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Conducting a CPTED Survey
Randall I. Atlas
Without fail, the rst step in improving security on a property is conducting a security survey. The
security survey includes the elements described in earlier chapters: risk, threat, and vulnerability
analysis. There are more versions of security surveys and checklists than there are alligators in
the Everglades. The challenge is to determine which methodology to use. Several accepted meth-
odologies for risk analysis and vulnerability assessments exist. The Sandia Labs Risk Assessment
Methodology is available for several different types of environments: water and dams, infrastructure,
cities, and more. The Homeland Security Critical Assessment methodology of HLS-Cam is another.
The ISC/GSA security methodology has been available for federal buildings. The Department of
Defense has their survey form and methodology as part of UFC, and the recent FEMA 426 publica-
tion, Mitigating the Impact on Terrorism, has survey forms. Our book proposes the ATRIM risk
model for assessments. Companies now sell security survey software for use on laptops and palm
pilots. But the questions remain as to how user-friendly they are, and will you really use the survey?
I conduct crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) surveys on many build-
ings and facilities and sometimes use a checklist. But, no matter how user-friendly the checklist, it
always seems cumbersome and does not reect the subtleties of the existing conditions. In addition,
writing legible, worthwhile comments in little square boxes is next to impossible. The survey check-
list and prepackaged software does not capture the real essence of the conditions being surveyed.
So how does a layperson or an experienced practitioner survey a property and organize his
thoughts to be logical, thorough, and coherent? This is where the art of CPTED meets the science.
The CPTED data assessment process is what typical CPTED survey uses as a methodology. Let us
review what those basic steps are:
Crime analysis
Gathering demographic data
Gathering land use information
Conducting site inspections
Observing and noting user behavior patterns
Organizing the security report or audit
The crime analysis is one of the rst background steps taken to research the history of the prop-
erty. One of the key elements in establishing security negligence is the history of prior crime on and
around the property. This factor is known as foreseeability. Should the commission of prior crime
on and around the property give actual and constructive notice to the owners, property managers,
building users, and visitors? The crime analysis is the data gathering process of several years’ worth
of calls to law enforcement and analyzing the types of local threats. However, this kind of analysis
is slow and expensive. Many police departments have computer-generated crime mapping using
GIS or geographical information systems. Ideally, the local law enforcement agency will produce
CONTENTS
Summary ........................................................................................................................................ 890
Appendix: Sample Survey ............................................................................................................. 891
References ......................................................................................................................................893

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