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Does Your House Appear to be an Easy Target?

Does Your House Appear to be an Easy Target?

Imagine criminals recognize something about your home or property that makes you more vulnerable to crime than your neighbour. Imagine that a simple change in landscaping could protect you. That’s right Landscaping!

CPTED (pronounced sep-ted) is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. It doesn’t sound exciting but it is! CPTED helps create safer properties and communities through the design of the environment. It is the science around the design and effective use of physical space to lead to a reduction in the incidence of crime and the fear of crime.

There are many things that a CPTED assessment can address. Here are some basics.

Making Houses Safer

Clearly define where your property starts and stops through the use of plants, fences, changes in grade, or different walkway colour

Provide unobstructed views of entrances by trimming your bushes and trees – see and be seen

Install motion-sensor lights outside

Use quality locks on doors and windows

Making Neighbourhoods Safer

Provide appropriate lighting for streets, paths, alleys, and parks

Maximize people’s ability to see in and out of public spaces

Encourage use of public spaces

Record, Report and Remove graffiti (you can use the 311 App to do this)

Encourage a strong sense of community (consider an ENW block party)

Making Apartments Safe

Clearly differentiate private property from public space through shrubbery, alternate paving stone colour or signage

Provide common spaces to encourage tenant interaction (consider a tenant block party)

Equip entrances with an intercom system

Ensure all public areas are well-lit

Install deadbolt locks and 180 degree eye viewers on unit doors

The Edmonton Police Service offers CPTED workshops for both law enforcement officials and members of the general public. You can also contact EPS about a CPTED assessment.


Imagine that something as simple as trimming tree branches, planting spiny bushes under your windows or changing your lighting can make you a hard target for crime.

Until next time…
Debbie Sellers, ENW