An Overview and Discussion of CPTED
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), as defined by the International CPTED Association (n.d.), has as its basic premise that “the proper design and effective use of the physical environment can lead to a reduction in the incidence and fear of crime, thereby improving the quality of life” (p.1). Elizabeth Wood, in the 1960s, came up with ideas for dealing with issues in security. She focused her ideas on features that would lend themselves to be naturally monitored. Although her guidelines were never used, her work encouraged others to delve into CPTED (Crime prevention, p.1). Using her ideas as a basis, criminologist C. Ray Jeffery developed the concept and phrase “crime prevention through environmental design”, or CPTED. A more limited model was developed at the same time by an architect named Oscar Newman. Newman (1972) gave priority to unambiguous design characteristics. His book, Defensible Space: Crime Prevention Through Urban Design, has many examples of crime in relation to actual residences based on information from New York City public housing and their crime documentation (p. 67). While it has been advised that the general public keep shrubs around homes trimmed, use outdoor lighting, and park in a well-lit area, it is my opinion that when crime occurs, people are more likely to help each other when people feel safe where he or she may work and play. I have noted an increase in the amount of theft occurring at the fitness facility where I am an employee. This increase seems to be in direct proportion to the cleanliness of the facility (there have been some contract issues with the evening cleaning staff) and the number of members using the facility. Since the facility is run by the town, they have the benefit of having the police do any criminal investigations involving the facility. The police now spend more time walking around, chatting with the members....
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