Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design's (CPTED) theory is that the design of public spaces, traffic flow patterns, lighting levels, and ease of access all influence crime rates and how residents perceive crime in their community. CPTED concepts not only reduce crime but also combat the fear of crime. Tactics used in CPTED included blocking off streets or making them one way to discourage traffic, renovating courtyards in schools and apartment buildings, installing mechanical devices to monitor access to and from apartment buildings, improving street lighting, and landscaping areas so they are attractive but do not provide hiding places for criminals.

CPTED depends on a mixture of resident, police, and physical design tactics to be successful and demonstrates how environmental design can strengthen a neighborhood. If you would like a police officer to check the security aspects of new commercial or new residential construction or would like to enhance existing security at your home or business, please contact the State College Police Department's Community Relations/Crime Prevention Section at 814-234-7150 or e-mail

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