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CPTED Crime Prevention

Strategies for reducing criminal activity on property 



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CPTED Level 1

  • Learn how to prevent property crime on property you own, manage or design.

  • Get certified and work towards an international professional designation.

March 13-15, 2023

At Tip of Spear Academy, Edmonton


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Vandalism, theft and other crimes are becoming more common in our neighborhoods. These crimes are expensive, frustrating hassels, that can be negatively life-altering. But there is something we can do to proactively deter crime. CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) is a proven, widely-used methodology by law enforcement, municipalities, and private owners all over the world to help reduce criminal activity on properties. Whether you are a business owner with a retail location, or a property owner who lives in a high-risk or remote location, there is so much more that can be done aside from installing locks and good lighting - there is a whole science around it!


One of the most significant things you can do to

minimize the potential for crime on your property is to:




Get a professional



Not sure where to start?? Take the Introduction to CPTED Seminar. It'll help you decide if you want to take the full level 1 course, or request a professional assessment.

"CPTED is not just about good locks and lighting. That's like saying interior decorating is just painting a wall and vacuuming. There's much more science behind the design for it to be effective."

- John Beatson

How CPTED Works

how CPTED works

CPTED is a multi-disciplinary approach of crime prevention that uses urban and architectural design and the management of built and natural environments to reduce victimization, deter offender decisions that precede criminal acts, and build a sense of strength and support among inhabitants.

CPTED uses the following concepts to reduce the likelihood of crimes:

  • Natural Surveillance 

  • Access Control

  • Property maintenance (space activity management) 

  • Territoriality

  • Hard Security Controls 

  • Human behaviour and routine 

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Maximize Risk & Effort

  • Maximize risk to offenders (increasing the likelihood of detection, challenge and apprehension)

  • Maximize the effort required to commit crime (increasing the time, energy and resources required to commit crime)


Minimize Benefits & Opportunities

  • Minimize the actual and perceived benefits of crime (removing, minimizing or concealing crime attractors and rewards)

  • Minimize excuse making opportunities (removing conditions that encourage/facilitate rationalization of inappropriate behaviour).

CPTED is the design of the environment that you can use as the foundation for your physical security prior to putting any lock or camera in place. For instance, poor design and a lack of natural surveillance will also make your mechanical surveillance or cameras ineffective. This can be poor lighting and landscaping for instance. Just adding bright lights is not enough. The type of lighting and its location are also important to offer good color rendering and take away glare etc. CPTED also makes places desirable to legitimate users and less desirable to criminals due to establishing what is socially acceptable in that space and increasing the likelihood of being caught if you choose to attempt criminal and disorderly activity.


Here are some basic tips!

City of Edmonton

Edmonton Police Service CPTED Brochure

"CPTED is different from other crime prevention or security measures because it specifically focuses on aspects of the design, while the other measures tend to be directed at target hardening by denying access to a target using locks and bars, using sensors and cameras to detect and identify an offender, or deploying security guards. CPTED is unusual also when compared to some police activities, because CPTED encourages prevention and considers design and place, while policing has traditionally focused on efficient and effective response to incidents and the identification and apprehension of offenders.

CPTED is intended to specifically enhance the appearance and design of a facility, business, neighborhood, or residence in order to provide and present the appearance of significant guardianship. CPTED attempts to reduce or eliminate those opportunities by using elements of the environment to:

·        Control access.

·        Provide opportunities to see and be seen.

·        Define ownership and encourage the maintenance of territory."


An example of using CPTED principles: concrete planters to protect pedestrians from straying vehicles, while enhancing the beauty of the street.

Introduction to CPTED Seminar

CPTED Intro Seminar

This quick 3 hour eye-opening seminar is an introduction to basic CPTED concepts and how it can be used to create safe places and improve security for your property. It gives you a really good idea what CPTED is about and how effective it is, so you can decide if you'd like to take the full level 1 course, have a professional assessment done, or just use what you've learned to improve your home, neighborhood or work on your own. We have taken the critical components of the 3-day Level 1 course and reduced it down to 3 hours in order to make this vital information more accessible.

Course Contents:

  • CPTED Defined

  • Four Basic CPTED areas of focus

    • Natural Access Control

    • Natural Surveillance

    • Territorial Reinforcement

    • Maintenance

  • 9 basic CPTED strategies

  • Introduction to second generation CPTED

  • Practical exercise

Register Now

Duration: 3 Hours, Saturday morning

Tuition: $45+GST

Location: Tip of Spear in Edmonton, or online on Zoom

register cpted
  • Dec 03, 2022, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Tip of Spear, 11217 149 St, Edmonton, AB T5M 1W6, Canada
    Crime is an expensive, frustrating hassel, and can be life-altering. Learn the basics of how to prevent/reduce theft, vandalism and other crimes on property you own, manage or design using CPTED concepts.
CPTED Level1

CPTED Level 1 Course

The basic course is a three-day course covering multiple subjects including the four Basic Fundamentals of CPTED. The first day and a half will be the classroom portion consisting of presentations and group work. Then students will be placed in groups and be sent out to an actual site to practice what they have learned. On the last day, groups will prepare what they learned on their site visits in a PowerPoint format and deliver a short presentation to the rest of the class. There will be a final exam with a 70% passing mark and then students will receive a certification.

This course is in the process of being accredited through the International CPTED Association and will be formally recognized before October, 2022.

Course Contents:

  • Theories of CPTED

  • Introduction to First Generation CPTED

  • CPTED Definitions & Strategies

  • Lighting for Safety & Security

  • 4 CPTED Concepts

  • Landscaping

  • Second Generation CPTED

  • Barriers:  Real vs Symbolic (Fencing, landscaping and walls)

  • CPTED Report Writing

  • Traffic Calming

  • CPTED Exam

Once students receive their certificate, they will be part-way towards obtaining a Professional Accreditation from the International CPTED Association. This process will be explained in more detail on the course for students interested in pursuing this goal.

