Chapter B15: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

1 - Introduction

1.1 Scope of this Chapter

This DCP Chapter applies to all development on all land within the Kempsey Local Government Area.

1.2 Relationship to Other Chapters of this DCP

The provisions contained in Chapters included in Parts C, D, E and F of this DCP override the provisions of this Chapter to the extent of any inconsistency.

2 - Chapter Objectives

The objectives of this Chapter are:

  1. To promote design features within new developments and the redevelopment of existing areas, which will enhance the safety from crime for the community, including visitors.
  2. To enhance public safety by reducing opportunities for crime.
  3. To reduce the fear of crime through the provision of safe, well designed and maintained buildings, facilities and public spaces.
  4. To optimise the community use of public spaces and facilities.
  5. To encourage development on private land which promotes safety on neighbouring public and private land.

3 - CPTED Design Concepts

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) promotes the idea that creative design can be an effective deterrent to criminal behaviour within the community.

Kempsey Shire Council is dedicated to the expansion and development of the Shire through increased infrastructure, education, training and community lifestyle enhancement.

CPTED is based on four design and usage concepts that can reduce the incidence and fear of crime, including:

  1. Natural Surveillance - location and use of design features and activities that create a perception of increased risk of detection for intruders and of increased safety and security for legitimate uses.
  2. Access Control - the use of design features that deny offenders access to targets, reduce escape opportunities and guide legitimate users through the environment.
  3. Territorially - the use of physical features designed to express ownership and control the environment and delineate private and semi-private spaces.
  4. Maintenance - ensuring adequate measures are taken to ensure the continued use of space for the intended purpose and increased feelings of safety for users.

4 - Development Requirements

4.1 Car Parks


Car parks are often the site of thefts from motor vehicles, damage to motor vehicles, theft of vehicles and, less frequently, assaults against people. In addition, people often express concern about returning to cars, which may be parked in dark and/or isolated parks.

Desired Outcomes

DO1 - A reduction in the opportunity for crimes to be committed against people and property in car parks.

Development Requirements
  1. Landscaping/vegetation shall enhance safety by maximising the visibility of cars.
  2. Paths between buildings and car parks should be well lit and obvious to ensure safe pedestrian access.
  3. Lighting utilised in car parks should be in accordance with relevant Australian Standards.
  4. Car parks should be sited to permit maximum opportunities for surveillance from both users of the current development and passers-by.

4.2 Natural Lines of Sight

Natural surveillance can have a significant impact on the likelihood of unlawful acts.

Desired Outcomes

DO1 - Clear sightlines within developments are maximized.

Development Requirements
  1. Landscaping should:
    1. not block opportunities for surveillance or provide opportunities for concealment (e.g. ground covers and well maintained shrubs); or
    2. afford shade and comfort without limiting observation opportunities (e.g. tall trees with low branches removed to a height of 1.8m).
  2. Blind corners should be avoided (e.g. by installing mirrors, by building corners from clear materials or by designing curves or angles in place of 90 degree corners).
  3. Conditions of consent may require an adequate lighting plan to ensure that surveillance of the site is also possible during the hours of darkness.
  4. Where possible, sites should be planned to avoid the creation of remote and potentially unsafe areas e.g. isolated and obscured car parking at the rear of a site.

4.3 Toilet Facilities and Parent Rooms

Larger retail developments may be required to provide public toilet facilities, which are often subject to vandalism and other anti-social behaviour. Greater numbers of intended users will heighten perceptions of safety and reduce loitering behaviours within toilets.

Desired Outcomes

DO1 - A reduction in opportunities for assault, vandalism and other inappropriate behaviours by avoiding the planning of isolated toilet facilities, whether they be facilities for staff, or public toilet facilities.

Development Requirements
  1. Toilet facilities should be sited in the most convenient and accessible location to increase use.
  2. Entrances should be located so as to permit monitoring by intended users (eg, reception desk staff, passing motorists etc).
  3. Internal and external lighting of toilets should be bright, vandal resistant and where toilets are open after hours, should illuminate in hours of darkness or be sensor/movement sensitive.

4.4 Residential Accommodation

Multi dwelling residential developments can pose additional challenges regarding security and safety.

Desired Outcomes

DO1 - Development is designed to ensure that safety is optimised for long and short-term occupants of multiple occupancy dwellings.

