Armitage, Rachel and Monchuk, Leanne (2017) What is CPTED? Reconnecting theory with application in the words of users and abusers. Policing: a Journal of Policy and Practice. ISSN 1752-4520

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) represents a multi-faceted approach to crime reduction that draws upon theories from Environmental Criminology, architecture and urban design and requires the commitment of agencies as diverse as police, planners and housing developers. Its importance as a crime reduction approach has been formalised through strategy, policy and regulation and its effectiveness has been confirmed in evaluations of its effectiveness (see Brown, 1999, Pascoe, 1999, Armitage, 2000, Teedon et al, 2009, 2010, Armitage and Monchuk, 2011). Yet there remains a lack of clarity regarding CPTED’s definition, scope and crucially the fundamental components that form its definition. Conscious of the need for clarity and consistency, this paper presents the findings from in-depth interviews with a sample of ten incarcerated, adult, male burglars and ten Designing out Crime Officers (DOCOs), in England and Wales. The method was exploratory and inductive, with participants encouraged to express their perceptions of housing design features and the association of these features with burglary risk. The findings reveal key similarities between the users and abusers of CPTED and confirm (and elevate) the significance of features such as surveillance. However, other features of design traditionally considered as critical to burglary risk, are afforded less importance - raising questions regarding terminology, weighting and redefinition.

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