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Crime Prevention through Design

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) is the proper design and effective use of the physical environment that can help reduce the frequency and fear of crime.

CPTED is a design based crime prevention approach that can be applied to businesses, such as shopping malls and industrial/commercial parks, residential areas, schools, institutions, parks and playgrounds. 

A CPTED approach can involve basic changes, such as turning a store manager's desk around so that they can see the sales floor better.

For more information visit CPTED Canada or contact our Community Programs Officer.

CPTED strategies 

CPTED generated principles and strategies can be both practical and cost effective. The following represents some beneficial and often considered strategies:


You can design a space to increase the perception or reality of natural surveillance.  An example of this strategy would be homes in a subdivision that are oriented towards the entrance to the cul-de-sac the homes are found on.

You can situate gathering areas in places that benefit from natural surveillance and access control. One way of doing this would be to place unsafe activities in safe spots to overcome the vulnerability of these activities. An example would be a kindergarten play area contained within a school courtyard which was protected by a roof or a fence.

During new construction, try to orient driveways and paths towards natural forms of surveillance such as building entrances and windows.

Clearly zoned spaces

It is helpful to provide clear borders of controlled zones on a property. You can accomplish this by marking the transitional areas so that anyone who attends your property will understand that they are moving from a public to a private space. You can designate the use of a space to provide natural barriers to conflicting activities. 

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