The Role of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in Improving Household Security

Rachel Armitage, Lisa Tompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is an approach to crime reduction that involves the design, build and future management of places and spaces according to five key principles: surveillance, defensible space, physical security, movement control, and management and maintenance. Grounded in the Opportunity Theories of crime, CPTED focuses upon reducing opportunities for offenders—largely, increasing perceived risk and reducing likely rewards. Focusing upon the application of CPTED to residential housing within the UK, and its merit as a burglary reduction measure, this chapter presents an overview of the principles of CPTED alongside associated evidence of effectiveness and an overview of the implementation of CPTED within planning and policing policy and practice, including the UK’s Secured by Design (SBD) award scheme. The chapter presents the results of a recent systematic review of nine studies, concluding that the available evidence on the effectiveness of SBD shows a statistically significant overall burglary reduction effect, equating to 53% fewer burglaries than the non-SBD control group. The chapter concludes with a suggested re-orientation of CPTED and its focus. Presenting findings from a study of 22 incarcerated burglars, the research suggests that there may be merit in re-orienting CPTED’s focus to incorporate ‘designing in’ pro-social attachments to place, as opposed to limiting attention on the principle of ‘simply designing out’ illegal behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Security
EditorsMartin Gill
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030917357
ISBN (Print)9783030917340
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2022


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