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What is CPTED?

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) as a discipline is also known as Security by Design or Designing out Crime. CPTED is commonly pronounced as ‘sep-ted’.

CPTED is a process for analysing and assessing crime and
security risks to guide development, urban design, site management and
the use of the built environment in order to prevent and reduce crime
and the fear of crime and to promote and improve public health, quality
of life and sustainability.

Source: ISO 22341:2021 Security and resilience –Guidelines for crime prevention through environmental design.

Why UK?

The United Kingdom has the most advanced system of CPTED implementation in Europe with its many policy strands that relate to urban planning and crime prevention. CPTED-UK represent over 35 years of experience in providing advice to local authority planning departments, property developers and architects on design proposals and its potential impact on crime and disorder, and the fear of crime.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life by creating safe, secure and sustainable environments.

Feelings of safety and security are essential to successful, sustainable communities. Freedom from crime and the fear of crime has a major impact on quality of life, and therefore effects the wellbeing and productivity of building occupants.

CPTED-UK recognise that the traditional approaches to security can often result in inequitable and exclusionary outcomes. We encourage the design, policies and procedures that protect buildings and infrastructure users and at the same time contribute to the dignity, safety and security of the wider community. You can’t achieve sustainability without security.

The recently published ISO 22341: 2021 standard for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design recognises the value of our approach, where the physical and social strategies of CPTED are interdependent, complement each other and contribute to the development of sustainable communities where crime and the fear of crime do not undermine the quality of life.

We are Suitably Qualified Security Specialists (SQSS) and meet the following criteria:
1.    Minimum of three years’ experience in a relevant security profession (in the last five years). This experience must clearly demonstrate a practical understanding of factors affecting security in relation to construction and the built environment, relevant to the type and scale of the project being undertaken.
2.    Holds a qualification relevant to security.
3.    Maintains a full membership to a relevant professional body, institute or certification scheme that has a professional code of conduct, to which members adhere.

We also are:

SABRE Registered Professionals are deemed to meet the competency requirements of the various specialist deliverables within the SABRE security assessment scheme including threat assessments, risk assessments, security strategies, technical design & engineering and concepts of operations (CONOPS). The registration is also intended to act as an indicator of professionalism for the benefit of the wider industry.

CPTED-UK comply with all the categories of SABRE Registered Professional:

  • BREEAM Suitably Qualified Security Specialist (SQSS)
  • Threat
  • Risk
  • Strategy
  • Technical Design
  • Operations 

The Register of Chartered Security Professionals (CSyP) was established under a Royal Charter granted to the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals in the UK and launched in 2011. Registrants use CSyP as a post nominal. Being admitted to the Register and becoming a CSyP is a means of being recognised and continuing to represent the highest standards and ongoing proficiency. It is the gold standard of competence in security practice. CSyPs must comply with a Code of Conduct, a Professional Disciplinary Code, and also complete Continuous Professional Development each year. The Register is recognised across the UK, including by the Association of Security Consultants (ASC), the International Professional Security Association (IPSA), The Security Industry Authority (SIA) and CPNI (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure).

Design Council is a Royal Charter charity that works in the public interest. It was established by Winston Churchill’s wartime government in December 1944 to support Britain’s economic recovery. It works with several government agencies and organisations such as Local Government Association, Highways Agency, or Building Research Establishment (BRE) providing expertise in support of the development of policies, guidelines, and procedures.

Design Council Experts are designers, renowned in their fields. CPTED-UK consultants contribute their security experience and skills to the Council’s pool of knowledge about design that works, design practice knowledge and programme delivery.

Richard Stones OBE – Design Council
Boguslawa Motylska – Design Council

Our mission is closely aligned to the Design Council strategy that focuses on three key areas: health and wellbeing, sustainable living, and design skills.

Improving health and wellbeing

The population of Europe is getting older. It increases the demand for health and social care to help people manage complex multiple conditions, disability, dementia, and loneliness. Health inequalities in the UK are being driven by diminishing levels of national wellbeing. Poor wellbeing tends to affect peoples’ habits and lifestyle. The levels of obesity continue to grow for both the adults, and children. An on-going housing crisis is exacerbating badly designed homes and driving the rise in homelessness.

The UK has the highest levels of interregional inequality than any other large wealthy country. The income disparity is a challenge worldwide, and one of the key factors that increase the risk of crime.

Design has a vital role to play in addressing these challenges. It enables us to consider the wider set of issues that determine our health – the social, cultural, political, economic, commercial and environment factors.

Freedom from crime and the fear of crime has a major impact on quality of life, and therefore affects the wellbeing of building occupants. Health and wellbeing are an integral area of sustainability in the built environment. BREEAM, the worlds’ most advanced environmental assessment methodology, increasingly recognises health and wellbeing across its schemes.

CPTED-UK assists the real estate stakeholders with defining the security needs of their assets and helps them achieve the BRE security compliance. The feelings of safety and security are essential to sustainable communities.

Enabling sustainable living

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the overarching principle for many of the environmental, social and governance policies globally. The SDG 13 Climate Action is the primary focus for the Design Council for encouraging and supporting sustainable living.
‘Climate emergency’ was chosen as the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year in 2019 after it has been used 100 times more compared to the previous year.
CPTED-UK focuses its effort on redesigning the cities to influence the behavioural change and reduce the carbon footprint. Sustainable development is one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Design Council strategy embraces sustainability in all its complexity to ensure it is embedded meaningfully into what they do. Design must consider the social value when approaching the environment, services and products as the climate emergency will only exacerbate the existing issues of inequality.
We recognise that the traditional approaches to security can often result in inequitable and exclusionary outcomes. We encourage policies and procedures that protect buildings users and at the same time contribute to the dignity, safety, and security of the wider community.
CPTED as a discipline of security traditionally focused on the physical features of the environmental design such as access control, natural surveillance, or territorial reinforcement. The recently published ISO 22341: 2021 standard for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design recognises the value of our approach. The social strategies, defined by the ISO as CPTED 2nd generation, and the more traditional CPTED strategies are interdependent and complement each other.
Both the physical and social strategies of CPTED contribute to the development of sustainable communities where crime, disorder and the fear of crime do not undermine the quality of life.

Design skills

Design is often associated with the aesthetics. The role and value of the design are much more than that. Design Council defines design as a mindset and a skillset where critical thinking combines with creativity.
Making life better by design starts with research to ensure the entire process is evidence driven. Design Council gathers, commissions, and publishes pioneering, evidence-based research on the value of design. We always actively look for case studies to learn from, especially when there is potential for transfer of innovation.
Urban design and architecture rely on diverse groups of stakeholders from various disciplines. The collective perspective is essential for problem-solving in any context. It ensures the most appropriate, sustainable, and fit-for-purpose solutions to serve the people and the planet.
Community engagement and inclusivity are at the heart of CPTED from its inception in the early 60s. One of the founders and pioneers of CPTED, Jane Jacobs said: “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs, first published in 1961, is still one of the most influential books in the history of American city planning.
The challenges that the design needs to respond to have changed dramatically since the 60s. The 15-minute city is one of the most prominent trends in urban design today. It responds to the climate crisis and the subsequent global focus of the green agenda. Mixed developments, where people can access all their daily essentials within 15 minutes on foot or by bike, are to reduce the carbon footprint generated by transport.
Modern technologies, especially in the field of data processing and communication, inspire the urban concept of a smart city. We participate in research programs testing the world’s most innovative technologies to protect people in high-risk public areas.

The High Streets Task Force is an alliance of place making experts working to redefine the high street. It provides guidance, tools and skills to help communities, partnerships and local government transform their high streets.

To ensure the highest standards and broadest range of expertise in high street transformation, the Task Force has recruited Experts in partnership with Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Landscape Institute, Design Council, and Institute of Place Management. The Task Force worked with these national bodies to identify 42 areas of specialism which help ensure high streets are advised by those best placed to do so.
The High Streets Task Force was commissioned by the government in 2019 as part of its Plan for the High Street and in response to recommendations of an expert panel on the high street chaired by the highly successful entrepreneur Sir John Timpson.
The Task Force has been set-up to strengthen local leadership in high streets and town centres in England. It does this by providing information, advice, training, knowledge and data – helping people to make a positive difference to their local communities.
Run by the Institute of Place Management on behalf of government, the Task Force brings together a range of expert organisations on reinventing and restructuring places.

The High Streets Task Force Board with members from the private, public and community sectors brings a track record of delivering innovative and positive change to town centres. Together, they are an authorative voice for the high street and are working with the Task Force and government to enable high street transformation.

Richard Stones OBE | High Streets Task Force

The EU Commission supports EU Member States in enhancing the protection of citizens and critical infrastructures against terrorist threats. The EU measures include facilitating network-building, encouraging cross-border and public-private cooperation, organising joint trainings, promoting closer coordination and funding of projects.
To enable such activity the Commission appoint Security Advisors from its network of Registered Experts to act as Project Advisors on these projects. The main activities of the Project Advisory Group member include:

• Elicitation and revision of end user requirements, KPIs and use cases and pilot scenarios.
• Participation in the system validation/demonstration activities, contributing with their expertise and providing feedback on the proposed solution’s performance.
• Participation in project meeting, workshops and dissemination events.

For over 15 years CPTED directors have undertaken this role and advised on several large scale international collaborative security projects. These include DeSURBS – Designing Safer Urban Spaces, Resilient Design and most recently S4AllCities.

Organisations must be sure to perform due diligence review of all prospects in order to successfully protect against security threats and avoid liability for damages.
Security risks are dependent on the context of a building and, as a result, need to be specifically determined based on a number of variables including function and location. In addition to this, security risks are not static and can change over time. Therefore consultation with the appropriate professionals is essential in determining the necessary security measures for any development.
Academic research and well-established best practice demonstrate that security is best achieved if addressed from the very beginning of the planning and design of a public space – a concept commonly referred to by the EU as ‘security by design’ in the protection of public spaces. We apply the security by design principles to a variety of crime issues, from ASB to terrorism.
Years of experience allow us to identify potential malicious attack scenarios and discuss project vulnerabilities. Our recommendations always go hand in hand with considerations of aesthetics, liveability, use, safety and management. control
We assess the security needs taking into consideration not only the project’s particular features but also its positioning within the overall urban context. The creation of additional vulnerabilities is prevented when such effects are addressed in the planning.
The definition of the acceptable risk is an important part of the security needs assessment procedure. We work with project teams to help them make this determination.
The adoption of security measures as part of an overall urban design project can reduce the costs of protective solutions substantially, as planning the protective measure at the design stage allows for resourcefulness, multifunctionality and cost-efficiency.
The security by design concept guarantees that security measures are harmonically integrated into the urban environment, as they are part of a protective urban development project.
When compared with ad-hoc solutions added retrospectively, crime reduction and security measures that are conceived from the initial stages of the design process are less likely to conflict with existing services and utilities and they can be better integrated within the surrounding environment.
For many businesses the threat of terrorism is deemed to be low when contrasted with their vulnerability to general crime. Whilst news of terrorist attacks can dominate the media, only a minority of businesses experienced an attack in the last five years.
One of the most significant challenges for businesses and organisations is the diversity of threats. Companies experience serious crime incidents infrequently, inexperience in dealing with those threats hampers their response.
In our combined years of experience in security surveying we have never found the one-stop solution. Each organisation presents its own set of intrinsic risks and we are accustomed to dealing with the unusual. Being fully independent allows us to recognise quality within industry and compare solutions from a comprehensive range of suppliers worldwide.
Resilience to crime is an increasingly valued aspect in architecture, closely associated with environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing, and quality of life.
We help to achieve and demonstrate the highest standards of incorporating that resilience, therefore making the built environment more attractive for its users and property investors.

CPTED-UK are an official ambassador and interlocutor of the New European Bauhaus– a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal to our living spaces and experiences.

By creating bridges between different backgrounds, cutting across disciplines and building on participation at all levels, the New European Bauhaus inspires a movement to facilitate and steer the transformation of our societies along three inseparable values:

  • sustainability, from climate goals to circularity, zero pollution, and biodiversity
  • aesthetics, quality of experience and style beyond functionality
  • inclusion, from valuing diversity to securing accessibility and affordability

The New European Bauhaus brings citizens, experts, businesses, and institutions together to reimagine sustainable living in Europe and beyond.

“We have appointed CPTED-UK to deliver the Security Risk Assessment and the Social Risks and Opportunities Assessment under BREEAM In-Use v.6 2019 scheme for Malta Office Park in Poznań, Poland. They took time to understand our company profile and structures as well as our company culture, core values and ambitions. They professionally guided us through the assessment process taking time to explain not only the technical requirements but also the rationale behind the criteria and the benefits of including them into the ESG reporting.

Working with CPTED-UK allowed us to achieve the BREEAM rating of Excellent for Malta Office Park.

In addition to that they went above and beyond to help us promote the achievement to the international audience.”

Konrad Biskupski
Head of Technical Department, EPP Property Management

“We’ve been delighted to assist the application of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) to a real estate asset in Poland for the first time. Where traditional approaches to security can often result in exclusionary outcomes, we hope that the integration of principles belonging to both BREEAM and CPTED will support Poznan in its Development Strategy. Ensuring the highest standards in security will undoubtedly help create an attractive environment for the city’s flourishing business community.”

Dr Shamir Ghumra
Head of Building Performance Services, BRE Global

“CPTED-UK Ltd undertook the Security Needs Assessment (SNA) for the Lombard House PBSA (purpose built student accommodation) project on Lower Parliament Street in Nottingham City Centre, which was being designed by Franklin Ellis Architects.

The team at CPTED-UK carried out the SNA for the project. Baxi and Richard were knowledgeable, but approachable, and kept us informed of progress all the way through the process. They took time to understand the scheme’s requirements and responded to the design changes immediately, which was really helpful. The risk assessment was thorough and well evidenced and we were presented with a menu of options to mitigate the identified risks. As a result, the security recommendations were appropriate and reasonable.

In addition to improving the BREEAM rating the SNA assisted us with meeting the NPPF security criteria necessary for the planning application process.”

Chris Dixon
Associate, Architect, BIM Manager, Franklin Ellis Architects

“I engaged CPTED-UK Ltd to provide Harworth Group with an in-depth security review of our Olive Lane High Street mixed use development at Waverley. They took time to understand the conflicting issues and proposed a number of cost-effective solutions to features that were concerning the design team. Throughout the process they were timely in responding, respective of our corporate values and their detailed work allowed us to effectively prepare our approach to the planning process.”

Duncan Armstrong‑Payne
Associate Director, Major Projects, Harworth Group

“I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the professionalism and integrity of Richard Stones. I have worked on numerous projects and committees since 2008 when we first met at the United Nations as a member of the working committee of UNICRI a Public Private Partnership, a program established to develop guidelines for the protection of Vulnerable Targets.  This program is within the framework of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) and is led jointly by UNICRI, INTERPOL and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security.

It was through this working relationship with Richard that I became thoroughly impressed with his Professionalism, Extensive Knowledge and Experience in Law Enforcement and the vast array of Physical Security Challenges on a global scale.  His astuteness and natural ability to quickly understand situations, risks and provide remedy is most impressive.

Since this time I have worked with Richard on various initiatives and remain thoroughly impressed with is depth of knowledge on risk mitigation, protection of vulnerable locations and his innovative approach he applies in managing the process with the best interests of all parties in mind.  With the unprecedented times around the COVID Pandemic and the approach to new business challenges and infrastructures, Richard possesses the innate abilities to identify the risk, design a solution and implement the necessary protocols to mitigate risk to businesses and facilities while ensuring the safety and security of all parties is accomplished meeting all regulatory requirements and certifications.

I highly recommend Richard as a valued Team Player and asset to any initiative he may pursue as a trusted person with utmost integrity, professionalism and dedication to purpose. “

Dan Mead
Director of Security-EMEA
Private Sector Co-Chair Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) UK Country Council

“Boguslawa (Baxi) Motylska undertook the Security Needs Assessment (SNA) for Nottingham Trent University’s proposed development of 42 Shakespeare Street which is being designed by Hawkins\Brown.

Baxi demonstrated good professionalism in the role as a BREEAM Suitably Qualified Security Specialist (SQSS). We had two virtual meetings to discuss the scheme which concluded with a detailed SNA further complimented with external references. Baxi worked hard to complete the assessment in good time and issued the SNA before the end of Concept Design RIBA Stage 2. It is without doubt professional competence was demonstrated during the SNA process.”

Roma Gadomska-Miles
Architect Hawkins\Brown

“I worked with Richard Stones OBE and Boguslawa Motylska (Baxi) on many occasions and I highly rate the support we’ve received from them. Their commitment to professional development gives me confidence that their expertise is evidence driven and based on a solid foundation of the well-established best practice. Their level of competence in the designing out crime area represents the highest standard, which is recognized by multiple high-profile organisations in the UK and beyond. I also value their innovative approach to problem solving that allowed us to establish Nottinghamshire as a leader in business crime and crime prevention through environmental design nationally. Together we repeatedly secured maximum amounts of funding available for interventions to improve the safety of public spaces in Nottinghamshire. Their dedication to community safety and security is next to none. “

Phil Gilbert
Head of Strategy and Assurance
Nottinghamshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner