Updated: Mar 13
It's a wild time that we're in now. Inflation is the highest it's been in 30 years, gas prices are skyrocketing (thank you Canadian carbon tax), and interest rates are starting to creep back up. People are trying to recover emotionally, physically and financially from COVID-19, but it's a slow-go. Because people are having a harder time making ends meet, and crime inevitably goes up. We've seen more news stories of gas tanks being drilled, catalytic converters being stolen, and other property theft and damage. We've seen more chatter on rural community chat groups as neighbors post stories of vehicles patrolling for easy thefts on vulnerable properties. We never think it will happen to us, but when it does, it's violating and a frustrating hassel.
Many people these days have solid common sense when it comes to protecting their property and their assets on their property. They have good locks, decent lighting and security cameras, yet thieves are getting smarter and more desperate, so crime continues to rise. These are good basic measure to take, but there is so much more that can be done to deter crime, if we have the knowledge and skills.
"CPTED is different from other crime prevention or security measures because it specifically focuses on aspects of the design, while the other measures tend to be directed at target hardening by denying access to a target using locks and bars, using sensors and cameras to detect and identify an offender, or deploying security guards. CPTED is unusual also when compared to some police activities, because CPTED encourages prevention and considers design and place, while policing has traditionally focused on efficient and effective response to incidents and the identification and apprehension of offenders." - protus3.com
Whether you are an owner of a business with a retail or warehouse location, or you live... well... anywhere in the city or rural areas, you are potentially at risk. Higher-risk areas include: isolated homes (such as rural acreages), wealthy neighborhoods, locations with high-value items (like farm equipment or warehouses or that sell basic necessities), locations with migrant populations (such as a high population of homeless or vulnerable people). But it's not just these areas that are being targeted anymore. Anywhere where there is: an opportunity (such as a vehicle parked on the driveway or street), the intent (the offender is willing to break the law to get what they want), and the ability (the offender knows how to steal or destroy), crime can happen.
What is CPTED?
We have realized that there is a need to educate the public on some fundamental concepts that could help people proactively stay safe and prevent becoming victims of crime on their property. As such, Tip of Spear has partnered with CPTED Alberta to provide a seminar teaching the basics on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED is an internationally-recognized methodical practice that is used by law enforcement, city planners, architects, and anyone who manages any kind of property. The basic premise of CPTED is to use the understanding of human behaviour to design the area with manmade and natural features so that it encourages the right people to be there and discourages the wrong people from being there. It improves not just community safety, but quality of life. It increases the effort and risk and decreases the benefits and opportunities to the offender, thereby deterring criminal behaviour. This happens by using these features to: define ownership of the property, control access to the property, and provide opportunities to see and be seen such as removing hidden areas and allow neighbors to become witnesses to watch out for each other. This also creates a stronger support and neighborhood watch system, which is effective since law enforcement cannot be everywhere all the time.
Some examples of successful CPTED implementations include:
Installing concrete flower boxes in front of a restaurant patio area draws customers to the area, and prevents offenders from driving their vehicle through the area.
Landscaping and managing existing shrubs and installing strategically-placed and types of lighting that encourages children and families, and discourages drug use and trafficking.
What does the Introduction to CPTED Seminar include?
Retired Edmonton Police Service Constable John Beatson and CPTED expert teaches this quick 3 hour eye-opening seminar. It is an introduction to basic CPTED concepts and how it can be used to create safe places and improve security for your property. The seminar gives you a really good idea what CPTED is about and how effective it is, so you can decide if you'd like to take the full level 1 course, have a professional assessment done, or just use what you've learned to improve your home, neighborhood or work on your own.
Four Basic CPTED areas of focus
Natural Access Control
9 basic CPTED strategies
Introduction to second generation CPTED
For more information and to register for the seminar in May 2022, visit our CPTED Crime Prevention page.