SC6.10 Crime prevention through environmental design planning scheme policy
2 Crime prevention through environmental design
3 Further information
1.1 Relationship to planning scheme
This planning scheme policy provides guidance or advice about satisfying an assessment criteria which identifies this planning scheme policy as providing that guidance or advice;
This planning scheme policy provides guidance or advice for satisfying assessment criteria for the implementation of crime prevention through environmental design strategies.
Crime prevention through environmental design is a design philosophy based on effective design of the built environment intended to reduce fear and incidence of crime as well as improve quality of life.
2 Crime prevention through environmental design
The interdependent elements of crime prevention through environmental design are:
(a) casual surveillance opportunities and sightlines;
(b) land use mix and activity generators;
(c) definition of use and ownership;
(d) exterior building design;
(g) avoiding predictable routes and entrapment locations.
2.1 Casual surveillance opportunities and sightlines
(1) Casual surveillance is surveillance by observers, such as the public or residents, which helps to discourage criminal activity and increase a general sense of safety. The following design strategies can increase casual surveillance:
(a) locating development to overlook public areas or adjacent property;
(b) ensuring ground and near-ground levels are occupied by active land uses that overlook public spaces;
(c) protecting clear sightlines by locating buildings and other site
features sensitively, and by using fencing with an appropriate level of visual permeability;
(d) maximising the visibility of high-risk areas such as public and employee car parks, stairwells, pathways and underpass entry and exits;
(e) ensuring pedestrian entrances and corridors to the site and building are easily visible from the street and have good sightlines leading to destination points (e.g. street frontage and car parking areas).
2.2 Land use mix and activity generators
(1) Actual and perceived safety can be increased by providing development which maintains high levels of pedestrian activity throughout the day including:
(a) not separating compatible land uses if this results in isolated buildings or spaces;
(b) locating seating or activity generators (land uses that attract people) around the edges of a space to ensure surveillance of the space within;
(c) drawing pedestrians through public spaces such as pedestrian-friendly design or careful placement of attractor uses.
2.3 Definition of use and ownership
(1) The distinction between different development and between public and private land is to be obvious and gives owners the assurance that their premises is secure against trespass or that trespass is made evident.
(2) The following design strategies can be used to distinguish different areas:
(a) signage and cues define the intended use and distinguish between public areas, semi-public areas, private and restricted areas;
(b) physical barriers such as fences or symbolic barriers such as vegetation signify different land uses or to separate public and private land;
(c) environmental cues such as changes in footpath material, grade, elevation or lighting.
(3) These strategies are illustrated in Figure h
2.4 Exterior building design
(1) Exterior building design can create opportunities for crime if the building fails to overlook public spaces, includes entrapment locations or invites graffiti and vandalism.
(2) The following design strategies can reduce opportunities to commit crime:
(a) entrances to buildings are orientated to face public spaces and designed to limit opportunity for concealment such as by avoiding large shrubs, structures or advertising near doorways;
(b) blank walls are not located adjacent to car parks or other public spaces; these walls should feature windows or balconies that permit surveillance of these areas;
(c) buildings do not have external indentations, projections or regular features that provide footholds allowing access to private property;
(d) building foyers permit users to see inside before entering;
(e) building walls, particularly doorways are free of entrapment locations.
(1) Good lighting deters criminal activity by increasing the chance that crime will be seen or a criminal recognised.
(2) Effective lighting can be achieved by:
(a) lighting areas where crime may occur, such as pathways, building entrances and entrapment locations;
(b) not lighting areas that are less safe or not intended for use at night;
(d) installing lighting fixtures that are high-mounted, vandal resistant and deflect light downwards but avoiding light fittings that are unshielded at eye level;
(e) not allowing growing vegetation to obscure lighting;
(f) using multiple lights rather than single fittings to give consistent lighting levels and reduce light/shadow contrast.
(1) Way-finding is the use of cues such as symbols and signs which help people navigate their environment, define appropriate use of spaces and make inappropriate use obvious.
(2) The following design strategies can assist way-finding:
(a) boundaries are emphasised by fences or lines of vegetation, these can also form physical barriers to stop uninvited entry;
(b) subtle cues such as changes in colour or surface texture make the environment more readable;
(c) street numbers and building/tenancy names are displayed at ground storey and are clearly identifiable from the street;
(d) signs provide locational information and are simple, legible (e.g. readable from 20m) and identify where critical facilities such as telephones, police, taxi ranks and bus stops can be found.
2.7 Avoiding predictable routes and entrapment locations
(1) Predictable routes allow attackers to anticipate the path their victim must take and include pathways, stairwells, underpasses and corridors that have no alternative route.
(2) Predictable routes are especially problematic when they include entrapment locations. These are small confined spaces close to publicly used areas which are usually shielded on 3 sides by barriers such as walls or vegetation that allow for easy concealment.
(3) The following design strategies can minimise predictable routes and entrapment locations:
(a) eliminating predictable routes and entrapment locations from designs such as limiting blind corners and sudden change in levels wherever possible;
(b) if predictable routes are unavoidable, ensuring adequate sightlines, lighting, casual surveillance and sufficient distance around entrapment locations to allow evasive action;
(c) if safe alternative routes exist, identifying the alternative access with prominent signage.
3 Further information
Documents which provide guidance on implementing crime prevention through environmental design principles can be consulted for more detail including: