Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
Summary and Keywords
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is an approach to crime reduction that seeks to reduce perceived opportunities for crime through the design and management of the built or, less often, the natural environment. It is based on a set of principles, which can be applied as a guide to the design and construction of buildings, as well as the organization of spaces around them. Because CPTED provides a guide rather than a rigid specification, with a range of possible realizations, design compliance with its principles is often recognized through an award scheme, such as Secured by Design (SBD) in the United Kingdom and the Police Label Secured Housing in the Netherlands. Research has consistently demonstrated that CPTED is an effective crime reduction approach—reducing crime, alleviating the fear of crime, and enhancing feelings of safety. Its increasing recognition within planning policy reflects a growing acknowledgment of efficacy.
Keywords: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), situational crime prevention, new opportunity theories, burglary, designing out crime, planning, police, crime prevention, Secured by Design (SBD)
Crimes may involve acts as diverse as fraud (both in physical space and cyberspace), burglary, assault, and child sexual exploitation, and the precise scope of the criminal law varies by country and epoch. Just as diverse illnesses require diverse remedies, diverse crimes require diverse approaches to their prevention. Such approaches differ according to the crime type, available resources, and extent to which the relevant agencies require a quick or longer-term solution. The focus of preventive activities also varies according to one’s philosophy or understanding of crime causation; Brantingham and Faust (1976) distinguish among primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. Primary prevention directs attention toward the manipulation of crime settings, and CPTED is an approach to primary prevention. Secondary prevention looks at changing those at risk of embarking on a criminal career, and tertiary prevention focuses on truncating the criminal careers of people who have already embarked on a criminal career. Emphasis on one approach or another directs the attention of an individual, agency, or government in different ways and directions. Is crime viewed as a “moral aberration to be explained,” or a “risk to be calculated” (Garland, 1996, pp. 450–451)? The former perspective views crime as inevitable, as a symptom of poor judgment, morals, or standards, whereas the latter is a more pragmatic approach that views crime mainly as a response to opportunity, no matter wherever and against whomever that risk emerges. These approaches self-evidently differ in terms of where interventions should be directed—whether toward the individual at risk of committing a crime, the individual at risk of becoming a victim of crime, or the environment or location in which crime is most likely to take place.
A starting point for thinking about crime prevention that is simple, true, and useful is that crime risks vary. If we could reduce all people to the risk level of those least likely to be victimized, most crime would be prevented. If we could reduce places to the risk level of those least likely to be victimized, most crime would again be prevented. Before moving to the issue of most relevance to this article (namely, place variation), let us discuss household variation.
Police-recorded crime statistics and crime surveys inform us about how likely we are to be a victim of crime, depending on personal characteristics such as age, marital status, income, employment status, and many more variables. The most significant of these factors is recent prior victimization (see, e.g., Tseloni, 2006; Tseloni, Ntzoufras, Nicolaou, & Pease, 2010). They tell us how likely we are to be victimized depending upon our personal characteristics and where we live, and they can predict our risk according to the geographical area in which that house is located. For instance, the overall risk of a household in England or Wales being victimized by burglary in 2016 (ONS, 2016) was 2.3%. If we look at those personal characteristics and how they affect risk, those aged 16–24 had an above-average risk of being burgled (3.3%), while those aged 75 and older had a lower-than-average risk (1.3%). For those with a household income of less than £10,000, the risk of burglary was elevated (3.3%), while those earning an average of £20,000–30,000 were safer (with a 1.9% risk). In households that included one adult with children, the risk of burglary was again higher than average (4.9%), while adults with no children had a lower-than-average risk (2%). Property characteristics also influenced burglary risk, with social rented housing experiencing an above-average risk of burglary (3.1%), while owner-occupied properties were safer (2%). Detached houses were less likely to be burgled (2.1%), while terraced houses were more vulnerable (2.5%).
These statistics tell us that crime (in this case, burglary) is not a random event. It is more likely to happen to certain people, and in certain places. However, while it is prudent to be aware of these risk characteristics, there is little that we can do to change our age from 16–24 to 75+ (even if we wanted to), or to magically acquire an additional £20,000 of household income (however nice that might be)! Yet there are many variables that affect crime risk that we can influence. In this case, “we” means those who design houses (urban planners and architects), build houses (developers), make decisions regarding planning permissions and wider strategic planning (local authorities)—and crucially, those who buy or rent those houses (all of us!). What the variations in individual household risk allow us to do is to prioritize adding security devices to existing homes according to the risk of each household’s occupants.
Just as households vary in their victimization risk, so do places. Indeed, this has been proposed as a law—namely, Weisburd’s law of crime concentration (Weisburd, 2015). This proposes that “for a defined measure of crime at a specific microgeographic unit, the concentration of crime will fall within a narrow range of bandwidths of percentages for a defined cumulative proportion of crime” (p. 138). This appears to be true, but it will not be terribly helpful until one identifies characteristics that make a place vulnerable. Providing such identification, research has shown that properties are more vulnerable to burglary if they are located on a corner plot (Groff & LaVigne, 2001; Armitage, Monchuk, & Rogerson, 2010), if they are located adjacent to a footpath (Armitage, 2006; Armitage et al., 2010), and if sightlines between properties are obscured (Winchester & Jackson, 1982; Armitage, 2006; Armitage et al., 2010). Conversely, properties that are overlooked by others or are located on developments without connecting footpaths have a significantly reduced risk of burglary. Considering these factors in the design and construction of developments and designing to counter these risky factors and introduce protective factors can and will reduce crime risk. Unlike those factors that are beyond our control (such as salary and age), these variables can be considered by those designing, building, and granting planning permission for developments.
How CPTED Works: Place and the Perception of Opportunity
CPTED is a crime prevention approach based on what are collectively referred to as the opportunity theories of crime. These theories contend that the perception of opportunity to commit a crime determines whether, where, and when a crime takes place. In their simplest form, they propose that individuals commit crime as a response to opportunity, where and when it arises. The central opportunity theories include routine activity theory (Cohen & Felson, 1979), rational choice theory (Cornish & Clarke, 1986), and crime pattern theory (Brantingham & Brantingham, 1981). Their basic assertion is that, for a crime to occur, there has to be a suitable target—in the case of burglary, a vulnerable property. There also has to be a likely offender—someone motivated to commit this offense—and the absence of a capable guardian—a resident, neighbor, relevant security technology, or passer-by to reduce the offender’s estimation of likely success (routine activity theory). Opportunity theories contend that offenders select targets based on what they become aware of as they go about their day-to-day activities and move between the places that they frequent (nodes) and around their “activity spaces” (crime pattern theory), and in addition, that offenders will seek to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks when making decisions whether to offend (rational choice theory). If crime takes place as a response to opportunity, an effective way to prevent crime is to change perceptions so that a place is not seen to present an opportunity.
A complementary way of looking at the perception of opportunity has come to be known as situational crime prevention. According to its original and best-known proponent, Clarke (1992), situational crime prevention comprises opportunity-reducing measures that are directed at highly specific forms of crime and involve the management, design, or manipulation of the immediate environment to increase the effort (or perceived effort) that would be needed to commit crimes; reduce the rewards (or anticipated rewards); increase the risks (or perceived risks); remove the excuses; and reduce the provocations of committing a criminal act. Situational crime prevention techniques include increasing physical security, thereby increasing the effort required for committing crimes; property marking, which reduces the rewards by making stolen items more traceable; installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, increasing the risk that offenders will be identified; installing signs to demarcate public and private space, thereby removing excuses such as “I didn’t know this area was private”; and introducing assigned parking spaces within housing developments, thereby reducing provocations (in this example, neighbor disputes leading to overt conflicts). Situational crime prevention increased in popularity (particularly in the United Kingdom) in the late 1970s and 1980s after its long history of emphasizing offender personality types and their modification by rehabilitation. Garland (2000) suggests that the appeal of situational prevention in the United Kingdom could be explained by its use of the language of economics (in keeping with the Conservative government in power at the time), its focus on short-term, relatively inexpensive interventions (as opposed to many social programs that focused on criminal behavior), and its unambiguous, practical solutions that could be implemented quickly. An alternative view is that situational prevention is often effective at reducing crime, whereas the evidence as to rehabilitation success is much less substantial. Likewise, there are crime-prevention measures that work and those that do not, and no theorizing beyond that point is necessary, save perhaps for the likelihood that situational prevention has a secondary prevention effect by keeping those who otherwise would be tempted to commit crimes from acquiring a criminal record. CPTED is a subtype of situational prevention that operates through the design and manipulation of the environment, whether built or natural, thus influencing the use of space by both users and abusers.
CPTED: Parentage, Birth, and Growing Pains
The recognition that built and natural environments can affect behavior is self-evident. Over long periods, the natural environment causes animals and plants to evolve so as to fit into their ecological niche. Human settlements have been designed from time immemorial to be resistant to predation from the outside. For example, in medieval times, castles were built with a series of protective barriers (e.g., moat, outer wall, clear field, inner wall). Within the towers, the clockwise spiral staircase was designed to give right-handed defenders, coming down the staircase, the advantage in swinging their swords against the enemy. During the Wild West period in the United States, wagon trains formed a circle against attack.
The formal academic study of the geography of social problems began with the University of Chicago school of sociology in the 1920s and 1930s (Burgess, 1916; Park & Burgess, 1925). Although these studies touched on the geography of delinquency, specific reference to the influence of design on crime began in the 1960s and 1970s with a number of authors, including Wood (1961), Jacobs (1961), Angel (1968), Jeffery (1971), and Newman (1973).
In the early 1960s, the American sociologist Elizabeth Wood focused on the microenvironment of blocks of public housing in the United States (Wood, 1961). Her starting point was the notion that housing projects can never employ enough police officers, caretakers, service engineers, or other guardians to prevent crime. She emphasized the need for managers to work closely with residents, and concentrated her thoughts on physical improvements to the redesign of public and semipublic spaces that should become places of leisure, thereby improving visibility.
Although the work of Jane Jacobs (1961) was largely based on her observations (as opposed to systematic empirical evidence), it has been seminal in the development of CPTED, particularly relating to the role of natural surveillance and, more controversially (as will be discussed later in this article), movement control. Jacobs introduced the concept of “eyes on the street” and argued that not only should buildings be oriented toward the street, but that streets should be active (encouraging mixed use) to enhance the natural surveillance by users of that space—with shoppers, residents, workers, neighbors, and passers-by all acting as eyes on the street to enhance the natural policing of that area. While Jacobs’s recognition of the importance of natural surveillance has been unequivocally incorporated into CPTED, her settled belief that the presence of people will always deter (as opposed to attract) crime has not been, for the most part. When considering Jacobs’s work, it is vital to remember that her propositions were based on cities rather than towns, villages, or small developments. Encouraging within-locale activity and through-movement to create passive surveillance relies on the existence of enough people to bring those “eyes” to the situation. Encouraging activity in a city—through, say, mixed-use spaces or pedestrianized zones—is very different and far less risky than encouraging the movement of people through the introduction of footpaths in a suburban housing estate. Where movement is encouraged, but there are insufficient users to police that space, the footpath risks becoming a means for abusers to become familiar with that space and to access, move through, and exit an area without the safety of enough “eyes on the street” to deter or detect those abusers. As Jacobs (1961, p. 26) says:
I hope no reader will try to transfer my observations into guides as
to what goes on in towns, or little cities, or in suburbs which still
are suburban. Towns, suburbs, and even little cities are totally
different organisms from great cities . . . To try to understand towns
in terms of big cities will only compound confusion.
C. Ray Jeffery coined the term Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), using this phrase as the title of his 1971 book. Jeffery was disillusioned with the ineffectiveness of the criminal justice system and was searching for a new theory of crime prevention based on the relationship between humans and their environment. In his work, he drew on a biosocial theory of learning and argued that crime prevention must take into account both the effects of the environment on human behavior and the genetic predisposition toward criminal activity.
While the term CPTED was invented by Jeffery, it was the more practical, planning-focused interventions proposed by architect Oscar Newman that formed the basis of the CPTED program that we know today. In his book Defensible Space: Crime Prevention Through Urban Design, Newman (1973) proposed theories based on an analysis of detailed statistics on the physical form of housing in New York, including a profile of the residents and recorded incidents of crime in housing owned by the New York Housing Authority. Newman’s central concept—defensible space—had four elements: territoriality, surveillance, building image, and juxtaposition of residential areas with other facilities. Space should have a clearly defined purpose and role so that it is clear to residents (and others) who should be in a given area, and who should not. A clear demarcation of places allows people to adopt space as their “territory” and consequently act in an appropriately proprietary way through management and protection. Areas should, Newman theorized, be designed to maximize natural surveillance through the positioning of buildings and of the rooms within those buildings, as well as the orientation of buildings within a development. He emphasized the importance of image, ensuring that good-quality materials be used to maximize architectural quality and emphasizing the importance of avoiding stigma or differentiation within social housing.
