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Custom Crime Prevention Essay

Fear became one of the consequences of scientific and technical progress in people’s lives. The humankind is scared that any of the latest scientific achievements can be used against it anytime and anywhere. We see nuclear bombs in the hands of Third World countries; the bacteriological weapon in the hands of fighters, explosive substances in the hands of terrorists… All of us have the feeling of fear ever and again. The fears of thief intruding into our house, the aggression of a terrorist in transport or espionage activities at the enterprise make our everyday life reasonably stressful. On top of that, mass media also pile on the agony. We constantly try to answer how to avoid the danger or what latest protecting system to use for our dwelling or enterprise, and whether it will help to stand against modern technological tools of criminals.

All these attempts if not protect, at least, will help to prevent the most part of crimes.

However, this article does not focus on the modern systems of safety, and on organizing the safe surrounding space.

The prevention of crime is traditionally addressed to police and other law enforcement bodies. Many consider presence of the law enforcement officer on each square meter of city space as the most effective method. In 70th years of the twentieth century, the American researchers raised doubts about it, having shown that the increase of police patrolling has no impact on the crime rates. However, the aspiration to reside safely leads to living in the closed communities with guardianship and the hardened video surveillance that assumes considerable expenses on running. Not every client can afford the above-mentioned safety methods in his or her own dwelling or office, and on top of that, it all does not guarantee safety. Meanwhile, the other strategy with the prime role of spatial factors of the environment in formation of human relations, both criminal, and not criminal gradually collects. Its concept is considering the environment as a factor stimulating law-abiding behavior and increasing safety of life. In the United States such special program is called “The Crime Prevention through Environmental Design”.

CPTED, as it is more commonly known, is a set of design principles used to minimize, reduce or potentially deter criminal acts. The program was based on the works of American architect Oscar Newman and the urban expert Jane Jacobs. In 1972, Newman published the book “Defensible Space” which criticized high level of anonymity of the American state housing projects, thus, assigning the part of responsibility for a high crime rate to architectural concepts. In her turn, Jane Jacobs assumed that the crime rate can be reduced even through correct orientation of windows to the street ("eyes upon the street"), marking of private and public boundaries and placement of yards in close vicinity to intensively used city places. “The Crime Prevention through Environmental Design” is based on four elements: “territorial reinforcement”, “natural surveillance”, “natural access control” and “maintenance”. The main reason of the most of crimes is that they are easy to be committed. Therefore, all strategies of CPTED are to fulfill the following tasks: a) to complicate the possibilities for crime commission; b) to increase the risk to be caught; ) to reduce the possible benefit from a crime. Let us consider the detailed fulfillment of the listed aims with the help of CPTED principles.

Natural Surveillance is a design concept directed at keeping intruders under observation. The proper placement and design of windows, landscaping and lighting increase the ability of observers to notice suspect behavior and report to the authorities about it. The activity rooms such as kitchen, living room and lobbies should be placed to provide good view of car-park, street and common areas. Managers, doorkeepers, menservants and security should have full view of these places.

Natural access control utilizes such elements as doors, bushes, fencings and gateways to refuse admission to a target by a criminal. Physical and mechanical means such as locks, bars and alarms can also be the natural access control measures if needed. A fence round a playground is an example of access control means protecting children from wandering off, and hinders the entry of potential criminal defendants.

Territorial reinforcement engages such design components as pavements, landscaping and terraces. It helps to distinguish public and private areas through marking the boundaries of “ownership,” and thus, holding the would-be offenders back. Maintenance means protecting public health, safety and welfare. Civic participation in the life of workers or residents makes a barrier to the criminal in some way. The owners, operators and occupants are responsible for maintenance.

The principles of Environmental Design vary depending on the type of construction. Multi-family buildings need similar security methods. The use of equipment that automatically locks up shutting on the common entries to the building, good lighting in the lobbies and limitation of access to the building create safer environment. Architects have to design buildings, so that exterior doors should be seen from outside or by neighbors; install windows on all four facades, designate parking, construct elevators and stairwells to be open and well lighted. The neighbors must have opportunities to get to know one another and create neighborhood watch programs. During preparing a schematic design and construction drawings for Single home, it is recommended to put the street door at least in partial visibility from the street. The pavements and all the parts of the yard should be well illuminated. Defining property boundaries with plants, pavements or fencings is a plus. The shrubs should be trimmed up to three feet in height and the lower branches of trees should be cut up to seven feet. In most cases of the Industrial Sitedesigning it is important to make a barrier to the trespasser, protecting the territory with a fence. Even if there is no opportunity to protect the enterprise in such a way, the laid out flowerbeds or decorative elements will create the appearance of surveillance. To provide control to any Industrial Site, CPTED Committee advises to use easily secured site entrances, keep building entrances to a minimum and monitor them, restrict access to roofs by way of dumpsters or ladders, and build the employee entrance close to their parking and workstations. Natural surveillance happens through illuminating of all entrances, creating exposed-to-view places in alleys, storage yards, keeping all exterior areas neat and clean.

(Part 2)  Bank Security according to CPTED

Banking sector requires paying careful attention in the matter of crime preventing. The offenders take banks for the source of efficiently running into money through the robbery. In addition, Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) are potentially perfect places for criminal activity. Therefore, the police and private sectors require cooperating in warfare against bank criminals by applying CPTED. Let us consider in detail how it can be brought to life efficiently:

Natural Access Control strongly recommends defining public entries with architectonic components, illumination, arrangements of green spaces and reducing the quantity of public access areas to the locations that are guarded by watchmen, bank clerks or receptionists. Cash department has to be conveniently viewed from many points of the bank interior space. Such design concept in bank security strategy as Natural Surveillance emphasizes on application of the following issues:

  1. Assemble and use good illumination of all exterior doors, hallways and teller halls;
  2. Provide video monitoring and access system according to security requirements;
  3. Install outdoor cameras and provide bank premises with auto recording devices;
  4. Keep bushes no higher than three feet in height not to obstruct viewing;
  5. Cut the branches of trees approximately up to seven feet off the ground;
  6. Parking should be visible from windows.

When speaking about Territorial Reinforcement, it is advisable to demarcate circuits with landscaping or fence, set up burglar bars on windows, demark exterior private places from the area of bank, and position security at all entrances. Maintenance means keeping common areas, entrances and right-of-ways in order. Disregard of this will make an impression of being uncared and less secured.

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) is an integral part of the banking system. That is why it is also worth considering the crime prevention methods in this kind of banking service. Based on CPTED theory, the placement and features surrounding ATMs need to increase safety for users. Facilities such as these must be well lit with vandal resistant lighting. Reflective material may be applied to Automatic Teller Machines to give users the possibility to observe anyone approaching from behind. Police and bank employees should monitor areas surrounding ATMs. Finally, environmental design can never liquidate crime completely. Security methods based on CPTED theory may only be responsible for designing the places where crime possibly occurs. The environmental control does all depending on it in making people feel better about their work and living environment and thus, it empowers them to act in safer manner.

Custom Crime Prevention Essay

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