Community safety is one of the factors that is addressed in most types of development.

Development Codes

All the Development Codes of the Territory Plan contain objectives, rules and criteria important to producing safer environments. The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) General Code of the Territory Plan provides more explicit direction to ensure that issues of community safety are adequately addressed in decision-making for land use and development activities.

The CPTED General Code applies to most types of development. The only developments to which the Code does not apply are proposals for single dwellings and development in rural and broadacre zones.

Principles of crime prevention

The CPTED General Code is based on four key principles as follows:

  • natural surveillance – this is intended to limit the opportunity for crime by designing spaces and buildings that foster human activity and interaction as well as overlooking of the environment;
  • natural access – this is the “channelling” of the movement of people in the environment either to encourage them into spaces to increase activity and hence increase natural surveillance, or to discourage people from entering areas where it is generally inappropriate for pedestrian movement;
  • territorial reinforcement – this requires a sense of place and amenity to be established; if people feel a pride of ownership, then there is greater propensity to take care of the environment and look after those in the community; and
  • target hardening – this is where the property owner or occupier seeks to deter criminal activity by making it as difficult as practicable to steal or vandalise property or buildings.

More detailed explanations are provided in the CPTED General Code.


The ACT Crime Prevention and Urban Design Resource Manual (PDF 504KB) provides additional background material.

Other websites that may be of interest are: