For assistance with scheduling a security survey or any questions regarding this information or the Trespass Authorization Form, please contact the APD Community Engagement Unit at or call 828-271-6145.


Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

This guidebook provides information surrounding the concept of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. This book will present the principles of CPTED so that they may be utilized in the stages of planning and design of property development and re-development, as well as minor projects such as retrofitting a residence or business.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Guidebook

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Self Assessment Checklist – This checklist should be completed prior to requesting a security survey from Asheville Police Department and is complimentary to the above-linked CPTED guidebook.

Common Crimes Associated with Business and Commercial Properties

  • Breaking and Entering
    • Often occurs multiple times in a similar time period in multiple locations.
    • Offenders are often apprehended after multiple break-ins.
    • Offenders are often locals who frequent the immediate area.
    • Physical building security, lighting, and quality cameras help deter/solve these crimes.


  • Vandalism and Graffiti
    • Can be graffiti or damage to property.
    • Can be costly to the business owner.
    • Dirty, damaged, and unkempt properties can attract more crime.
    • Take pictures and file police reports for graffiti; this can help in solving future and past crimes.


  • Theft and Larceny
    • Provide good customer service face to face– criminals want to remain anonymous, and interacting with them takes that away.
    • Be mindful of not placing expensive or easy-to-grab merchandise near a doorway or open window, and move things away from this area when the store is closed.
    • Be vigilant of people and situations: baggy clothes or jackets when it is warm or people walking around with empty bags.
    • Share information about suspects with other businesses in the area and the police.


  • Assaults
    • Sometimes occurs when a suspect is stealing items.
    • This can occur when employees are walking to and from business.
    • Have good situational awareness: watch what is going on around you, walk in groups, and look outside/inside your store before entering/leaving.


  • Robberies
    • Are infrequent, dangerous, and traumatic.
    • The primary focus is to get them out of your business fast.
    • Do not confront them; your stuff is replaceable; YOU are not.
    • Observe and provide as much detail as possible when reporting to the police.



Steps to Prevent and Reduce Crime

  • Lighting
    • Well-lit areas deter offenders.
    • Provides a sense of safety and security.
    • Enables a good line of sight for police and cameras.


  • Doors, Windows, and Locks
    • Security film or bars for glass doors and windows.
    • Deadbolts or multi-lock deadbolts.
    • Keypads are great; use metal ones that are installed properly. Touchpads can leave indications of the numbers used to enter (by wear or smudges on clean, smooth keypads). Be sure to clean or regularly maintain the keypad to avoid giving clues to the entry code.
    • Magnetic locks can be forced open; consider secondary locks.
    • Utilize window locks. Consider bars on windows in less visible areas.
    • Reinforce doors and windows to reduce lag to make them harder to force open.


  • Cameras
    • A camera is only as good as the quality of its images.
    • Consider placement and how lighting enhances or impedes them.
    • Doorbell cameras can also be a good option.


  • Alarm Systems
    • Offer many benefits and can be a deterrent.
    • Keep your list of keyholders up to date with your alarm system to ensure efficient and comprehensive police assistance. Police can be limited in their response on the scene if they are unable to get someone with a key to let them inside.


  • Interior Prevention
    • Cash registers: remove all cash, leave open, and leave illuminated.
    • Safes: use a high-quality safe properly secured in some manner to the actual building or ground.
    • Merchandise: be conscious of what items you place where keep high-value items away from the entrance/exit, and move items away from doors/windows when closed.


  • Business Watch
    • Participate in or create an area Business Watch to facilitate information sharing between businesses and police.
      • This can aid in identifying offenders and sharing solutions.
      • Meet on a regular basis to brainstorm problems, share information and discuss crime trends.
      • Invite law enforcement to aid in the sharing of information and to help solve cases.


Contact Information

APD Community Engagement Division

Asheville Police Department