Physical Security

CPTED standard

by Mark Rowe

An international standard for crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) has been published. While CPTED has been around for years, there has not been an internationally agreed set of guidelines.

ISO 22341, Security and resilience – Protective security – Guidelines for crime prevention through environmental design, addresses the principles, elements, strategies and process for reducing crime, including types of terrorist attacks, and fear of crime in new or existing urban built environments.

The standard covers all kinds of sites, such as residential and commercial, industrial, educational institutions and community parks; the process of crime risk assessment; and the application of certified security hardware products.

Dr Hyeonho Park, Project Leader of the ISO committee that developed the standard, said: “When well-planned and wisely implemented, CPTED improves community safety and industrial security in a cost-effective manner.

“What’s more, some jurisdictions have introduced requirements to meet specific security standards in building regulations, for example, so it is important for CPTED stakeholders and practitioners to clearly understand the fundamental principles, scope, roles of institutions, elements, strategies and processes.”

You can buy the document through the ISO website.

Further reading and hearing

Among the literature, try the second edition of Crime Prevention Theory and Practice, by the Canadian, Stephen Schneider, reviewed by Professional Security magazine last year. For another North American perspective, try the website of the consultant Randall Atlas. The International CPTED Association (ICA) website has documents of talks, mainly in English, including by Randall Atlas, at its conferences in the 2010s; view at UK authorities on CPTED are the consultant Dr Tim Pascoe, a speaker at the 2015 CPTED conference on Transport for London and the 2012 Olympics; and Prof Paul Ekblom, another 2015 speaker.

A Youtube video by Paul van Soomeren, ICA Regional Director (Europe) discusses CPTED standardisation and the work of the ICA Standardization Committee.

In brief

It’s pronounced ‘sep-ted’ and is also known as Designing Out Crime (police officers in that specialism in the UK are called DOCOs), or defensible space. Among the principles are reducing the pay-off from crime (such as marking property, such as bicycles); improving surveillance, whether by CCTV or ‘natural surveillance’, cutting short vegetation so that people can see further and better in urban space; increasing the risk of being caught (such as better lighting in the dark) and rule setting (clearly signposted), besides environmental design (symbolic barriers, to better delineate where people are and aren’t authorised to be; and perimeters).

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