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Analysis of Crime Prevention: What the Policy is Comprised of

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CPTED is a strategy developed by police in order to prevent and deter crime. CPTED stands for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. It is a crime prevention strategy that has successfully worked up until this very day. CPTED is a strategy that not only makes your neighborhood safer, but it also makes it pretty through one of its key components which is bringing change to the physical environment. The other two are target hardening and community building, and all three of them help the overall goal to prevent crime. CPTED almost decimates the crime triangle because it hits upon all three of the points in the triangle, the offender, the victim, and opportunity.

I feel like target hardening is the most important component in the CPTED strategy. This is because if a criminal sees that the environment is well kept and that the community is unified, however, they still see a suitable target with minimal consequences then they will still commit that crime. Despite this, if targets are hardened, such as adding surveillance cameras and setting alarms then the target is now a higher risk than it was before. Crime cannot happen if the opportunity does not exist. This aspect of the CPTED strategy takes away the victim out of the crime triangle.

The second most important component of the CPTED strategy is making changes to the physical environment. By doing this, you are decreasing the urge in the offender to want to deface something or hinder this nice neighborhood in any way. Also, the fact that the neighborhood is so well kept can be an indication of strong ties with the local police department because it can show how proactive the police are in the community. This will cause an offender to second guess whether or not this is truly the place for him to rob or vandalize. Most likely, the offender will look for a new place to commit a crime. This is why the broken windows theory is still believed today because of the fact that the CPTED strategy works so well. The broken windows theory states that if a neighborhood is unkempt, that is where crime will thrive. Therefore, if you do a good job of keeping up your neighborhood then crime will decrease, which has been proven over time.

Last but not least there is community building. I believe that this is the first step to building a good relationship with the police and the communities they serve. How could a group of people who don’t know each other and furthermore don’t care to know each other pick up the phone and call help for someone they don’t care about? Community building is first instilling a bond of some sort between community members so that if they do witness something strange going on they feel more of an obligation to pick up the phone and call the cops. Just calling the cops more often helps with community building because it allows for people to talk to each other more even if it’s only to find out why the cops were called in the first place.

CPTED has continuously furthered police work for the better and will continue to do so. Most people and most critics alike probably don’t see how something like this can work but those people are only close minded and can’t think outside the box. Coming from where I grew up the streets were never clean and I routinely saw drug dealers all over the place. Yet, when I would go out to a place with family or go visit someone or just go somewhere out of the neighborhood I would see streets that are spick and span and I would see that no one wanted to mess that up. What I’ve concluded is that people keep clean things clean because it’s too much of a hassle to clean things that are already dirty and they don’t see the point in trying to keep it from getting any dirtier. This is a mindset that we all need to change, however, until then, we have CPTED.

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