Parking garage/parking lot security using CPTED principles

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Lawrence J. Fennelly, CPOI, CSSI, IFPO Past President, current board member
Marianna Perry, M.S., CPP, CPOI, IFPO Secretary/Treasurer

The theory of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design is based on one simple idea: that crime results partly from the opportunities presented by physical environment. This being the case, it should be possible to alter the physical environment so that crime is less likely to occur. — Ronald V. Clarke

When determining what security components are needed in a parking garage or parking lot (or any other facility), it pays to be proactive. Take into consideration what would be a “reasonable” level of security and base your security program on the recommendations from the vulnerability/physical security assessment recommendations of a security professional.

Take into consideration any previous criminal activity in the area, the neighborhood where the parking garage/parking lot is located, the design of the structure or layout of the lot, whether there is an attendant or security officers on-duty 24/7 and the initial and on-going operational costs of security. Both active and passive security measures should be used for an effective security program and don’t forget to practice target hardening.

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Many times, it is a challenge for planners to pick the right combination of security measures to provide the highest level of safety and security possible. An assessment conducted by a security professional can help with this process. It is more difficult and costly to retrofit security into an existing environment than to “build” security into the design of the parking garage or parking lot.

There are many elements that can go into a successful parking safety/security program, including up-graded access controls with auditing capabilities so access can be tracked or locked down, if necessary. Adequate lighting must be a part of any security program. Ensure that the type and placement of lighting in parking garages and parking lots is assessed so there are no dark shadows between cars where someone could hide. Lighting in elevator lobbies and stairwells of parking garages should be bright enough to provide facial recognition.

Painting the walls and ceilings in parking garages can increase lighting because the light will be reflected and the area will appear better lit. Security officer or law enforcement patrols with varied routes can be a visual deterrent. Landscaping and engineering adjustments utilizing CPTED concepts can be “built” into the design of the parking garage or parking lot. Parking garages and/or parking lots that are unkempt or rundown invite criminal activity. Sometimes, security equipment will need to be added or upgraded, but something as simple as upgrading maintenance can add to safety and security.

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By |2021-01-22T09:28:51-05:00January 22nd, 2021|About IFPO, News|Comments Off on Parking garage/parking lot security using CPTED principles

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