Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

The difference between a hard target and victim is in the design.

You heard the expressions in the media lately; “hard target”, and “soft target”.

The reference is to the level of ease it is to commit a crime against that entity.

 

Soft Targets Are Misleading

Soft targets do nothing, but hard targets design their business with crime in mind. Some of these deterrents are visible, while others take the environment into consideration.

It doesn’t have to cost much, it just takes thought in the design to use what you already have to keep criminals moving on from your location.

An example of this would be to design a store with a huge stone in the front door that looks like it is there for aesthetics purpose, but in reality, it is there to keep somebody from driving a pick-up truck through your doors and robbing you. “Ram raiders” look for unobstructed glass.

 

Here’s What To Consider

When considering the design of your store, take into consideration things such as trees, and shrubbery. It might look nice, but does it actually provide cover for a criminal while they try to break in? Does it contribute to your vulnerability?

 

It’s In The Detail

In this photo, you will notice a small cedar on the corner of the business. While it looks great now, in several years this tree will be a perfect hiding spot for a criminal to break in and steal whatever they want (hardware, or intellectual property from the business).

 

Data Source: Bottom Line Matters. 2018

If not carefully considered your freshly planted tree places strategically could look like this real fast…

Data Source: Bottom Line Matters. 2018

A criminal’s dream!

A typical store will use a combination of environmental design, security cameras, fixture layout, and forced traffic flow through the store to assist in their journey to become a hard target.

The Bottom Line is this – It doesn’t have to cost much, it just takes thought in the design to use what you already have to keep criminals moving on from your location.

Hello, I'm Stephen O'Keefe. The information you read here is intended to help businesses answer some of the tough questions about everyday events in the retail environment. After spending over 3 decades in this industry we've seen a lot!
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Stephen O'Keefe

About Stephen O'Keefe

As an independent consultant I leverage my experience and knowledge to help a number of companies achieve results. Clients range from non-retailers looking for guidance to serve their retail customer, to retailers looking for quick solutions to unique and costly problems, right to the Industry Association. Bottom line Matters!

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