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Designing out crime

The City of Gosnells recognises the importance of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).  CPTED strategies are designed to connect and integrate community areas, streets and neighbourhoods, and to improve surveillance - by being incoporated into the design of buildings, parks and facilities within the City.

Good design is essential to improve safety in neighbourhoods and reduce crime in the City.  Through the Safe City Initiative residents are encouraged to look at their property and see how they can design out and reduce opportunities for crime. 

Below are some simple steps to change the environment and make properties safer for residents and their neighbourhoods:

  • Maintain your property – poorly maintained property may be more attractive to offenders
  • Front boundary fences should be visually permeable with an open style - your property should be clearly visible from the street.
  • Clearly define private ownership with structures and surface materials – use low fences, paths, shrubs and garden edging.
  • Where fencing is required for security, it should be no less than two metres in height.
  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible after it occurs to promote the perception of a well-cared for area – avoid blank walls and spaces which may be an invitation to graffiti vandals.
  • Avoid blind corners in pathways, stairways, corridors, hallways and car parks.
  • Trim trees and shrubs to eliminate hiding places.
  • Plant sharp or prickly plants to deter access to your property.
  • Avoid natural ladders - fences, trees and structures near buildings should be located and designed to make it difficult to climb and gain access to your property.
  • Install good lighting to illuminate front and rear entrances. Walk around your property at night and note where there is poor lighting and consider security or sensor lighting.
  • Consider installing closed circuit television where natural surveillance is poor within your property.
  • Secure all windows, particularly at street level. Ensure that security devices do not create a ‘fortress like’ appearance.
  • Join Gosnells District Neighbourhood Watch (GDNHW) and put up signage to advertise that you and your neighbours are looking out for each other.  Call GDNHW on 9493 3311.
  • Report suspicious behaviour and criminal activity when it is occurring directly to the Police on 131 444.

Crime prevention through environmental design - safety principles:

1. To reduce the isolation of people, houses, and areas, as this makes them vulnerable to crime.

2. To maximise visibility and surveillance. ‘Eyes on the street’ or ‘natural surveillance’ from passers-by and neighbours assists in making people feel safer and criminals feel exposed.  Natural surveillance should be the primary method towards crime prevention.

3. To make a clear distinction between private and public areas.  This involves reinforcing a sense of
ownership.  Where areas are doubtful, they are not ‘claimed’ and become the focus of anti-social
and criminal behaviour.  This is often unchallenged because of a lack of ownership.

4. To create balanced relationships in streets and public places so that pedestrians feel comfortable
and safe.  If more people are encouraged to walk, surveillance is increased.

Crime prevention through environmental design - safety objectives:

1. To reduce the opportunity for crime in the City of Gosnells, and reduce the fear of crime for

2. To reduce crime and not just displace it to other places in the City.

3. To consider the concerns of the most vulnerable groups in society.  These groups may fear crime more than others, therefore their concerns should be seen as a priority.

For more information please contact the Safe City Initiative on 9391 6022 or


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