Register Now

Duration: 3 days

Tuition: $495+GST

Location: Tip of Spear in Edmonton

CPTED Level 1 - Mar 13-15/23
CPTED Level 1 - Mar 13-15/23
Tip of Spear,
11217 149 St, Edmonton, AB T5M 1W6, Canada
Meet our CPTED Instructor
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John retired from the police force in 2020 after 33 years of service with the Toronto Police Service and Edmonton Police Service. During his time in the EPS Crime Prevention Unit, John was saw how crime could be proactively minimized using CPTED and became the subject matter expert. John took part in and oversaw numerous CPTED assessments by his team and facilitated many CPTED courses. John is now passionately pursuing his purpose with CPTED through his company CPTED Alberta, and as recently elected ICA Board member. He is a certified CPTED professional through the International CPTED Association and National Institute of Crime Prevention  He looks forward to sharing knowledge with others interested in improving safety and quality of life for as many people as possible in this country and around the world.

Who should take the course and why?
Since CPTED is a multi-disciplinary approach of crime prevention that uses urban and architectural design and the management of built and natural environments, a variety of professional occupations and citizens in all stages of life will find the information useful, including:


  • Property owners or renters

    • Especially if you are planning to move into a neighborhood with a higher crime rate, have been a victim of property crime, live at a property with valuable contents, or are living in a property where response times for law enforcement or security companies are lengthy, such as in rural areas.

  • Property managers and property management companies

  • Landscape experts

  • Security & law enforcement

    • Security management and personnel

    • Police officers

    • Peace officers

  • Building, land and space land planners

    • City planners, land planners, land developers

    • ​Architects, structural designers, civil engineers

  • Community safety programs and volunteers, such as Neighborhood Watch or Crime Watch

  • Community leaders

  • Anyone interested in learning more about safety and security!


CPTED Assessments

Who should have a professional CPTED Assessment done and why?

Business owners, homeowners and landlords in rural, residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural areas can all benefit from a CPTED assessment. For more information on what's included in an assessment, see our FAQ.


It is likely required to get a CPTED assessment if you:

  • Need to apply for a development permit in many municipalities.  If you are unsure, please contact the Development Officer from your municipality to confirm your requirements.

    • For the City of Edmonton, this applies to:

      • Any new commercial or industrial building stated in Section 58 of the Zoning Bylaw

      • Applications for: cannabis retail stores, liquor stores, above ground parkades and body rub centres

      • Applications that are to be reviewed by the Edmonton Design Committee

      • Certain Direct Control zones specifically request assessments for new buildings in their zoning

It is strongly recommended to get a CPTED assessment if you:

  • Are planning to move into a new property or have just moved into a new property, especially if it's in a neighborhood with a higher crime rate

  • Have been a victim of property crime

  • Live at a property with valuable contents

  • Are living in a property where response times for law enforcement or security companies are lengthy, such as in rural areas


While many people come searching for assessments following an incident of criminal activity on their properties, we recommend getting an assessment to help you take steps to reduce the likelihood of crime BEFORE that first encounter happens. No one is immune to crime.

Check first with your municipality to see if they offer basic CPTED assessments for your residence. If they do not offer this service, or if you want a thorough one done promptly, Tip of Spear provides a complete comprehensive service through our partner CPTED Alberta. Our CPTED consultant was a former Edmonton Police Officer who has extensive experience conducting assessments and educating the public on this program over the years. 

  • Do I need to bring anything of my own to the course?
    Day 1 please bring Your own lunch Clean indoor footwear Outdoor clothing (we will be outdoors for about 20 min) Day 2 please bring Proper field footwear and appropriate layers of clothing Sunscreen, insect repellant, hat and polarized sunglasses Water bottle or thermos Backpack Lunch is provided on day 2. If you don’t think that you would be able to stomach a military ration, or that it may not meet your nutritional requirements, then you are encouraged to bring your own food for the day. There are will also be vegetarian ration options and snacks such as fruit bars and granola bars. Coffee, tea and water will also be provided. (Military rations are actually pretty tasty.) All equipment necessary for the course will be provided. You don't need Personal survival equipment Personal GPS or compass Paper or writing materials DO NOT bring any type of firearm or ammunition
  • What's the minimum age to attend the course?
    Although there is no minimum age requirement to take this course, we recommend that children attending the course be mature enough to not distract the class and be able to perform the trauma skills portion, which includes realistic medical props and fake blood. Up to 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult 16 years old and up no supervision required
  • What does this course teach?
    The main topics covered by this course are: Equipment and preparedness Field considerations and bushcraft Map / Compass / GPS navigation Trauma first-aid Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) survival.
  • How long is the course?
    The course is 2 days long and runs 8am – 5pm both days.
  • How fit do I have to be to take the course?
    The most physically challenging portion of the course is the navigation course which is about 5km long and takes about 3 hours by slow and easy walk. It’s nothing more than a nice hike through the fields and across some rolling hills. If that isn't an issue for you, you'll have no problems.
  • Do I have to participate in all of the activities?
    No. Participation in all activities is always optional but encouraged.
  • What kind of prior experience do I need to attend this course?
    There are no prerequisites or previous knowledge / experience necessary.
  • Who teaches the course?
    This course is taught by highly experienced and professional instructors that are able to teach to all levels of knowledge and experience. The course instructors are a combination of ex-military, EMS and bushcraft experts.
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