Useful Online CPTED Tool

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on May 23, 2012

While CPTED is often ignored in designing security systems, it offers significant value. CPTED, that is, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, can reduce the opportunity for crime and the installation and maintenance costs required by extensive security systems. British organization Secured By Design has released an online planning tool for those building residential blocks to provide guidance for these concerns. In this update, we overview the tool, and show practical examples of environmental improvements which impact surveillance systems.


The Secured By Design Toolkit walks users through 15 separate scenarios in the design of a small residential housing block, both single-family rowhomes and multi-tenant housing. Examples for parking, access, play areas, lighting, and more are given, first showing the "wrong" design, followed by SBD's recommendations, based on CPTED principles, along with explanations for each. For those unfamiliar with CPTED, this is a good example of many of its principles.

Applications for Video Surveillance

Most of the recommendations given in the tool are not explicitly systems-related, as CPTED is based more on psychology and human behavior, but some of the examples given may have benefits for video surveillance.

Landscape Obstructing View

For example, in this scenario, shrubs have grown too tall, and tree canopies are left too low to the ground, obstructing residents' views of outdoor areas, and potential wrongdoing:

This is a common issue in surveillance, as well, as camera mounted at 12-15' on these buildings would be obstructed by trees, and the shrubbery provides plenty of hiding spots for criminals. The recommendations are trimming of the shrubs to 1m and keeping tree canopies above 2m for proper view, seen in this image:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Coverage of Access Routes

In this second example, pedestrian and vehicular access roads allow multiple routes into the parking area, and rear garden access, while limiting surveillance by residents with high walls and trees.

In the updated example, only a single road accesses parking, ending in a cul-de-sac. As a result, only residents and their guests should use the access road, greatly limiting the number of vehicles entering. Additionally, pedestrian paths are private, restricted to resident use, to limit foot traffic and rear garden access:

This redesign may also help camera coverage, as only one entry/exit must be covered, and the changed shape of the parking areas allows for greater visibility.

Nighttime Lighting

In this last example, the parking area is lit with only low lighting bollards, providing little light, and creating shadows.

The ow light level plus variations between light and shadow make for poor visibility by both human observers, as well as cameras. In the recommendations, tall luminaire lighting replaces bollards, providing white light with a high color rendition index, and higher overall lighting level, conditions much more appropriate for surveillance.

CPTED Resources

For those interested in learning more about CPTED, a variety of resources are available.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Tools

Integrator Laptop Guide on Oct 16, 2018
This 18-page guide provides guidance and statistics about integrator laptop use. 150 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their laptops,...
Security System Health Monitoring Usage Statistics 2018 on Oct 09, 2018
How well and quickly do integrators know if devices are offline or broken? New IPVM statistics show that typically no health monitoring is...
Ladders For Installers Guide on Sep 25, 2018
Ladders are one of the most important pieces of worksite equipment for the surveillance technician. Too often, however, even highly experienced...
IP Camera Cable Termination Guide on Sep 06, 2018
Terminating cables properly is critical to network performance, but it can be a tricky task with multiple steps. Fortunately, this task is easy to...
IP Camera Cabling Installation Guide on Aug 29, 2018
IPVM is preparing the industry's first Video Surveillance Installation book and our upcoming Video Surveillance Installation Course. We have...
SNMP / Network Monitoring For Surveillance 2018 on Aug 21, 2018
Surveillance systems typically rely on the the VMS to report issues, but this most often just means knowing a camera is "down" with no warning or...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
GDPR For Access Control Guide on Jul 03, 2018
Electronic access control is common in businesses plus organizations are increasingly considering biometrics for access control. With GDPR coming...
Axis Guardian - Cloud VMS And Alarm Monitoring - Released on Jun 19, 2018
Axis has struggled to deliver a cloud-based managed service video platform. Video service providers have utilized AVHS for over a decade, and have...
Installing Box Cameras Indoors Tutorial on May 22, 2018
This tutorial starts our physical installation for video surveillance series, starting with Box Cameras, one of the oldest and most basic types....

Most Recent Industry Reports

Knightscope Winning Investors, Struggling With Growth on Oct 16, 2018
While Knightscope's new financials show the company only winning 11 new customers in the past 12 months, the company continues to win new...
Integrator Laptop Guide on Oct 16, 2018
This 18-page guide provides guidance and statistics about integrator laptop use. 150 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their laptops,...
Huawei Admits AI "Bubble" on Oct 16, 2018
A fascinating article from the Chinese government's Global Times: Huawei’s AI ambition to reshape industries. While the Global Times talks about...
ADI's Financials Revealed + W-Box Growth Priority on Oct 15, 2018
  ADI is one of the most powerful distributors in the security industry but how big are they? How much profit do they make? How much do they sell...
Amazon Touts Home Security Market Disruption on Oct 15, 2018
Amazon is coming for ADT and all of home security. Indeed, Amazon is advertising this as, in their own words, calling home security a: Inside...
Higher Power PoE 802.3bt Ratified, Impact on Security Products Examined on Oct 12, 2018
Power over Ethernet has become one of the most popular features of many video, access, and other security products. See our PoE for IP Video...
"New Zealand Govt Uses Chinese Cameras Banned In US", Considers Security Audit on Oct 12, 2018
Newsroom NZ has issued a report: "NZ Govt uses Chinese cameras banned in US": This comes after the US federal government banned purchases of...
Mysterious Patent Troll 'Secure Cam' Targets Industry, Sues Hanwha, Hikvison, JCI, Panasonic, More on Oct 11, 2018
A company named "Secure Cam," who is actively hiding their ownership, has acquired a slew of video patents and is systematically suing video...
Unfixed Critical Vulnerability In Millions of XiongMai Devices Disclosed on Oct 10, 2018
XiongMai, one of the biggest OEMs alongside Dahua and Hikvision, has suffered a critical vulnerability impacting millions of their devices. This...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact