Crime Prevention Assessments

Westlake residents can schedule to have their homes assessed using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) concepts. The use of these concepts has been shown to lead to a reduction in the incidence and fear of crime and an improvement in the quality of life. CPTED consists of four key concepts that overlap and complement each other: Natural Surveillance, Natural Access Control, Territorial Reinforcement and Maintenance. 

Assessments can be scheduled Thursdays or Fridays, Noon to 2 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Email jdancy@ to schedule.

The following are commonly used explanations of each of the four CPTED concepts: 

Territorial Reinforcement 

This concept refers to the act of defending an individual's personal investment in or responsibility for a property. Here are some considerations for clearly defining your property:

  • Is my property being used as a short cut?
  • Does my property ever have an unkempt appearance?
  • Are there seldom-used parts of my property where people loiter?

Natural Surveillance

Criminals do not want to be seen. To defend your property you must be able to see any illegal acts taking place. Placing physical features, activities and people in ways that maximize the ability to see what is going on discourages crime.

Answering the following questions could help you evaluate the visibility of your home or business.

  • Does landscaping obscure the view to my property from neighboring properties?
  • Are all entrances, exits and parking areas illuminated?
  • Are there areas around doors or windows where a person could hide?

Access Control

Properly located entrances, exits, fencing and lighting can direct both foot and automobile traffic in ways that discourage crime. Access Control denies or restricts access to a crime target, and it increases the perceived risks of the offender by controlling or restricting their movement.

These factors can help you control access to your property:

  • Can people trespass on my property without being seen by others?
  • How many entrances and exits are there to my property?
  • Do people access my property in ways other than intended?


  • Design space to increase natural surveillance.
  • Provide clearly marked transitional zones that indicate movement from public to semi-private to private space.
  • Devalue the perceived benefit of burglarizing your home by keeping valuables out of sight.
  • Deny easy access to your home by locking all doors and windows.
  • Maintain your property well; keep lawns mowed, hedges trimmed and your home in good repair.

By reducing opportunities for crime, one can inevitably reduce or eliminate the prevalence of crime. CPTED works by eliminating criminal opportunities in and around your property, making your property a less appealing target for criminals. Lack of maintenance tends to make people feel unsafe and feel that undesirable behavior occurs here.

The Police Department encourages its community members to do their part to establishing a safe and secure environment by incorporating these three basic elements into their security practices.