Crime prevention through environmental design: A critical perspectives of environmental criminology
This paper examines an approach to crime reduction which differs from many others in that it focuses not on the offender or their reasoning for committing an offense but upon the environment in which an offense takes place. This approach also differs in its consideration of who should be held responsible for the reduction of crime, with a focus not solely upon the traditional criminal justice system agencies but also upon planners, architects, developers, and managers of public space. The approach is based on the presumption that offenders will maximize crime opportunities, and therefore, those opportunities must be avoided (in the first place) or removed (following the emergence of a crime problem). In the 2001 publication “Cracking Crime Through Design,” Pease introduces the concept of design as a means of reducing crime, but more importantly the premise that it is the moral responsibility of many different actors and agencies to improve the lives of those who may fall victim to crime, those who live in fear of crime, and (less obviously) those who will, through the presentation of unproblematic opportunities, be tempted into offending. In the case of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), it is the planners, designers, developers, and architects who risk acting (as Pease paraphrases the poet John Donne) as the gateway to another man’s sin.