Design for Safety

Council designs public and private areas for safety by adopting Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.

Three key principles can be applied to any built environment or facility such as households, parks, toilet blocks, public areas, shopping centres and car parks.

Natural surveillance

Natural surveillance refers to the ability to 'see' and 'be seen' at all times within a built environment.

Enhance natural surveillance and safety in a public place or space by:

  • maximising the ability to see without restrictions across a park, car park, shopping centre, pathway or building;
  • trimming and maintaining the landscape;
  • increasing lighting; and
  • careful placement of vulnerable facilities and street furniture.

Also ensure neighbouring residents, vehicles along a main road, near-by shops, or office buildings can see the space or place without restrictions from signage, trees, landscaping or fencing.

Other surveillance can be provided through the use of security guards, Police patrols, or a safety camera system.

The more people providing surveillance of an area, the less opportunity there is to commit an offence.

Territorial reinforcement

Territorial reinforcement refers to the ability to clearly define the intended use of public and private spaces and to ensure responsible guardianship and ownership over an area.

Carry out basic maintenance and ensure:

  • signage is unrestricted and undamaged;
  • properties are appropriately fenced and landscaped;
  • lighting is in working order;
  • graffiti or vandalism is rapidly attended to; and
  • rubbish is cleared.

The intended use of the place or space should be obvious to others through the effective use of paving, landscaping, signage, lighting and fencing.

Areas that are poorly maintained and appear to belong to nobody have an increased vulnerability to crime and inappropriate behaviour, which is evident by damage caused to abandoned buildings.

Access control

Access control refers to the ability to guide and attract people towards 'safe routes' and prohibits individuals to restricted or 'unsafe' areas.

This can be achieved by the use of landscaping, fencing, signage, paving, pathways or lighting.

Access control unconsciously guides people to use 'safe routes', which effectively combines the use of lighting, paving or pathways, clear signage, landscaping and usually appears aesthetically pleasing.

A 'safe route' is a pathway identified as the safest, most efficient and highly-used means for getting to and from a particular place or space. For example, a pathway at a large shopping centre car park guiding customers to the front entry.