News Story


Moorpark - Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
1/15/2014 12:00:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

CPTED Month, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design


City of Moorpark

Date & Time:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Unit(s) Responsible:

Moorpark Police Department,  Beat Coordinator Unit


This is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED pronounced-CEPTED) Month.  Let's take responsibility for making our areas safe.


Residential and business areas are the heart of a community.  Our homes are the center of our lives, where we should feel most safe.  And, while we may have multiple choices when it comes to where we walk through certain parts of town or the use of public transportation, we have few choices when it comes to the streets where we live.  The main principle here should be 'know thy neighbor.'  Streets and homes should be designed to encourage interaction between neighbors.  Good examples include front porches, sidewalks, and property lines that are defined simply by low shrubbery instead of high fences and barriers.


Traditional security measures, such as good locks, lighting, and alarms, are important tools in the prevention of crime.  Generally they work in harmony with CPTED concepts.  However, installation of such things as security gates, rot-iron fences, barbed or razor-wire fences, and barred windows can create an impression of high crime and danger, whether justified or not.  These security measures deter those with legitimate business from coming to an area, and making it safer by their presence.  Such measures also indicate to the criminal element that criminal behavior is expected or at least anticipated.  Regardless of how well designed a structure is, it should still be secured and locked when unattended.


If heavy fortification is deemed necessary, CPTED principals can still be used to lessen the visual impact on the surrounding neighborhood.  For example ' White painted burglar bars mounted inside the windows rather than black ones bolted onto the exterior, or decorative metal fences rather than institutional chain link fences.  The use of thorny shrubbery to deny access to unwanted areas also works well.


Lighting is one of the most important elements in any site design.  Whether a single house or industrial complex, appropriate lighting techniques should be used.  Good lighting enables people to feel more comfortable with their surroundings.  It should provide clear paths for movement and highlight entryways without creating harsh effects or shadowy hiding places.



'         Fully illuminate all doorways that open to the outside.

'         Install windows on all sides of houses to provide full visibility of the property.

'         Provide appropriate illumination to sidewalks and all areas of the yard.

'         Properly select and install landscaping so that it allows unobstructed views of vulnerable doors and windows from the street and other properties.



'         Install double cylinder dead bolt locks to interior doors that connect a garage to the interior living quarters. (Keep keys handy, but concealed, for emergencies.) 

'         Locate door locks a minimum of 40 inches from adjacent windows where possible.

'         Use single-cylinder dead bolt locks with a minimum one- inch throw on doors used as primary ground floor exits.

'         Use two locking devices on all windows.

'         Install glass sliding doors with the fixed position door on the outside, and equip the interior sliding panel with a locking pin and one or two more locks.



'         Use front porches or stoops to create a transitional area between the street and the home.

'         Define property lines and private areas with plantings, pavement treatments, or fences.

'         Make the street address clearly visible from the street and alley with numbers a minimum of six inches high and distinctly or easily read.



'         Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back from windows, doors, and walkways and to a maximum of three feet high.

'         Trim your tree skirts to be at least three feet from the ground to allow for more visibility.

'         Use exterior lighting at night, and keep it all in working order.

'         Keep litter and trash picked up and the yard neat at all times.

'         The house and garage should be kept in good repair.


The proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear and incidence of crime and an improvement in the quality of life.  Our physical environment can be influenced to produce behavioral effects that will reduce crime.  These behavioral effects can be accomplished by reducing the natural tendency of the physical environment to support criminal behavior.


As you can see, CPTED is a simple concept that merely uses what you already have, in more effective ways to keep you and your family safe into the New Year.  If you have questions on how you can make your residence more crime resistant, please contact Senior Deputy Bob Berger, Beat Coordinator for the City of Moorpark.



Prepared by:

Sr. Dep. Beat Coordinator Bob Berger


Media Release Date:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Follow-Up Contact:

Sr. Dep. Bob Berger  (805) 299-1504


Approved by:

Stephen Wade, Captain