcement, activity support, and maintenance.
Natural access control - controlling the number of access points to a property.
- Fencing around a property helps control access points.
- Create walkways or pathways to intentionally guide visitors to proper entrances, and away from private areas.
Natural surveillance - a design intended to make intruders easily visible to people on the property or walking by on the sidewalk.
- Install lighting and fully illuminate all walkways, pathways, and doorways.
- Avoid landscaping (plants, fountains, or yard decor) that might create blind spots.
Territorial reinforcement - a strategy intended to clearly mark the edge of the private space from the public space. This can be done by using landscaping, pavement designs, signage, or fencing to create boundaries.
- Clearly identify homes or apartment units with numbers that are visible from the street, high off the ground, and well-lit at night. This is also helpful to emergency responders when they are trying to locate your home, or the correct unit when responding to a call for service.
- Define property lines with landscaping but use low shrubbery and fences to allow visibility from the street.
Target hardening - enhance the physical security of a property by using locks, security alarms, video monitoring systems, or other crime prevention methods.
- Displaying ‘Beware’ decals can be an indication that the property is equipped with a home monitoring system.
- Exterior door hinges should have the “pin” side facing inside so that the door swings out. Having the “pin” inside prevents an intruder from pushing the pin out and removing the door.
Maintenance - performing regular maintenance on the property and well-kept property helps to create a sense of guardianship and helps to deter criminals.
- Prune trees and shrubs back from windows, doors, and walkways to ensure clear visibility.
- Use and maintain exterior lighting, either permanently on lighting or motion sensor lighting.
Using CPTED designs can help implement effective use of landscaping and outdoor decorations to enhance the security and safety of your home. Some designs may require drastic changes, but many are simple steps that most residents can start doing right away. If you happen to notice someone suspicious peeking around your neighbor’s house, or activating their motion sensor lighting, contact the Roseville Police Department or call 9-1-1.