Basic Crime Information
Types of Crime
Environmental Criminology
Heirarchy of Crime
Determiners

CPTED Crime Analysis

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Heirarchy Of Crime Determiners

      First Order Determiners
      Second Order Determiners
      Third Order Determiners

First Order Determiners

The first order of importance flows from the broader theories. Crime happens on pathways or at activity nodes where there is a presence of “high risk” populations. These high risk populations tend to undertake routine activities (Cohen and Felson 1979), going from one activity node to another along established pathways, whether pedestrian, vehicular or other (Brantingham and Brantingham 1981). The presence of a high risk population on a pathway or at an activity node, such as a convenience store or liquor establishment, will be the first order of importance for whether a crime or nuisance behaviour will occur. For example, the choice of what area of a city to undertake a burglary is influenced by where the burglar lives and the routes between daily activities such as work, family commitments and entertainment (Wright and Decker 1994).

Second Order Determiners

The second order of importance is the environmental circumstances in which those high risk population finds themselves, as they move along pathways, from one activity node to another. This is where creating a sense of ownership, encouraging watching, eyes on the street, target hardening, access control and building design can have an impact. For example, whether a burglar chooses a specific house on a street depends on environmental cues such as areas of concealment and lack of surveillance from a neighbour (Cromwell 1991).

Third Order Determiners

A third order of importance involves more passive environmental circumstances such as lighting, weather and landscaping. If these environmental circumstances are used along with the more important determiners of crime, then they may assist in reducing crime. For example, Poyner (1992) initially improved lighting and lowered hedging in a parking lot in Britain. This had minimal impact on reducing crime. It was the introduction of formal surveillance by monitored CCTV and security personnel that a reduction of crime occurred.

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