Subsequently, authors such as Mawby (1977), Bottoms (1974), Wilson (1978), and Merry (1981) have criticized Newman on the grounds of methodological weaknesses, as well as his presentation of findings. Others suggest that the term defensible space contains a “rat’s nest of intertwining hypotheses” (Rubenstein, National Institute of Justice, & Murray, 1981, p. 6) making it difficult to measure and define (Cozens, Hillier, & Prescott, 2001) and that Newman overemphasized the physical environment at the expense of socioeconomic and demographic variables (Wilson, 1978; Mayhew, 1979; Poyner, 1983; Moughtin & Gardner, 1990). Despite these criticisms, much of the appeal of Newman’s work lies in its promise of practical benefits in terms of crime reduction, and this is clearly reflected in the extent to which his work has continued to be referenced decades later.
Has CPTED Grown Up Yet?
A commonly used, formal definition of CPTED is that used by Tim Crowe, who explained it as (Crowe, 2000, p. 46):
The proper design and effective use of the built environment, that can
lead to a reduction in the fear or incidence of crime and an improvement
in quality of life . . . The goal of CPTED is to reduce opportunities for crime
that may be inherent in the design of structures or in the design
Ekblom (2011) proposed a redefinition of the term, which introduced several points not included within Crowe’s definition, including the balance between security and contextually appropriate design and the possibility of intervening at different stages between preplanning and postconstruction. Ekblom (2011, p. 4) stated that CPTED is about
Reducing the possibility, probability and harm from criminal and
related events, and enhancing the quality of life through community
safety; through the processes of planning and design of the environment;
on a range of scales and types of place, from individual buildings
and interiors to wider landscapes, neighbourhoods and cities; to
produce designs that are ‘fit for purpose’, contextually appropriate
in all other respects and not ‘vulnerability led’; whilst achieving a
balance between the efficiency of avoiding crime problems before
construction and the adaptability of tackling them through
subsequent management and maintenance.
Armitage (2013) incorporates a more recent focus on the process of applying CPTED within police and planning environments, as well as the broader recognition of additional social, economic, and environmental benefits of considering crime prevention within the planning process. Armitage (2013, p. 23) stated that CPTED is
The design, manipulation and management of the built environment
to reduce crime and the fear of crime and to enhance sustainability
through the process and application of measures at the micro
(individual building/structure) and macro (neighbourhood) level.
The differences of emphasis in these definitions suggest the CPTED enterprise is still under development. That said, in some form, the design principles comprising the approach have been incorporated into the planning process in several countries. These include Australia’s Safer Design Guidelines for Victoria (Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2005), the United Kingdom’s Design Guidance (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2014), and Abu Dhabi’s Safety and Security Planning Manual (Urban Planning Council, 2013). The approach also can be used more rigidly as a set of specific design standards, compliance with which awards a development a designated CPTED status. This can be seen in award schemes such as Secured by Design (SBD) in the United Kingdom and Police Label Secured Housing in the Netherlands.
There is general agreement on the following points:
• There is a huge volume of irrefutable evidence that environmental cues shape behavior, including offending behavior.
• There is also substantial evidence that places designed with the crime opportunities that they present in mind are less prone to victimization by crime.
• A full understanding of how the elements of CPTED interact with each other and with variables like the demographics of occupancy remains lacking.
All interventions that incorporate a set of elements suffer from the same problem—that of unpacking the effects of those elements. Implementation of CPTED, even with our limited understanding of how it works, is not premature, but there is much yet to do by way of research to refine CPTED application. Armitage and Monchuk (in press, p. 4) suggest that
CPTED needs to reconnect with Crime Science and
Environmental Criminology and to regain intellectual
credibility as a scientific approach to crime reduction.
CPTED: What Do We Know?
Let us now look in more detail at the literature on the concepts, elements, and principles that combine to create what we now call CPTED. Poyner (1983) outlined the four principles of CPTED as surveillance, movement control, activity support, and motivational reinforcement. Cozens et al. (2005) extended this concept to seven principles: defensible space, access control, territoriality, surveillance, target hardening, image, and activity support. Cozens and Love (2015) updated their original seven components to include territorial reinforcement (as opposed to territoriality), natural surveillance (updated from surveillance), image/space management (as opposed to image), natural access control (as opposed to access control), legitimate activity support (revised from activity support), target hardening, and geographical juxtaposition. Armitage (2013) offered yet another combination of physical security, surveillance, movement control, management and maintenance, and defensible space. To some extent, this is simply a matter of semantics, perhaps of academics staking their own claims on the field by reordering or rewording the same concepts. While this may be the case, the lack of consistency and clarity only adds to the confusion, hindering the standardization of implementation and subsequently, measurement of efficacy.
For the purposes of consistency, the remainder of this article will follow the principles set out in Armitage (2013, 2017a, 2017b)—namely, defensible space, movement control, surveillance, physical security, and management and maintenance. These will be described with specific reference to their origin, practical examples of implementation, and—of crucial importance—empirical evidence for the purpose of testing the inclusion of that principle within this crime prevention approach.
Oscar Newman (1973) introduced the term defensible space to describe how the physical design of a neighborhood can increase (or inhibit) an individual’s control over the spaces in which he or she lives. Newman categorized space into public (e.g., the road in front of your home), semipublic (e.g., your front garden), semiprivate (e.g., your rear garden), and private (e.g., the inside of your home). He argued that if the ownership of space is clearly defined, those living and working within an area, and those intruding upon it, know who should and who should not be there. Brooke (2017) uses the “picnic test” to explain this concept. If a person wandered up to the road outside your house, set down a blanket, and started having a picnic, what would you think? You may consider this a little strange, you may feel uncomfortable, but you wouldn’t feel obliged or within your rights to tell them to move—it is not your space. If they came into your front garden, your back garden, or your home, however, then you would challenge them. They are not legitimate users of that space. If a postal worker came into your front garden, you would not show any concern, as he or she has implied consent to walk through your garden to your front door. If the person wandered into your back garden, though, you might question her or his reason to be there. And should such a person open your front door and come into your home, you would put up a challenge.
