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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design


The conceptual thrust of the CPTED (pronounced sep-ted) program, is that the proper use of the physical environment can produce behavioral effects that will reduce the incidence and fear of crime, thereby improving the quality of life. These behavioral effects can be accomplished by reducing the propensity of the physical environment to support criminal behavior. After all, crime and prevention is a community-wide responsibility and not only a law enforcement responsibility.

There are three overlapping strategies in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED):

  1. Access Control: This can include fences, window locks, deadbolts for doors, and interior door hinges. Strategies are directed primarily at decreasing crime opportunity by denying access to crime targets and creating in offenders a perception of risk.

  2. Surveillance Strategies: These can include law enforcement and guard patrols, bright lighting, windows, low landscaping, and eliminating visual obstacles that could provide a place of concealment for potential assailants.

  3. Territorial Strategies: Included among these strategies are neighborhood crime watches, fences, walls, sidewalks, and landscaping. These methods are designed to make intruders feel unsafe and unwelcome since clear boundaries make it obvious they are intruding in someone else’s territory.

For more information or to schedule a CPTED assessment, contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Bureau at (901) 867-1401.