Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

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The West Sacramento’s Police Department is dedicated to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) theories which contends that law enforcement officers, architects, city planners, landscape and interior designers and resident volunteers can create a climate of safety in a community, right from the start. CPTED’s goal is to prevent crime through designing a physical environment that positively influences human behavior – people who use the area regularly perceive it as safe, and would-be criminals see the area as a highly risky place to commit crime.

CPTED promotes design principles that encourage safe behavior and reduce the opportunities for crime to occur. Applying CPTED starts by asking the following questions:

  1. What are the designated purposes of the space?
  2. How is the space defined?
  3. How well does the physical design support the intended function?

CPTED Principles

  • Natural Surveillance -The placement of physical features, activities and people in such a way as to maximize visibility.
  • Natural Access Control -The physical guidance of people coming and going from a space by the judicial placement of entrances, exits, fencing, landscaping and lighting.
  • Territorial Reinforcement - The use of physical attributes that express ownership, such as well defined property lines, fences, signage, landscaping, lighting, etc.
  • Maintenance - A well-maintained home, building or community creates a sense of ownership, which helps deter criminals.
  • Activity Support - To encourage interaction by putting activities in public spaces that are intended for use by residents and other legitimate users and therefore discourages criminal acts.

The West Sacramento’s Police Department is dedicated to reducing the fear and incidence of crime as well as improving the quality of life by promoting the principles of CPTED by combing expertise from Code Enforcement, Patrol, Crime Prevention and Administration. We offer free CPTED reviews for new development, existing structures, residential and commercial.