CPTED Principles that Avoid Crimes

Categories: CrimeJack The Ripper

The following are the Four CPTED Principles arranged in their relative importance:

  1. Surveillance- Surveillance for me is the most important of the four CPTED principles. This approach is direct; a person will avoid performing a crime when they feel that they can be observed. It is also important because it allows some level of control from the owner and other concerned parties. For example, a person is committing a crime, with surveillance, there is a high probability that the owner or other concerned citizens will see him, thus an immediate response can be done.

  2. Territoriality- This is next to surveillance because it also shows control. Distinguishing private areas from public will discourage people from approaching the area without a purpose. It shows that the proprietor knows and cares for his area of responsibility and any intruder is subject to the proprietor’s discretion.
  3. Image- After the territory is marked, the image of the palace must be developed to strengthen it. By maintaining a positive image of the area, the owner is establishing it as a holistic area where good natured and productive deeds are done thus, showing that wrongdoings are not welcomed and will not be tolerated.

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  4. Environment-Maintenance of the environment ranks last not because it is least effective but rather because it is collaboration, a concern not only of a single owner but of the entire surroundings. An owner might want to implement it but no matter what his/her effort is, it is useless if the neighbors are uncontrollable or do not want to cooperate.

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    Also, state if you believe CPTED and its associated principles are valid and successful crime prevention strategies. Remember to support your answer with adequate details from the text and academic research.

I believe that CPTED is a valid crime prevention strategy. Oscar Newman (1972) determined that crime rates vary according to the four principles stated above. Surveillance is may be the most effective of all the approach since it can be easily installed. The most common form of this is the CCTV surveillance. In a study conducted in June 1997, Nieto concluded that “CCTV video surveillance is successful in reducing and preventing crimes and is helpful in prosecuting individuals caught in the act of committing a crime”(para. 4). He added that it is cost saving.

The other three principles, territoriality, image and environment serve as reliable guide for designing the safety of the place. It is important to note that crimes vary with the location of the institution. As Patricia and Paul Brantingham (1981) said, crimes like murder and assault occur in areas of economic decline and neglect, whereas white-collar crimes occur in area in which a high number of potential victims exist”(160-171). CPTED may have its drawback when implemented poorly but proper preparation for its implementation in an area definitely helps may it be in the prevention, an immediate response or a post-analysis of a crime.

As stated in the website of the Los Angeles Police Department(2010), “experience strongly suggests that application of CPTED in combination with other Department crime prevention programs will help reduce crime and fear of crime in the community”(para 14).

Choose four of the physical security countermeasures listed in Box 10. 2 of the Security Operations text and identify the best location to utilize your selected countermeasures. Alarm Systems Alarm systems work best in facilities inside large buildings. The area must be large enough so that the function of the alarm system will be maximized, small areas often does not need such a system. Alarm systems are effective indoors because sensors are programmed to react with some variations in the conditions of the environment. Indoors are much more controlled than in the outdoors. Strength of this countermeasure is that the alarm communicates fast through out the facilities so that everybody can know if something wrong is happening. Also, it can be easily designed to suit the facility where it will be installed without adding much cost in the design.

Weaknesses of this as Mc Crie (2007) stated is that the wires or cables that are used to transmit signal can be cut easily either intentional or by accident. The usual costs associated are for installation cost and maintenance. Based on Table 10. 2 (Mc Crie, 2007), the total cost is relatively high.


This countermeasure is useful in areas that do not require much protection that is when the harm that can be done is small. A good example is private properties that are under construction or not yet in use. Signs that say no trespassing and indicating the corresponding penalties are useful enough to lessen the probability of having intruders. The strength of this is that it incurs very low cost (the cost is only for making the sign) and seldom needs follow-up maintenance. However, planned and determined offense can not be prevented by this measure. Access Control System The best location to use this countermeasure is in restricted areas where only few personnel are allowed to enter. It must be located in all access points such as the entrance and exits as well as in other machines and facilities.

Such areas are the research facilities of companies. The access to such areas needs to be limited because the operations performed are critical and confidential. As stated on Table 10. 2 (Mc Crie, 2007), it can deter, delay and detect. The strength of this system lies in the fast growth of technologies available to facilitate such measure. With these technologies, a company can choose from a variety of system that can fit their needs and budget. The weakness of this is some access controls can be stolen from the authorized person. This involves IDs and sometimes passwords.

System that uses biometric features can also malfunction at times. Common errors are in the processing of the data. “False-positive (also called Type I or A) errors occurs when an authorized person accesses a restricted facility where he or she should have been allowed” (Mc Crie, 2007 p. 305) and he or she is denied access. On the other hand, the “false-negative (also called Type II or B) errors allow admission to someone who should not be admitted but is” (Mc Crie, 2007 p. 305). Associated cost is relatively high and includes the installation of the system, training for the concerned personnel.

Lighting Systems

Hallways are the area where lighting systems have important effect in terms of security measures. It works in two ways: it protects the employees from accidents with the fixtures of the area and personal assaults; it also protects the facility from intruders. This can be easily implemented in almost any condition and a tried and tested way of increasing security of a place. The weakness of this is that it is only a deterrent; it cannot stop an ongoing offense unless a security personnel is watching the place. So, it is important that with good lighting, the visibility of the area to other personnel is also ensured in the design consideration. Associated cost is low; it includes the installation, electricity cost and maintenance such as replacement of bulbs and repairs.

Security Operations Management

Why must security planners be involved early in facility design? What is the expected payoff from such involvement

Security planners must be involved early in facility design because if the physical and technology based security measures will be done after the structure is designed or built, it will disrupt the existing situation and may cause the employees to feel that “the management is putting systems above people” (Mc Crie, 2007 p. 285).

Most of the effective security measures such as proper lighting need to be incorporated in the design of facilities in order to incur lesser cost and to blend well with the over-all plan. However, well-designed and executed security measures may result to requirement of lesser number of security personnel. It will also gather support from the employees because at the very start of operations, the goal for a secured workplace is already established.


  1. Brantingham, P. J. , & Brantingham, P. L. (1981). Environmental Criminology. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications
  2. McCrie, R. (2007). Security Operations Management (2nd ed. ). Burlington, USA: Elsevier Inc
  3. Nieto, M. (1997). Public Video Surveillance: Is It An Effective Crime Prevention Tool? (CRB-97-0050). Sacramento, CA: California Research Bureau. Retrieved May 16,2010, from http:/www. library. ca. gov/CRB/97/05
  4. Newman, O. (1972). Defensible Space: Crime Prevention through Urban Design. New York, NY: Macmillan
  5. The Los Angeles Police Department. (2010). Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Retrieved May 16, 2010, http://www. lapdonline. org/prevent_crime/content_basic_view/7726

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CPTED Principles that Avoid Crimes. (2016, Sep 14). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/cpted-principles-that-avoid-crimes-essay

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