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Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a term based on the understanding that physical surroundings and established norms impact behaviors, such as crime and vandalism or their deterrents. If you want to better protect your property, use these 4 principles. The physical environment can be transformed to promote positive behaviors and discourage negative ones.

Natural Surveillance

Creating ways that make parts of a property more visible deters unwanted visitors that don’t want an audience. Simply trim overgrown landscaping or utilizing open stair risers creates more visibility and gives criminals less opportunities to hide.

Creating ways to increase visibility is a great step. You can also take a more active role with activity generators. Activity generators are things in your community people utilize, increasing foot traffic which in turn increases visibility. Amenities such as playgrounds and community mailboxes are excellent ways to increase activity and natural surveillance.

Natural Access

This limits criminal opportunities by not only restricting access to the property but also by controlling the direction of traffic. Use geography to your advantage! Criminals who are unable to get to their targets easily are less likely to commit crimes.

Natural Territorial Reinforcement

Clearly define the boundary between public and private space. Reinforce the feeling of territory to give your residents or employees a better sense of community to help quickly identify someone who is an outsider. You can do this by strategically placing trees, sidewalks, roads and signage.


Often you hear the “broken window theory.” It says that buildings with a few broken windows that are not repaired encourage vandals to break more windows. If nothing is done about this new damage, their behavior escalates. If you let little things accumulate, they turn into BIG things.

Implementing these principles may be easier than you think. The simplest way to start are daily rounds. Have your team walk around your property and its boundaries daily. While on the walk they can ensure gates, lock and other access controls are functioning, perform a landscape audit, inventory high-values assets such as AC units and pick up litter on the grounds. Taking steps to achieve the principles of CPTED can reduce the potential form crime and improve the quality of life!

If you’ve experienced vandalism, or would like to learn more please give us a call at 1-800-349-4357 or check us out online at www.GuaranteeRestoration.com