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  • Cpted

    All to often people walk by stores and there is fliers and posters on windows, Or apartment building and office buildings that have windows on the 1st floor, or there is walls where fences would be better, CPTED isnt just a matter of physical security it is a matter of perception as well (example the cleanliness of a facility can determine how safe people feel) For those that do Security surveys TRA and BCP how much emphasis do you place on CPTED ? Do you feel CPTED has outlived its era or is it still going strong. I would love to hear from the CPP on the board and others of course.

    FWIW this topic is to stimulate discussion about physical security and CPTED

    stay safe
    Ben

  • #2
    Originally posted by Defensive tactics
    All to often people walk by stores and there is fliers and posters on windows, Or apartment building and office buildings that have windows on the 1st floor, or there is walls where fences would be better, CPTED isnt just a matter of physical security it is a matter of perception as well (example the cleanliness of a facility can determine how safe people feel) For those that do Security surveys TRA and BCP how much emphasis do you place on CPTED ? Do you feel CPTED has outlived its era or is it still going strong. I would love to hear from the CPP on the board and others of course.

    FWIW this topic is to stimulate discussion about physical security and CPTED

    stay safe
    Ben
    Ben, CPTED is looked upon as an "Anathema" by many architects as quaint or interfering with their creative talents. Many physical security specialists cannot get their voices heard in the process. It is only after there is a criminal incident, management tells security they did not bring the subject to "their level of consciousness."
    Any of the books by Randal Atlas, AIA, CPP verify the initial work of Tim Crowe. Remember even since 9/11, there are those out there who believe that we in this profession are alarmists.
    Coordination on the planning staff must include legal counsel who can tell management where the legal dangers lie.
    Some managers believe the "goodness fairy" will protect all from the bad people since we know bad guys always walk around wearing flashing neon signs advertising their presence and bad people do not hide in shadows or other dark places.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

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    • #3
      Very good topic! It should stimulate some discussion as noted.

      I am still a firm believer in security by layer that can delay the wrong people but still allow the right people through. Computer security still involves level of permission, and I doubt that will go away soon either.
      CPTED includes good written policies and physical security, insurance companies want that among other ways to reduce risk.

      (I do not know if many Architectural Studies programs cover security related issues past building and fire codes.)

      Perhaps someone looking for a University thesis can work on the covered store windows we see everywhere question. I perfer the clear glass to better observe from both sides, but to promote further discussions, do these non-covered windows provide knowledge of what to steal and a path in / out? Does the plus outweigh the minus?
      Last edited by Eric; 02-21-2007, 10:38 AM.
      Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
      Groucho Marx

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      • #4
        Of course, CPTED didn't originate with Crowe or with Oscar Newman by any means. You can find elements of CPTED literally throughout known human history, such as early colonial villages designed with the houses around a square where the village livestock were kept at night, the cliff-dwellers who chose or dug out caves having limited, highly-defensible approaches, and in the design of castles, etc.

        So, the term is much newer than the idea and for that reason some have suggested that CPTED is the biggest non-discovery in the history of security thinking.

        Like any security measure, CPTED has been applied both appropriately and inappropriately. Not just a few CPTED projects have simply squandered money with nothing to show for it. And, one of the difficulties of CPTED that has been hard to shake is that while it hardens targets under the present assumptions about usage it can also render future shifts in property usage - which can be very economically desirable - more difficult (or else the shifts in usage render the original CPTED design characteristics less effective). CPTED is always designed under a particular set of assumptions about property occupancy, the characteristics of neighboring properties, etc., and will only be of value so long as those assumptions are true. In many venues, property usage changes dramatically within the span of one or two real estate cycles, so that's a problem with the more "permanent" features of CPTED. The CPTED design features that are appropriate when a building is used as a warehouse might be quite inappropriate when that building is converted into loft condominiums.

        Another problem that has surfaced with CPTED is that while the design of physical space might seek to promote ideas of guardianship so that occupants and users exercise greater control over properties, in fact many people will only exercise this guardianship by challenging or reporting suspicious/criminal activity (a major assumption of "defensible space") if they believe certain things, namely:

        1. That the activity is sufficiently "serious" to warrant interference.

        2. That there will be a response from security forces/police.

        3. That the response will be effective and timely, and ...

        4. That they themselves will not incur risk from retalliation or suffer undue inconvenience as a result of reporting the activity.

