Update Your Yard With CPTED

May 19, 2022

How Your Landscaping Can Prevent Crime

With the weather finally improving, you may want to tackle those landscaping projects. Your landscape can do a lot more than just improve the looks of your home; as you are updating your yard for spring, consider integrating CPTED into the design.

CPTED stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Essentially, you are creating an environment around your home that would deter criminals and where you can feel safer. You can take crime prevention into your own hands, and it can be as simple as planting a bush or installing an outdoor light.

Here are some landscaping suggestions that you might consider in your yard to prevent crime in your rural community.

Keep bushes and hedges under three feet.

By trimming your bushes and hedges, you can increase the visibility of your property. Lower shrubbery can improve the chances of spotting something out of the ordinary in your yard. It also allows neighbours and pedestrians to take note of any suspicious activity for you.

As well, if your plants are shorter, it reduces the places for criminals to hide.

Plant thorny greenery.

Trekking through a bush full of thorns isn’t pleasant, and criminals know that too. So, consider planting thorny greenery underneath your windows when updating your yard.

Include plants like:

  • Cherry Prinsepias
  • Barberries
  • Roses
  • Succulents
  • Mugo Pine

These prickly plants will help deter criminals from breaking into your home through your windows.

Add gravel to your landscape.

When you step on gravel, it makes more noise than if you were walking on grass or soil. Therefore, as a part of CPTED, a suggestion would be to cover the ground near your windows with rocks. The loud crunch of intruders stepping on gravel is a deterrent for a burglar.

Create barriers.

Physical and symbolic barriers serve the same purpose—to inform an individual entering your property that they are passing into a private space. Using landscaping like plants, pavement designs and gateways, and “CPTED” approved fences, you can create barriers to your property.

Add lighting.

It is easier for criminals to remain unseen when there is little to no light in a yard. Lighting also helps make you feel more comfortable walking to and from your home at night.

Adding new and decorative lighting to your yard can highlight paths and extend your surveillance potential, making you feel more secure. You can also light up dark corners with motion-activated lights.

Essentially, there are two main reasons behind implementing lighting when it comes to security.

Natural Surveillance – Using lights to see and be seen.

Natural Access Control – Lighting helps identify perimeters and entrances, paths, and parking areas. When you improve the lighting near these points, you will be able to identify visitors.

Keep up your yard’s appearance.

Whether you love it or hate it, keeping your yard maintained and making repairs helps create the impression that your residence is frequently occupied; this makes your property a poor choice for someone looking to break in.

Use signage as a deterrent.

Signage, such as those from Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch, can help deter criminals from entering your rural property. Signage indicates that your property either has some form of surveillance or security in place. If your home or property is being monitored, it would be easy for a criminal to be caught.


Creating a safe environment doesn’t always come with hi-tech security systems. Actually, there are many ways you can use your environment to keep your rural property safe and deter criminals. You can do just that by integrating some CPTED practices into your spring yard update.

So whether you consider adding certain plants, lighting or simply sprucing up your yard, you can implement some of these tactics to keep your home and family safe.


© 2022 Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association | | Privacy Policy | Website by EDGE Marketing & Design Inc.