Crime Prevention through Environmental Design

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) is an urban design principle with a focus on reducing the incidence and fear of crime.

In order for Nelson to remain vibrant keeping the CBD safe has been a priority for urban design planning. Feelings of safety enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthy mix of activity.

What is CPTED?

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) is an urban design principle with a focus on reducing the incidence and fear of crime. The design of buildings and the arrangement of streets, parks and other outdoor spaces can influence the opportunity for crime and the level of fear of crime.

Careful environmental design can help make places less susceptible to crime and enable people to feel more comfortable outdoors. Crime statistics indicate that there is no significant risk of becoming victims of crime, especially in Nelson. However, these figures bear no resemblance to the level of fear individuals may have at the possibility of becoming a victim. It is this fear of crime, particularly of attacks associated with theft or sexual motives, which inhibits the mobility of community members. Women and the elderly, for example, suffer disproportionately from the fear of crime.

An improvement in the quality of life, by reducing crime and the fear of crime, is essential and a basic right for everyone. CPTED is one important strategy for achieving this.

CPTED Guidelines

1. Access: Safe Movement and Connections

The access to any place needs to be clear so there is no confusion or need to hunt for an entrance.

An example of good access, safe movement and connections

An example of good access, safe movement and connections

 

2. Surveillance and sightlines: See and be seen

Clear sightlines and good lighting provide maximum visibility. Create ample opportunities for passers-by to see each other thereby reducing the chance for criminal activity, which relies on being undetected.

Diagram of the principles of clear sightlines.

Diagram of the principles of clear sightlines.

 

3. Layout and legibility: Clear and logical orientation

Places need to be laid out to communicate where to go and make it easier for people to find their way.

A. For example:

Where a path or alleyway leads to a dead end or onto private property, this should be clearly marked and identified.

B. For example: Eliminate entrapment spots. These are small confining spaces shielded on three sides by barriers such as walls or landscaping and in which an offender can hide.

Example of secured entrapment spots.

Example of secured entrapment spots.

 

Entrapment spots that are alongside or at the end a driveway, footpath, or stairwell are of particular concern. When these entrapment spots cannot be designed out, they should be gated or secured at night.

4. Activity mix: Eyes on the street

Places that are of interest, comfort and beauty, bring people to an area and a well designed area gives individuals a sense of safety.

Example of mixed street activity.

Example of mixed street activity.

 

5. Sense of ownership: Showing a place is cared for

Places that are built with high quality material and are well cared for are more likely to discourage anti-social behaviour because they convey the message that someone cares about the space.

An example of a well cared for public/private place.

An example of a well cared for public/private place.

 

Maintaining all sides of the property sends a cue to offenders that they may be challenged. Untidy back yards are an invitation for anti-social behaviour.

Downloads

Download the CPTED brochure (592KB PDF)

Contact

Please contact the Road Safety/Safe City Adviser on +64 3 546 0390 for more information.