Development Requirements
  1. Private spaces such as court yards, stairwells and parking bays should be clearly identified to reduce use by undesirable users.
    1. Strategies may include the use of pavers, varied textured paths, fencing, log barriers, landscaping and others.
    2. Private spaces should be clearly distinguished from public areas.
  2. Accommodation units should be designed to allow people within the units to observe and monitor communal areas within the development and the street area, eg. car parks, swimming pool areas, gardens etc.
  3. Lighting should be provided within the site. Areas requiring lighting should include driveways, property entrances, parking areas, footpaths, communal service areas (eg. rubbish bin bays, letterboxes, clothes lines), lobbies and stairwells.
  4. Lighting in communal areas and areas accessible by the public should be illuminated in hours of darkness or should be sensor/movement sensitive.

4.5 Walkways and Pathways (including Stairs and Stairwells)

Well designed walkways and pathways are a public convenience and will enhance use of a site. However, walkways, pathways, tunnels, stairways, bridges and other similar conveniences allow observers to predict the movement of the users of a site. Care must, therefore, be taken with design to enhance the actual and perceived safety of walkway users, by avoiding leading people into potentially dangerous situations or areas.

Desired Outcomes

DO1 - Development is designed and constructed so that movement corridors do not become, or lead to possible assault sites.

Development Requirements
  1. Good sightlines and signage to assist people along paths. Where possible pathways to be overlooked from residential properties.
  2. Paths should be located near activity generators and areas with natural surveillance.
  3. Walkways and pathways, including walkways provided between allotments and subdivisions, should be designed and located such that they do not become potential assault sites.
  4. Walkways and pathways should be designed to have at least one clearly marked “exit” sign to an area of traffic (vehicular, pedestrian or residential) every 50 metres.

4.6 Vandal Proofing

Vandalism costs the community not only in depleting resources to fix/deter vandalism, but also in promoting a perception of threat (lack of safety) in an area. Ideal targets for vandals are interior surfaces that are open to the public but private enough for vandals to go undetected. There is a need to reduce or eliminate the likelihood and possibility for vandalism.

Desired Outcomes

DO1 - Development is designed and managed to reduce the impacts of vandalism by:

  • Ensuring availability of surveillance by residents, local workers and passers-by;
  • The provision of adequate lighting;
  • Quickly removing/repaired vandalism;
  • The use of materials or surface finishes that are less easily damaged; and
  • Being maintained in a clean and tidy manner at all times.
Development Requirements

Developments which are accessible to the public shall incorporate the following:

  1. Vandal resistant lights;
  2. Securing all flammable and other materials which may be used in vandalism;
  3. Graffiti resistant paint on external surfaces;
  4. Materials which are hardy and not easily removable from the building. (Where materials are likely to be removed from a building, they should be easily replaceable);
  5. Avoidance of solid fences and blank walls which attract graffiti. (Where solid, blank surfaces are provided, consideration should be given to the use of screen landscaping or creepers, murals, vandal resistant paint and other means to discourage graffiti);
  6. Locating elements which may be vandalised, e.g. appropriately designed external seating, in areas of high natural surveillance or in inaccessible locations;
  7. Toughened glass, screens and other measures in windows which are provided at ground floor level, to deter break and enters; and

4.7 Fencing

The physical environment can exert a direct influence on crime settings by delineating territories, reducing or increasing accessibility and by facilitating surveillance of an area.

Desired Outcomes

DO1 - Development incorporates appropriate and suitable fencing dependent upon the type of site.

Development Requirements
  1. The height of a fence should be a maximum of 2 metres. Areas adjacent to access ways to public lands may have semi-transparent fences up to 2 metres high.
  2. Fencing should be designed to consider opportunities for surveillance and monitoring.
  3. For commercial or industrial sites, when deciding on fencing type, consideration must be given to:
    1. the desired role of the fence;
    2. the use of neighbouring sites;
    3. the need for definition or identification of a site versus screening a site;
    4. likely after-hours activities on the current and neighbouring sites;
    5. existing or planned lighting for the site;
    6. the need for gates to restrict after-hours access; and
    7. the impact on streetscapes.

4.8 Entrances and Exits

Providing safe access to/from an area or building.

Desired Outcomes

DO1 - Developments incorporate safe and highly visible entry and exit points.

Development Requirements
  1. Main entrances/exits should preferably be located in view of the street.
  2. Developments should have a limited number of entrances and exits which should be obvious, well lit, sign posted, free from obscuring landscaping and signage, etc.
  3. Where multiple entrances are required, less frequently used entrances should be secured at night with signs clearly indicating at what time these entrances will be closed (the above should not impact or restrict the number of fire exits required).
  4. Recessed doorways which restrict opportunities for natural surveillance of building entrances and which may constitute a concealment opportunity should be avoided.
  5. Where recessed doorways exist, they should be well lit, mirrored, have angled approaches or have gates to counteract the recess.
  6. Entrances and exits should have a logical relationship to car parking.