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Translating CPTED Into Crime Preventive Action: A Critical Examination of CPTED as a Tool for Active Guardianship

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2011 Pages: 69-81
Danielle M. Reynald
Date Published
March 2011
13 pages
This paper examines ways for evaluating the effectiveness of using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design as a tool in crime prevention.
This paper will argue that the effectiveness of CPTED ought to be judged in terms of the extent to which it is successful in facilitating opportunities for active guardianship of places. With this premise in mind, the CPTED component of surveillance will provide the focal point of investigation. Reynald (Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal, 11(1):1-20, 2009, Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency, 2010b) demonstrated that supervision or natural surveillance is one of the core dimensions of active guardianship in residential areas. This paper will begin with an illustration of how the CPTED principles are translated into crime preventive action in residential environments by using observational data to get a first-hand look at how CPTED functions in practice. The paper will then go on to combine these field observations with interview data from residents themselves to show the ways in which opportunities for the CPTED component of surveillance are affected, not simply by the design of the physical environment, but also by the context in which the opportunities exist. These results will be used to critically reflect on some inherent conflicts and points of neglect in the relationship between the components of surveillance, territoriality and image/maintenance, as a means of airing some of the conceptual and practical weaknesses that may serve to limit the existing CPTED model. (Published Abstract)