Where developments do not have a clear demarcation of space, potential offenders are free to assess the area, and the residents have little justification for challenging them. Some authors use the two terms defensible space and territoriality as separate CPTED principles (e.g., Cozens et al., 2005). Territoriality involves human beings’ response to a space that they define as their own. Physical responses to territoriality might include a resident marking an area as her or his own by the installation of a barrier such as a gate. Emotional responses to territoriality would include residents’ feelings of intrusion or infringement should a person enter what they consider to be their space. Thus, territoriality refers to humans’ motivation to control a space that they believe is their own. The two concepts (defensible space and territoriality) go hand in hand. The physical creation of defensible space aims to create territorial control over that space.
Specific interventions aimed at maximizing defensible space include the narrowing of an entrance to a development and a change in road color and texture to indicate a point beyond which the “territory” is different. These are referred to as symbolic barriers—you are sending a message to outsiders (including possible offenders) that the area is private. The barrier is perceptual, not physical. Other interventions include fencing (however low or transparent) separating the front garden (semipublic space) from the front road (public space) and signage marking an area as private.
When implemented successfully, defensible space measures should create defensive territorial responses among the owners or managers of a space. This might take the form of challenging a stranger, calling the police, or simply making their presence known so that the offender is observed and knows it. Brown and Bentley (1993) interviewed offenders, asking them to judge (from pictures) which properties would be more vulnerable to burglary. The results revealed that properties showing signs of territorial behavior (such as a gateway at the front of the property or a sign on the gate/door marking the area as private) were perceived by offenders to be less vulnerable to burglary. Montoya, Junger, and Ongena (2014) also found a significant relationship between signs of territorial responses and burglary risk, but only for daytime burglaries. Armitage (2017a) conducted interviews with 22 incarcerated, prolific burglars and asked them to comment on the suitability of a series of targets, displayed as photographs. The results confirmed that burglars say that they are deterred by measures that create what they perceive to be a sense of community. Offender 18 in that study summarized that concern:
Everyone that lives there will be focused on the entrance and what
goes on. They’ll all know each other and keep an eye out for each other—
give the key to the coal man that sort of thing.
(Armitage, 2017a, p. 25)
Brown and Altman (1983) and Armitage (2006) found that, compared with nonburgled houses, properties that had experienced a burglary had fewer symbolic barriers. In their study of 851 properties in Enschede, the Netherlands, Montoya et al. (2014) found that houses with a front garden had a burglary risk 0.46 times lower than those without.
The principle of movement control is based on the notion (posited by opportunity theories) that offenders will identify (and potentially go on to offend against) suitable targets as they go about their day-to-day activities and move between home, work, visiting friends, school, and leisure activities. To select a target, they need to be aware of its presence (and thus suitability); therefore, properties located along travel paths, next to footpaths, and close to road junctions and bus stops are more vulnerable to crime. Movement into, through, and out of a development provides offenders with access and egress routes that allow them, in many cases, to evade police. As Armitage (2017a, p. 23) highlights: “‘The appeal of a footpath is that you know how you are getting in and how you escape’ (Offender 3) . . . ‘Burglars like footpaths, it makes it easy as the police can’t get there easily’ (Offender 17).” Through-movement also provides offenders with a legitimate reason to be in an area, even though they may be searching for suitable targets. If your property backs onto a footpath and you see a stranger walking along that footpath and looking into your garden, perhaps every day over a period of a week, you may be concerned about their motives, but you have no permission to challenge them—they are on a public footpath and have every right to be there.
CPTED interventions to reduce through-movement focus largely on avoiding footpaths within a development, or if they are essential, designing them to maximize surveillance from surrounding properties and to minimize their use as access/egress routes and as tools to search for crime opportunities. Where footpaths are included within a development, they should be straight (avoiding bends that obstruct sightlines) and should run at the front of neighboring properties to maximize surveillance from the wider development. They should be short, wide, well-lit, and, of key importance, be required/desired so that they are well used.
In their study of the impact of through-movement on burglary risk in Merseyside, England, Johnson and Bowers (2010) tested three hypotheses: (a) risk of burglary will be greater on major roads and those intended to be used more frequently; (b) risk of burglary will be higher on street segments that are connected to other segments, particularly where those to which they are connected have higher intended usage; and (c) risk of burglary will be lower in cul-de-sacs, particularly those that are nonlinear and not integrated into the wider network of roads. Their sample included 118,161 homes and used both geographic information system (GIS) software and manual identification to establish road networks and police-recorded crime data to measure burglary levels. The results, which controlled for socioeconomic influences, revealed that if a street segment is part of a major road,1 all other things being equal, there is an expected increase of 22% in the number of residential burglaries for that segment compared to a local road.2 In contrast, for street segments classed as private roads,3 there would be a 43% decrease in burglaries compared to local roads. In terms of road networks, the study suggested that for each additional link to other roads, the predicted burglary count would increase by a factor of about 3%. If a street segment had five more connections than another, there would be an expected increase of 15% in burglaries for that segment.
In terms of connectivity, the results revealed that being linked to one other major road increases the expected count of burglary by 8%. In contrast, being linked to a private road decreases the estimated burglary levels by 8%. The study concludes that cul-de-sacs are safer than through-roads and that sinuous (as opposed to linear) cul-de-sacs are safer still. Unfortunately, although cul-de-sacs were manually identified in this study, the research did not make a distinction in collecting data between true (i.e., no connecting footpaths) and leaky (i.e., with connecting footpaths) cul-de-sacs. Studies conducted by Hillier (2004), Armitage (2006), and Armitage et al. (2010) confirm that leaky cul-de-sacs are the road layout most vulnerable to burglary.
Armitage et al. (2010) analyzed the design features of over 6,000 properties on 44 housing developments served by the three police forces of Greater Manchester, Kent, and West Midlands (England). Individual properties, their boundaries, and the layout of the development on which they were located were meticulously and manually analyzed and compared against prior victimization (at both the property and development levels). The results revealed that, compared to true cul-de-sacs, through-roads experienced 93% more crime and leaky cul-de-sacs experienced 110% more crime. The analysis also identified that crime risk was lower on sinuous compared to linear cul-de-sacs, confirming the findings of Johnson and Bowers (2010).
