CPTED In Operations

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) has long been considered a guiding security principal in the design of facilities, including healthcare facilities. I suggest that the application of CPTED principals should not stop with the design and construction of a facility. It should be a way of life. The CPTED territorialism concept is about creating a clear delineation of space and separates your space from non-legitimate users. Furthermore, CPTED considers activity support a principal concept; placing activity where individuals become part of the natural surveillance.

I believe CPTED concepts can carry into operations at work. As a security director, I had the opportunity to provide a short presentation to new employees at the new employee orientation. After the usual reminders about wearing their ID badge and other housekeeping items, I recruited my new staff as a force multiplier. I explained to them that we were blessed with sufficient security staff, but that I could always use more eyes and ears on the floors.

I tried to instill the territorialism and activity support concepts in workspace. I provided an analogy about how they should consider their work area. I suggested that it should be the same as their home. I asked them to think about a party they might throw. Perhaps a nice large summer barbeque. They have opened the yard to everyone, and the same with the house. People are mingling, inside and out. While you are in the house, you notice that someone is looking into the bedrooms, perhaps even entering them. What would you do? Most people said that they would confront or have someone confront that person.  Would you do that at work?

This was my way of asking my staff to treat their work area as if it were their home. At work it might be a person without a visitors’ badge. I would suggest to them that if they did not feel comfortable confronting a person, they could always contact security to do that.

What are your ideas or methods of enlisting the staff to report anomalies or unusual activity? Do you get pushback from staff? How do you handle that?

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