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CPTED 101: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design — The Fundamentals for Schools National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities

By Tod Schneider


CPTED 101 applies to both new and existing schools and is built on three simple concepts: natural surveillance, natural access control, and territoriality. If your school layout seems unsafe, adopting a few CPTED fundamentals may help make it significantly safer. 1 Natural surveillance is the physical ability to see what’s going on in and around your school. Solid walls, tall shrubs, parked cars, outbuildings, sculptures, large signs, and other obstacles can block natural surveillance. If there are locations on your campus where problems often occur, are they hidden from view? If so, look for ways to increase visibility. Some common approaches include: � Installing openings or windows in solid walls, to increase visual exposure. � Replacing solid walls with wrought iron fencing. � Blocking access to the hidden area entirely. � Removing any welcoming features, such as benches, that draw people into the hidden area. If these relatively “natural ” arrangements don’t do the job, install convex mirrors to provide visibility around corners, consider electronic surveillance equipment, or increase patrols. The concept of natural surveillance suggests that the more lighting, the better. Paradoxically, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes good lighting attracts misbehavior, while darkness drives people away. Many schools have gone to darkened campuses for this reason. School resource officers have found that good lighting made schools ideal hangouts after hours, whil

Year: 2010
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