Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 19th 2014 Contents There is a relatively new school of
thought in developing countries on
crime prevention. And we all know of
the tremendous advantages of prevent-
ing a crime, the most common being,
there is no victim to suffer any loss.
This useful and effective technique is
called crime prevention through envi-
ronmental design (CPTED). It has been
studied extensively elsewhere and has
proven results. Generally, CPTED aims
to prevent crime in the medium and
long terms by using the natural features
of the physical environment.
For instance, if a community is locat-
ed along a coast, with housing, road-
ways and businesses, a CPTED plan
related to that specific environment can
be developed and implemented. Howev-
er, if another community is located in a
hilly region, with many narrow roads,
and houses located all over the hillsides,
then another appropriate CPTED plan
can be developed. And, in a community
with many apartment buildings, another
CPTED plan will be more suitable. In
other words, CPTED proposes that the
natural surroundings be used in crime
prevention and crime fighting.
For T&T, where many of the commu-
nities were already structured decades
ago in probably unplanned ways,
CPTED plans will have to take into
consideration what already exists. It will
be very costly to redesign the commu-
nity from scratch.
However, for newly structuring com-
munities, these CPTED strategies can
be taken into consideration from the
design stage. For instance, urban plan-
ners and developers, contractors, archi-
tects, law enforcement agencies, securi-
ty companies, community groups,
public-safety institutions and policy-
makers must all get into the picture.
It has been proven internationally that
CPTED is successful in preventing
crime in communities that implemented
What are some of these principles?
One, target hardening. Here, designers
make the targets of crime difficult to
achieve. Targets can be homes, people,
groceries, schools, etc. So, in the design
of communities, CPTED proposes to
institute measures that will make break-
ing into homes, robbing people, etc,
harder from the design stage.
Another CPTED principle is access-
control. This is where you institute var-
ious access systems to your community,
house, buildings, person, etc. For exam-
ple, where do you locate the entrance
and exit points, your roadways and
dead-ends, doors, locks, burglar proof-
ing, alarms, card entry, gates, walls and
A third CPTED principle is surveil-
lance. This deals with what and where
are you implementing things protect
your community, homes, businesses and
people. It includes CCTV cameras,
security officers, patrol officers and
neighbourhood watch groups.
Other CPTED principles deal with
territoriality, image maintenance and
activity support. Let s look at activity
support. What activities can communi-
ties engage in to aid crime prevention?
Regular community meetings, neigh-
bourhood watch, recreational activities
that aim to strengthen relationships and
bonds, exchange of phone contact
information, a community newsletter or
noticeboard all play an important role.
Let s see how CPTED may work for
some communities. In the coastal com-
munity described above, there is usually
one main road in and out of the area.
Then, there is the sea. Therefore, for
access control, you will have to look at
the road, sea, and importantly, the near-
by bushy, forested or agricultural lands
that people can traverse if they wish.
While having access control and sur-
veillance systems on the road and sea
may be easy to implement for the day
time because people can see vehicles or
boats, it is much more difficult to do so
for the shoreline in the night. It is also
difficult and expensive to implement
adequate access control for the sur-
rounding lands in day and night.
Therefore, one may have to utilise
more target-hardening measures for
property against criminals who may
wish to come on foot through the sur-
What about the hilly community?
There are many narrow roads and houses
spread all over. Access control will be
more difficult to implement here as there
are many routes for peoples to come into
your community. Surveillance systems
may be a better option so that you have
more eyes and ears. Also, target harden-
ing will have to be another option, that
is, making it very difficult for criminals
to get into your house or business.
In the high-rise apartment communi-
ty, access control can be done at the
entry into the complex and into the
buildings themselves. The positioning of
doors, driveways, fire escape routes etc,
are of extreme relevance here. Also,
centralised entry points to the com-
pound will assist, like a main gate or
entrance. As there will normally be
many people coming into and leaving
buildings at all times of the day and
night, proper surveillance systems like
CCTV cameras will be very beneficial.
All in all, crime prevention through
environmental design is a powerful
strategy to be utilised to reduce crime
The Caribbean Institute for Security and
Public Safety offers short professional
development training in many areas of
crime prevention, security and public
safety to companies and individuals.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, September 19, 2014
You must welcome both summer and winter, for they
are both essential for the process of living. The alter-
nation of seasons toughens and sweetens us. Birth
and death are both natural events. We cannot dis-
cover the reason for either birth or death. They sim-
ply happen. Hence we must learn to welcome the
field of natural ups and downs (Prakrithika). The sec-
ond is the field of social equanimity: We often try to
blame some person or some incident for the injury or
loss we suffer but the real reason is our own karma
(action). When the background of the event is
known, the impact can be lessened or even negated.
Hence you must welcome with equal-mindedness
fame and blame, respect and ridicule, profit and loss,
and such other responses and reactions from the
society in which one has to grow and struggle.
Why is equanimity an
essential value and how
does it help us in day to
day life? Bhagawan explains
to us today.
Fortune is as much a challenge to one's
equanimity as misfortune. - Baba 0919042
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IAN K RAMDHANIE
COMMUNITY CRIME PREVENTION
AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Restorations will help
heritage destination tourism
Citizens for Conservation was heartened to hear an
entire paragraph being devoted in the budget to preser-
vation of our historical buildings. The allocation of funds
and commitment to action promise that Stollmeyer's
Castle (Killarney) will be completed and opened to the
public before the end of the year; Whitehall will be
cleaned and returned to us soon; and restoration work
will finally commence on Mille Fleurs and President's
We cannot thank the Government enough for making
the preservation of these heritage assets a front-burner
issue. The Minister did not have time to go into detail
about the impact these restorative efforts will have, not
just on the positive national psyche but also as a step
toward diversifying the economy. However, we can say
to the general public that heritage destination tourism is
the fastest-growing branch of tourism.
The restoration and ongoing maintenance of our his-
toric heritage sites will create hundreds of jobs and
meaningful careers in preservation. The sites them-
selves will become international attractions and increase
the number of visitors to our islands. The buildings will
be put to adaptive use in the form of museums and
open spaces where our artistes can perform. In short
order they will all become economically sustainable.
This is good news for all and we look forward to more
positives as these plans come to fruition.
Michele D Celestine,
Citizens For Conservation
distraction than help
I wish to endorse the stance taken by Patricia McIn-
tosh, MP for Port-of-Spain North/St Ann's West, about
the improper and lack of use of the laptops by our stu-
As a parent, our reality is that the cons have out-
weighed the pros in terms of the educational perspec-
tive put forward, and the amount of money spent.
In any other business, it would clearly be seen that
the return on investment has not been forthcoming, and
hence this project should be discontinued and the
money used elsewhere.
As a parent, we have been given more work, as our
teens have been given more opportunity to play and to
be entertained by these laptops (those that are still
Contrary to popular belief, these laptops have been a
greater distraction to work, than an aid to facilitate
learning. I will not deny that research (that was con-
ducted before the laptops) is made easier with the lap-
tops, but again we need to re-think the purpose and the
age group that is receiving these laptops, and look
closely at how money is spent in the Ministry of Educa-
tion for the purpose of real Education.
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