Reducing opportunities for crime in a neighborhood and around your home creates a safer environment. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a planning tool that emphasizes using environmental tactics and designs to create a safer home. CPTED eliminates opportunities for criminals in and around your property. When CPTED principles are applied, people who use an area feel safer and would-be criminals are discouraged from committing a crime.*
CPTED consists of four key strategies.
1. Natural Access Control—Getting into and out of your home.
· Locate walkways, fences, landscaping and lighting to direct visitors to your front door and away from private areas.
· Install small walls or gates between the street and house to indicate entry points.
· Plant thorny plants along fence lines and under windows to deter access by intruders.
· Keep the garage door shut and locked.
2. Natural Surveillance—Maximizing safety by maximizing your visibility.
· Don’t let landscaping obstruct views from doors and windows.
· Keep the front door at least partially visible from the street
· Install windows in main living areas so you can see the yard and driveway.
· Illuminate all doorways that open to the outside, and use dusk-to-dawn sensors on lighting fixtures.
· Install motion sensing lights around the garage and outside your home.
3. Territorial Reinforcement—Using physical attributes to show ownership.
· Mark clear boundaries with fences and landscaping.
· Create transitional areas between the street and the home with front porches or stoops
· Make the home address clearly visible from the street.
· Display security system signage at access points.
4. Maintenance—A well maintained home creates a sense of ownership.
· Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back from windows, doors and walkways.
· Trim hedges to three feet in height and prune lower tree branches up to seven feet to maintain clear visibility of streets and sidewalks.
· Keep lawn mowed and neat, as uncut grass and weeds send a signal that a home is uninhabited.
· Keep exterior lighting in working order.
· Keep yards free of items that might attract theft.
*National Crime Prevention Council
This crime prevention tip is provided by the Hillsborough County Criminal Justice Department. For more information or more safety tips, residents should call 813-276-2033 or visit http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/liaisons/criminaljustice .
From HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY NEWS- January 25, 2011