Florida Atlantic University
Designing Safe Communities with
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

In The News Review
with CPTED

In The News Review: Landscaping Your Home For Safety – Lights, design can help prevent home burglaries
safety landscapes

The article brings up the topic of defensive shrubbery on how bushes, trees, and vines can aid or deter a criminal. Basically, in populated areas where crime may be higher plants should not block windows, such as giving a person to hide as they approach the residence. So shrubs should be shorter around two to three feet and trees should be pruned underneath with at least a seven foot clearance. It is important for windows to be seen and for persons to see out into a yard or all the way to the street.


A good obstacle to prevent break-ins is to plant thorny bushes near windows such as bougainvillea or roses. Another good item to place near windows is rocks as this will eliminate a burglar from silently prowling near the house. Having the right Lighting such as permanent spots or floods that are automatically triggered by motion is also another way of preventing intrusions.


The homeowner can get safety surveys by private companies or by local police agencies. In the case of a police officer making a safety inspection, they will make recommendations to not only the landscaping and lighting but to doors, locks, windows, and garages. These services are also available to commercial properties. All the citizen has to do is to get in touch with the local police departments crime prevention area.

  C O M M E N T

This is one of the first applications of “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design,” it is a great topic. As a Landscape Designer for over 25 years, I am embarrassed to say that I have not designed landscapes for security. I did once, plant a cactus near a home as it was superstitious to locals as a devil plant. Islanders of St. Croix were afraid that the plant and its evil spirits would kill them if they came in contact with it; but that was only one assignment. I will in the future be aware of these great ideas as they can enhance any project on any level.

  S O U R C E S
Sun-Sentinel, Accessed: November 24, 2012
August DeWinkler • Florida Atlantic University • Urban Design

FAU Bachelor of Urban Design