Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Research has shown that the proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in both the opportunity for crime and the fear of crime. CPTED is part of a comprehensive approach to crime prevention. By emphasizing modifications to the physical environment, it complements community-based policing, Neighbourhood Watch, and social programs that address some of the root causes of criminal behavior.

CPTED can be applied to identify and remove potential problems in proposed developments. It can also be used to correct existing design problems that may invite crime.

CPTED can reduce crime and fear through:

  • Territoriality - fostering residents interaction, vigilance, and control over their neighbourhood
  • Surveillance - maximizing the ability to spot suspicious people and activities
  • Activity support - encouraging the intended use of public space by residents
  • Hierarchy of space - identifying ownership by delineating private space from public space through real or symbolic boundaries
  • Access control/target hardening - using physical barriers, security devices and tamper-resistant materials to restrict entrance
  • Environment - a design or location decision that takes into account the surrounding environment and minimizes the use of space by conflicting groups
  • Image/Maintenance - ensuring that a building or area is clean, well-maintained, and graffiti-free.

View a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design pamphlet from the BC Crime Prevention Association.

Are you having an ongoing Break and Enter, or vandalism, or theft, or trespassing problem at your store or home? The Regional District of Central Okanagan Crime Prevention Coordinator is available for an on site assessment of your premises to suggest possible solutions to your problem through the principles of CPTED.

Contact the Crime Prevention Coordinator at 250-707-8021 or E-mail 


Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email:
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)