Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)

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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is the design, maintenance, and use of the built environment in order to enhance quality of life and to reduce both the incidence and fear of crime. CPTED involves the balanced application of these three principles:

  • Natural Surveillance: Natural surveillance is achieved through design and maintenance that allows people engaged in their normal activity to easily observe the space around them, as well as eliminating hiding places for people engaged in criminal activity.
  • Territoriality: Territoriality means providing clear designation between public, private, and semi-private areas and makes it easier for people to understand, and participate in, an area’s intended use.
  • Access Control: Access control is a concept directed primarily at decreasing criminal accessibility, especially into areas where a person with criminal intent would not easily be seen by others.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) theories contend that law enforcement officers, architects, city planners, landscape and interior designers, and resident can create a climate of safety in a community right from the start. CPTED’s goal is to prevent crime by designing a physical environment that positively influences human behavior. City staff is available to conduct security consultations of both homes and businesses in San Marcos.

To schedule a free security consultation, please contact Neighborhood Services Specialist Bebe Nares, (760) 744-1050, ext. 3168.