Crime Prevention through Environmental Design

Thu, Aug 9, 2012

General Legal Issues

A recent article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune mentions that “crime prevention through environmental design” is part of the tactics used for some housing in Palmetto.

But just what is crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED)? Specifically, it is a term used by Floridian C. Ray Jeffery in a book by the same name. There, Mr. Jeffery talked about how changes in planning and up keeping one’s environment could help prevent or reduce crime. Other noted experts in the field have contributed greatly to the general idea also. This concept and those contributors are detailed in this Wikipedia article.

For years, neighborhood watch programs have taught residents to maintain their property and neighborhoods in a way that deters criminals. The idea is to reduce places for them to hide. Ideas include keeping bushes low and lighting high. Some of the neighborhood watch ideas also include using light timers, making sure mail is not accumulating, and to keep in touch with trusted neighbors so you can all keep an eye on your residences.

Crime prevention through environmental design goes a little further in that it addresses whole cities and large neighborhoods. It wants you to start at the beginning stages of a neighborhood or urban area so that the space is laid out in a way that crime is less likely to occur (at least unnoticed). An interesting site for learning more about these planning stages is found here.

Florida has its own organization for training and educating about this method. They, along with the National Crime Prevention Council, offer some further resources for  those looking to use these ideas in their Florida community.

SmithLaw is glad to see that the state is working so hard on creating safe neighborhoods through educating people about crime prevention.

Image: Some rights reserved by Nicola since 1972

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