        So, just because a property has been designed using CPTED principles does not mean that the occupants are obliged to exercise the greater "ownership" that the design makes possible. In certain communities, particularly, this refusal or reluctance to take ownership is a social/cultural issue that can defeat any physical design measures to make properties less vulnerable to crime.
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-22-2007, 02:40 AM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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        • #5
          Architects looking at CPTED as an "Anathema"

          I like the way that was put, an "anathema". I spent 9 years in the Marines, 4 of which I was assigned as a Military Policeman / Physical Security Specialist.

          I noticed this behavior firsthand when I was in the Office of Physical Security on a Marine base. The way that the DOD works is all plans were supposed to go through our office for approval according to CPTED and DOD requirements before any construction could begin.

          There were quite a few times that people would try to skip our office but what they didn't realize is that we get the final say after all is said and done before construction begins. We would get blueprints that we never received in the initial stage and they wanted us to sign off on them.

          We would make our changes to the blueprints and then send them back to the contractor. We would explain to contractors time and time again that they need to invite us to their initial planning sessions so that we could hash out Physical Security and CPTED issues before they build a design that they like and we have to modify it which delays their project even further.

          I have found that if you show most contractors the video of the Khobar towers, emphasize the poor planning for security at that facility along with the climate the way it was and how it resulted in the bombing, they usually come to their senses. Others will still try to pull a fast one and think that we are just going to sign off on a blueprint. We would just kick it back with corrections.

          It got so bad for some projects that I have had to report to the Base Commanding General with my Major next to me. When the Base Commanding General wants to see the Sergeant in charge of Physical Security and his Major, it is usually not a good thing!

          I explained to him why it is important that the contractors come to us first before going through with the blueprints and he always backed us up because he doesn't want another incident like Khobar, Oklahoma City, etc.

          I have found through the military that most contractors are lazy and are more interested in getting paid than providing a quality service. I have had to make recommendations to the Base Commanding General to not allow certain contractors to do work for the base anymore. I am not sure if it went anywhere but I did write some brutally honest, professional memos regarding the laziness, incompetence, and incompatibility of certain contractors to the base's mission.

          This is the only experience that I have with CPTED. I have noticed that most people in the civilian world look at CPTED as unnecessary and it is hard to justify the need for most people.

          Has anyone else had better luck in this department?

          Ray

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          • #6
            Ray, I have had the same experience in the U S Army doing the same thing. Working with the Corps of Engineers, the 'Pork Barrel of the Congress,' I've seen millions thrown away to favored contractors who contributed to Congressional races. I was once told in person by a congressman, now dead, "Mr. Warnock, don't loose your ass to prove a point. You could have a civilian reduction in force or RIF and found not fit it continue on in civil service. Do you understand?" "Yes, congressman I understand, but sir it doesn't matter I have reemployment rights as a deputy sheriff in my home state. "The same congressman held up the promotion of a depot commander to BG and I was no longer allowed to make inspections at special weapons depots nor promoted. FIDS, J-SIIDS and HAAG systems in the US Army were a disaster. Only a hundred million was wasted and in a billion dollar budget you can hide that behind a comma. But think of the young officers and career NCOs who were not promoted or released from active duty because they could not answer 100-bunker alarms within the alloted time of 90-seconds for each bunker.
            Ray as you probably know, the government is not obligated to follow national codes of any stripe. The top dollar really belongs to GSA, they make up the rules "ad hoc," and answer only to their congressional representatives who had them appointed to the post in the first place.
            Then folks wonder why I've saved all my original inspection/survey reports, minus the classified information, a copy of which is in the safekeeping of a lawyer friend.
            CPTED is in the federal government a myth. The response to crime around a federal installation is, "so what, let them sue us."
            Enjoy the day,
            Bill, the meek and mild!

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            • #7
              Bill,

              It is good to know that it is a DOD-wide problem and not just a Marine Corps problem.

              Ray

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mbmx13
                Bill,

                It is good to know that it is a DOD-wide problem and not just a Marine Corps problem.

                Ray
                No Ray, it is a government wide problem! The DOD just has more money to waste and more fall guys available to take the fall.
                Bill

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