Several studies have highlighted through-movement as a criminogenic feature in their production of crime risk–assessment mechanisms. Armitage’s (2006) Burgess Checklist (derived from Simon’s Burgess Points System, 1971) allows the user to predict a property’s risk of crime based on its design features. The Burgess score is derived from the difference between the mean rate of crime suffered generally (by the whole sample) and the rate of crime suffered by houses with a particular design feature. Armitage identified through-movement as a key factor associated with both burglary and crime-prone homes. A total of 6 of the 13 environmental factors associated with risk of burglary (at a statistically significant level) and 8 of the 17 factors associated with total crime (at a statistically significant level) were related to permeability and through-movement. On their Delft Checklist, van der Voordt and van Wegen (1990) identified several factors relating to access and through-movement that increased a property’s vulnerability to crime: the number of entrances and escape routes, the ease of access to entrance and escape routes, the physical accessibility of entrance and escape routes, and the absence of symbolic barriers.
In addition to the analysis of police-recorded crime data, Wiles and Costello (2000) used interviews with offenders as a means of investigating their decision-making. The dominant reason given by offenders for selecting a target was chance (63% of offenders). A total of 31% of the sample stated their reason for target selection was that they were “passing and security looked poor,” 26% stated that they selected a target because they were “passing and it looked unoccupied,” and 26% stated that they were “passing and the property looked isolated.” This confirms the premise that offenders will make target selections based on what they become aware of as they go about their daily activities and pass potential targets—each of these responses stated that the offender “was passing” when making that judgment. Limiting through-movement would reduce the likelihood of an offender passing by a property.
Research conducted by Armitage (2017a) and Armitage and Joyce (2017) featured interviews with 22 convicted burglars in West Yorkshire, England. The research found that burglars favor developments with high levels of through-movement for three major reasons. The first relates to the ease of access/egress that this allows—primarily giving them an advantage over police, who will be less familiar with the area. The second rationale relates to the extent to which footpaths enable offenders’ search behavior, and the third, which is linked to the second, is the belief that footpaths legitimize that search behavior—a footpath is a public space, and offenders are entitled to use that space.
The majority of research confirms that enhanced movement within a housing development increases the risk of burglary (Wiles & Costello, 2000; Armitage et al., 2010; Johnson & Bowers, 2010, 2014; Davies & Johnson, 2014). However, while enhanced movement increases the opportunity for guardianship, this opportunity does not necessarily equate to actual policing or challenging of strangers or potential abusers (Reynald & Elffers, 2009; Reynald, 2010). In their paper on street networks and crime risk, Birks and Davies (2017) conducted a series of simulated experiments to reduce permeability randomly by removing connections between property nodes using agent-based simulation. They found a curve-linear relationship between permeability and crime, suggesting that moderate reductions in connectivity resulted in increased levels of victimization, but that at an inflection point of 30% road closures, further reductions in permeability led to overall reductions in crime. This confirms the argument by Armitage (2013) that the encounter debate has merit, but also that the existence of footpaths has to meet a genuine need so that those footpaths will be utilized and provide adequate real (as opposed to hypothetical) guardianship.
The principle of surveillance derives from the theoretical assumption that when selecting targets for crime, offenders will minimize the risks and maximize the rewards involved in committing that crime—the primary risk being the likelihood of being observed and subsequently identified and arrested. Surveillance may be formal (security guards, CCTV, police) or informal (residents, shoppers, passers-by), and the presence of any of these constitutes a capable guardian (referred to in routine activity theory) that interrupts the crime event. Interventions to maximize surveillance focus largely on informal surveillance. Measures to achieve this include ensuring that dwelling entrances face the street, that rooms facing the street are active (e.g., the kitchen or living room, which are most likely to be occupied during daily living), and that sightlines are not obstructed by shrubbery or high walls.
Research suggests that surveillance plays a major part in offenders’ decision-making processes. Reppetto (1974) interviewed 97 convicted burglars and found that the most common reason for avoiding a target was that there were too many people around. Offenders stated that the possibility of neighbors watching deterred them from selecting a property, and that they would select targets where they felt less conspicuous and where there was less visual access to neighboring properties. Nee and Meenaghan (2006) interviewed 50 residential burglars, and their findings confirmed that offenders prefer properties that had little or no surveillance from neighboring houses. The most common feature of attractive targets was the degree of cover (47 respondents).
Armitage (2017a) conducted interviews with 22 incarcerated burglars and found that when describing what attracts them to and deters them from a target, offenders referred to the principle of surveillance (though not the specific term) on by far the most occasions. The concept of surveillance was referenced 133 times by the sample, followed by physical security (103 citations). To put this into perspective, the concept of defensible space was referenced only 11 times.
When assessing the design characteristics of victimized properties (as measured using police-recorded crime data), several studies have found that lack of surveillance is linked to higher levels of crime (Armitage, 2006; Armitage et al., 2010; Winchester & Jackson, 1982; van der Voordt & van Wegen, 1990). Armitage et al. (2010) found that properties overlooked by between three and five other properties experienced 38% less crime than those not overlooked.
Winchester and Jackson (1982) found that of the 14 design variables linked to heightened risk of burglary, 8 were related to lack of surveillance from neighboring properties. These variables included (a) property is isolated, (b) property is set in a location with less than five other houses in sight, (c) property is set at a distance from the road on which it stands, (d) property is not overlooked in the front by other houses, (e) property is not overlooked on either side by other houses, (f) the majority of the sides of the house are not visible from a public area, (g) the property is set at a distance from the nearest house, and (h) the property frontage is obscured from roadside view.
As previously mentioned, van der Voordt and van Wegen (1990) also developed a checklist for measuring the risk of crime, called the Delft Checklist. Of the factors on this list identified as predictors of crime risk, several were related to surveillance and visibility: visual contact between buildings, amenities, and outside spaces; sightlines between buildings; and adequate levels of lighting.
Recognizing the difference between predicted/potential surveillance and that which actually takes place, Reynald (2009) conducted a study measuring the relationship between guardianship intensity and surveillance opportunities on a sample of 814 residential properties in The Hague, the Netherlands. Reynald measured guardianship intensity using a four-stage model that moves from stage 1—the invisible guardian stage (no evidence that the property is occupied), to stage 2—the available guardian stage (evidence that the property is occupied), to stage 3—the capable guardian stage (fieldworkers are observed by residents), to stage 4—the intervening guardian stage (fieldworkers are challenged by residents). Surveillance opportunities were measured by observing the extent to which the view of a property’s windows was obstructed by physical features such as trees and walls. The results revealed a positive, statistically significant correlation between surveillance opportunities and guardianship intensity (0.45), suggesting that guardianship intensity increases as opportunities for surveillance increase. When assessing the relationship between crime and guardianship intensity, the results were positive and statistically significant. The analysis revealed that crime decreases consistently at each stage of the four-stage model. Crime drops significantly between the invisible and available guardian stages, decreasing even more at the capable guardian stage, and slightly more at the intervening stage.
The principle of physical security relates to the extent to which a property and its boundaries are protected through appropriate-quality doors, windows, fences, and locks. From the perspective of the opportunity theories of crime causation, physical security aims to increase the effort required to commit a burglary, thus enhancing the likelihood of detection. This principle has been adopted in several countries as a building regulation specifically aimed at reducing crime. In October 2015, the building regulations in England and Wales were updated to include security requirements. The Netherlands and Scotland also have building regulations specific to physical security.
Vollaard and Ours (2011) reported the findings of an extensive assessment of built-in security in residential housing in the Netherlands. This study utilized the introduction of changes in building regulations in 1999 that required all windows and doors (for newly built properties) to be made from material certified and approved by the European ENV 1627:1994 Class 2 standard, or the Dutch NEN 5096, Class 2 standard. Using data from four waves of the annual National Victimisation Survey, the results revealed that the regulatory change resulted in a reduction in burglary (within the sample) from 1.1% to 0.8% annually—a reduction of 26%. The evaluation also revealed that this reduction had not resulted in a displacement of crime to other acquisitive crime offenses.
Tseloni, Thompson, Grove, Tilley, and Farrell (2014) conducted an in-depth analysis of the relationship between physical security measures and burglary risk in England and Wales. Using data from four sweeps of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), they presented the crime reduction benefits of individual and combined security features reported to be present by those taking part in the survey. The research found that certain combinations of security features confer a crime reduction advantage, but that the protection conferred against burglary does not consistently increase with the number of devices installed. The analysis suggested that if only one security device were to be installed, the most effective one would be external lights on a motion sensor. If one further device were to be added, the most effective pair of security devices would be window locks and external lights. The ultimate choice for balancing the number of devices and protection against burglary was window and door locks with either external lights or a security chain. The study concluded that individual security devices confer up to three times more protection against burglary than no security, and that combinations of security devices in general afford up to 50 times more protection.
As noted previously, Armitage (2017a) reported that when describing the features of housing design that deter them from offending, incarcerated burglars named physical security as the second-most-important factor (after surveillance). The concept of physical security was referred to by each of the 22 burglars in the study an average of over five times—103 occasions in total.
Management and Maintenance
The principle of management and maintenance brings together Newman’s (1973) concept of avoiding stigma (building image) and Wilson and Kelling’s (1982) broken windows theory. Newman argued that the proper use of materials and good architectural design can prevent residents from feeling stigmatized. Meanwhile, Wilson and Kelling’s (1982) broken windows theory suggests that an area that is not well maintained will convey the impression to potential offenders that nobody cares about it, and thus being apprehended is less likely, as well as the view that one more act of crime and disorder will simply go unnoticed. Low-level disorder, thus, has a contagion effect, leading to more serious and more extensive crime.
Newman’s argument that developments should be designed and built to avoid stigma relates to the desire to avoid the differentiation between types of housing (e.g., social and private housing). He stated that this concept of image can be maintained by avoiding building forms and layout that stand out as completely different from the bulk of nearby homes—thus attracting attention. He also argued that the quality and finish of building materials should be robust, and yet attractive to residents. In addressing the risks suggested by Wilson and Kelling (1982), there should be a maintenance system in place to ensure that low-level disorder such as vandalism, litter, and graffiti is removed quickly.
There is an abundance of evidence linking low-level disorder with enhanced crime risk. Taylor and Gottfredson (1987) found that physical incivilities indirectly influence offenders’ perception of risk, in that they portray residents’ level of care or concern for the area in which they live, thus acting as an indicator for the likelihood that they will intervene if they detect an offense taking place. These findings were later tested and confirmed by Keizer, Lindenberg, and Steg (2008). In a series of studies, Cozens et al. (2001, 2002a, 2002b) found that when shown a series of images and asked to judge a property’s vulnerability to burglary, residents, convicted burglars, planning professionals, and police all consistently selected the “well-maintained” option as the least vulnerable of five types of housing design.
In her study of the link between environmental design features and crime in West Yorkshire, Armitage (2006) found that 46% of properties that were judged (by two independent assessors) to have an untended garden, litter in the garden, or piles of letters/newspapers on the doorstep had experienced at least one prior police-recorded burglary. This was compared to a sample average of 16%.
Armitage’s (2017a) study of burglars’ perceptions of the risk associated with housing design did introduce some reservations regarding this principle. While burglars were shown several images that portrayed houses with litter, graffiti, and abandoned furniture on the street or in the garden, the respondents did not always equate that lack of maintenance with enhanced appeal (to them) or reduced risk. Armitage (2017a) highlighted how burglars interpreted these images in three different ways:
1. A property with low levels of management and maintenance is attractive because an abundance of rubbish means the residents will have lots of things to steal.
2. A property with low levels of management and maintenance is attractive because a lack of upkeep equates to less care regarding security.
3. A property with low levels of management and maintenance is unattractive because if the residents cannot take care of their houses and gardens, they are less likely to care for the goods within their house, so they have fewer things worth stealing.
The first two points are consistent with the principle; but the third offers a contrary interpretation. Armitage (2017a, p. 25) states that “[r]esponses were evenly split between the perception that maintenance equates to an attractive versus an unattractive target.”
CPTED: Considerations for Policy and Practice
Environments can be designed, constructed, and maintained in ways that reduce the crime that they suffer. Considering crime prevention impacts, therefore, should permeate all stages of human settlement. A combination of education, incentives, guidance, policy, and regulation is necessary to optimize the lived experience of citizens. In England and Wales, for example, there are several layers of regulation, policy, and guidance in place that require, encourage, and/or persuade developers to embed crime prevention within their designs, and to ensure that those granting (or refusing) planning permission consider crime and security as key factors. At the legislative level, Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act (passed in 1998) requires responsible authorities—this includes police, local authorities, and many other partners—to consider the impact of their decisions on crime and disorder (Great Britain, 1998):
Without prejudice to any other obligation imposed upon it, it
shall be the duty of each authority to which this section applies to
exercise its various functions with due regard to the likely effect
of those functions on, and the need to do all it reasonably can to
prevent, crime and disorder in its area.
In England and Wales, the responsibilities of local authorities include creating policy documentation to outline the future of development within an area, as well as development control—that is, granting or withholding permission for the development of buildings. Moss and Pease (1999) refer to Section 17 as “the most radical part of the Act” (p. 15), suggesting that “it is difficult to conceive of any decision which will remain untouched by s 17 considerations” (p. 16).
As well as legislative responsibilities, as of October 2015, security standards are a requirement within building regulations in England and Wales (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2010, p. 2):
Reasonable provision must be made to resist unauthorized access to a) any dwelling; and b) any part of a building from which access can be gained to a flat within a building.
This regulation is limited to the physical security principle of CPTED. However, the regulations make reference throughout to the SBD scheme, and it has been suggested that if compliance can be achieved through building to the SBD standard, this may be a simpler way to ensure that buildings meet the standards required in Approved Document Q (Armitage, 2013).
The National Planning Policy Framework guides planning within England and Wales, and Section 7, “Requiring Good Design,” states: “Planning policies and decisions should aim to ensure that developments create safe and accessible environments where crime and disorder and the fear of crime do not undermine quality of life or community cohesion” (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2012, para. 58). The National Planning Policy Framework is supplemented by National Planning Guidance that outlines how to achieve these overarching aims. The Design category specifies: “Designing out crime should be central to the planning and delivery of a new development. The prevention of crime and the enhancement of community safety are matters that a local authority should consider when exercising its planning functions,” and “Pre-application discussions between police Crime Prevention Design Advisors will ensure that applicants are aware right at the beginning of the design process of the level of risk and the sorts of measures available to mitigate this risk in a proportionate and well-designed manner” (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2014). Each local authority’s Local Plan must be written in line with this national guidance. While there is room for improvement, the planning system in England and Wales has incorporated crime prevention at all levels. For this reason, it is unlikely that a Local Plan would fail to mention the importance of crime prevention.
The developments enumerated so far in this article require the consideration of crime reduction in shaping the built environment, but notions of what will reduce crime may be more or less misguided. What is there to ensure that the central messages of CPTED are incorporated on the ground? In addition to policy considerations, within England and Wales, there are measures in place that encourage the implementation of CPTED. Each of the 43 police forces has at least one individual, referred to interchangeably as the Designing Out Crime Officer (DOCO), Crime Prevention Design Advisor (CPDA), or Architectural Liaison Officer (ALO), whose role involves reviewing planning applications and offering CPTED advice to mitigate any potential crime risks associated with the proposed development, as well as working alongside planners to ensure that crime prevention is embedded within local planning policy.
As noted earlier, in England and Wales, there is also an award scheme, SBD, which is based on the principles of CPTED. This is managed by an organization called Police Crime Prevention Initiatives and is delivered by DOCOs, CPDAs, and ALOs. The SBD award is given to developments that meet the relevant criteria, based on design and layout as well as physical security standards.
There have been six published evaluations of the effectiveness of the SBD scheme (Brown, 1999; Pascoe, 1999; Armitage, 2000, Teedon et al., 2009; Teedon, Reid, Griffiths, & McFayden, 2010; Armitage & Monchuk, 2011), with each concluding that SBD confers a crime-reduction advantage. Several studies also concluded that the SBD scheme is cost effective (Armitage, 2000; Association of British Insurers, 2006; Teedon et al., 2009). The Association of British Insurers (2006) estimated that the overcosts of building to the SBD standard are £200 for a four-bedroom detached house, £170 for a three- or two-bedroom detached house, £240 for a ground-floor apartment, and £70 for an upper-floor apartment. Pease and Gill (2011) reanalyzed the findings from Armitage and Monchuk (2011), and they established that setting the Davis Langdon (2010) figures for the cost of SBD against the crimes prevented (considering only burglary and criminal damage), SBD pays for itself in just under two years. The inclusion of other offenses, they stated, would make this happen even faster.
Limitations and Controversies
CPTED is not without its limitations at both the theoretical and practical levels. It is often criticized as being simplistic, short term, and lacking in depth or sophistication. Armitage (2013, p. 1) defends the approach, arguing that
there is little simplistic about an approach which requires
the collaboration of such diverse partners as planners,
police, architects and developers. There is little short-term about
an approach which involves several years of planning and
designing—even before a property is built. Suggesting that
designing out crime fails to address the root causes of crime is
to deny that opportunities play any part in offender decision
Other criticisms are less easy to dismiss, though. Armitage (2013) herself lists six key limitations: (a) failure to innovate and adapt to change, (b) failure to align with other agendas, (c) lack of clarity in scope, (d) lack of precision in terminology, (e) nonstandardized delivery, and (f) lack of flexibility. To these, at least another three could be added: lack of consideration of cross-national generalizability, lack of connection between theory and application in defining the principles or concepts that make up CPTED, and failure to connect with crime science and environmental criminology. These issues are explored in more detail in Armitage (2013, 2017b) and Ekblom (2011).
Failure to innovate and adapt to change refers to the extent to which CPTED, its theoretical basis, and its practical application remain framed by the ideas from the 1960s and 1970s, the decades in which it was developed. It needs to evolve to account for changing drug use and modi operandi—for example, Armitage and Joyce (2017) highlight the extent to which narcotic use influences an offender’s determination to overcome security measures. It needs to adapt to new crime problems—it remains largely focused on acquisitive crimes—and it must adapt to changing police structures and reduced police budgets as well. In England and Wales, austerity measures have seen the number of DOCO/CPDA/ALOs reduced from 347 in 2010 to 125 in 2014.
Failure to align with other agendas refers to the extent to which security and crime reduction have remained isolated from other social and economic benefits of good design. Good design influences health, is sustainable, fosters community cohesion, is attractive, and stimulates vibrant communities. The promotion of environments that experience less crime, in which residents feel safer, contributes to each of these social, environmental, and economic benefits. Placing security on the same agenda would enhance its position within planning policy.
Lack of clarity in scope refers to the tendency (more marked in the United States) to cast the net too wide and to encompass many other elements of what, in England and Wales, would be referred to as community safety. As Ekblom (2011, p. 9) states: “There is a tendency to use the label CPTED indiscriminately to cover everything that aims to prevent crime in the built environment.” If we are not clear regarding what constitutes a CPTED intervention, how can we measure its effectiveness?
Failure to remove the confusion regarding specific CPTED principles refers to the ongoing debate surrounding the concept of movement control. As described earlier in the article, the premise that both limiting and increasing the movement of people can reduce crime is confusing and contradictory. Jacobs’s (1961) “eyes on the street” theory suggests that people create a natural surveillance that deters crime. Yet the vast majority of research confirms that a greater number of pathways, street segments, and connections increases the risk of crime. Further exploration unveils the subtle difference in message. Jacobs’s theory was based on the extensive movement created by the presence of shoppers, workers, and residents within a city, and yet many policies and guidance are specific to smaller housing developments, where enhanced through-movement merely serves to facilitate crime. Further work should be conducted to clarify this differential for practitioners tasked with applying these principles.
Delivery of CPTED also differs, and this lack of standardization can be frustrating at best, and prove cost intensive at worst, for those national developers who experience varying interpretations of CPTED as they operate across different police forces. Monchuk (2016) conducted an assessment of 30 DOCOS across 19 police forces in England and Wales and found significant differences in their interpretation of the risk associated with the same set of development plans. Too much standardization stifles creativity and must be avoided; however, the risks of extensive differentiation test the credibility of CPTED.
While some studies have explored the transferability of CPTED to non-Western countries and cultures (Ekblom, Armitage, & Monchuk, 2012; Kruger, 2015; Cruz, 2015), the focus of research has largely been on the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia. Without consideration for different cultures and climates, there is little to confirm that the principles on which CPTED is based, as well as the practical interventions that it recommends, can be transferred. As Ekblom et al. (2012, p. 92) highlight: “Crime prevention designs for the built environment can rarely be mass-produced but must be customised to local conditions.” It is essential that researchers in non-Western environments are encouraged to ensure that CPTED considers all contexts.
Armitage and Monchuk (in press) have raised concerns regarding what is described as the devout reaffirmation of the same principles, perhaps using slightly different terminology, and how this fails to reflect the practical application of CPTED on the ground. Monchuk’s (2016) study of 30 DOCOs found that very few of them followed the CPTED principles as defined by academics. Armitage and Monchuk (2017) found that when conducting an experimental assessment of site plans, only 9 of the 10 DOCOs referred to the specific term surveillance (on 55 occasions), 3 referred to the term defensible space (on three occasions), 1 referred to physical security and 1 to management and maintenance (both just once), and none referred to movement control. While it is important for academics to explore the concepts that comprise CPTED, as well as the terminology best used to describe these principles, it is essential that this does not become an ivory tower exercise, and that this exploration involves those tasked with applying CPTED in practice.
The final limitation is a call to action for those involved in the study of CPTED. While crime science and environmental criminology have continued to flourish as academic subjects, CPTED has become the poor relation. This is both disappointing and unjustified, as it is an effective crime-reduction measure. It is truly multidisciplinary and calls on partners as diverse as housing providers, police, planners, architects, and developers. This relates in part to the lack of precision in terminology and definition. This needs to be remedied. Crowe (2000, p. 220) argued that “the greatest impediment to the widespread use of CPTED is ignorance”; perhaps two decades later, a more accurate assessment would be that the greatest impediment to CPTED is a lack of clarity, credibility, and scrutiny.
A Last Word on CPTED
CPTED is a crime-prevention measure that, through the design and manipulation of the environment, aims to create spaces in which offenders perceive that the risks and effort involved in offending exceed the potential rewards. These risks (or perceived risks) relate to an enhanced risk of surveillance and subsequent challenge, reduced access and egress, reduced legitimate opportunities to search for a suitable target, and the creation of communities in which offenders are perceived (and perceive themselves) as strangers.
There is little doubt that CPTED has lost some ground as an academic discipline. However, its recognition within planning policy reflects the acknowledgment that crime prevention represents a vital ingredient in creating safe and sustainable communities, and as such, it is essential to elevate its position within the study of crime.
In a culture that rewards quantifiable reductions in crime, CPTED faces a challenge. Consider the time that it takes to see the benefits of reduced crime that are attributable to the design and layout of a development. A planning application is submitted to the local authority’s planning department. The DOCO/CPDA/ALO reviews the plan and considers the crime risk. The applicant is asked to revise the plan to reduce the crime risk associated with certain elements of the design. The plan is revised and resubmitted. The planning department grants planning permission. The development is designed, built, and residents move in. The likely time period of that process is a minimum of one year, and sometimes much more. This extends beyond the time on the job for many senior police, individuals whose promotion depends on measurable results.
An additional disadvantage of this approach to crime reduction is that the benefits of CPTED may never become apparent. Consider a field or open space that contains no development. There are no burglaries, no vehicle crime, and maybe some antisocial behavior (at the most). A development is designed and built according to the principles of CPTED. For this reason, crime is very low. However, prior to its development, there were no crimes at all in this area; thus, we actually see an increase in crime, not a reduction (because as effective as CPTED might be, it cannot prevent every crime). The DOCO/CPDA/ALO, then, is not able to demonstrate a positive change. How will this influence the elevation of CPTED within policing priorities?
The implementation of CPTED requires the involvement of many different partners—housing providers, police, and those working within the built environment. It represents a truly multiagency crime-reduction approach. Research has demonstrated that both the individual and combined components of CPTED contribute to significant reductions in crime and the fear of crime, and these benefits extend to other social and economic indicators of sustainability.
Review of the Literature and Primary Sources
For an overview of the relevant criminological theories, read Criminology and Crime Analysis, 2nd edition, by Wortley and Townsley (2017), as well as The Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 2nd edition, by Tilley and Sidebottom (2017). Situational Crime Prevention—Successful Case Studies, by Clarke (1992), remains a seminal text on situational crime-prevention approaches and sets the scene for the more specific literature on CPTED.
For a more detailed examination of CPTED, the early work by Newman (1973), Jacobs (1961), Wood (1961), and Jeffery (1971) are invaluable. Later works by Poyner (1983) and Poyner and Webb (1991) represent some of the most comprehensive texts on this subject.
For a detailed critique of CPTED concepts and terminology, read Ekblom (2011).
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(1.) Major roads connect cities, towns, and the larger areas between them.
(2.) Local roads form the urban backdrop on which residential estates are built, and they facilitate easy travel from one local road to another. They are unlikely to be used for vehicular travel for anything other than local trips, but they do connect neighborhoods and allow travel within and between them.
(3.) Private roads are intended for use by residents alone, not for connecting places. Some of these will be cul-de-sacs, while others will be through-roads.