We live with crime every day. It has become, unfortunately, a fact of life. Discussions on the subject have traditionally focused much less on crime prevention than on arrest and punishment; a measure that cannot be taken until after a crime has been committed. Only in the last 20 years have designers and architects begun to see the need to plan and build with more in mind than just the traditional threats of nature: fire, earthquakes and hurricanes. They must now consider the threat of crime.
Enter a new approach to crime prevention – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design – or CPTED. Much more far-reaching than dead bolts on doors and locks on windows, CPTED crime prevention principles can be applied easily and inexpensively to building or remodeling, and have been implemented in communities across the nation. The results have been impressive; in some CPTED communities, criminal activity has decreased by as much as 40 percent. What is the secret to CPTED crime prevention? Design that eliminates or reduces criminal behavior and at the same time encourages people to “keep an eye out” for each other. These are just a few of the ingredients that go into creating an effective CPTED crime prevention environment; that is, a safer more livable community.
Presented along with each of these CPTED strategies are guidelines, which, as a homeowner, builder or remodeler, you can apply to reduce the fear and incidence of crime and improve the quality of life.