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The four interrelated concepts include:

  1. Natural Surveillance
  2. Natural Access Control
  3. Territorial Reinforcement
  4. Maintenance – Allows for the continued use of a space for its intended purpose. It also serves as an additional expression of ownership.
Uncut grass and weeds make a home or area look like it is not inhabited. It sends a message to criminals that no one cares and may be inviting to criminals.





Left, overgrown landscaping and other Maintenance issues send messages to criminals that there may be an opportunity to victimize this property.
Right, after volunteers provide Maintenance to the same property pictured above, there is no place to hide, and the home becomes an asset to the neighborhood. The new shrubs will mature eventually, but have a growth habit that will not exceed 2 to 3 feet. Some people think that CPTED means minimalist landscaping. It does not. It encourages plants with a natural growth habit that will not interfere with CPTED principles.




Left, business owners that Maintain their property make it inviting to potential customers. A manicured landscape, a clean and repaired building, proper lighting, and absence of trash will help to make potential customers feel safe, and thus make it likely that they will shop there as long as the property remains properly maintained. This property also illustrates other CPTED key concepts. Which ones do you think they use?

Design Strategies for Maintenance:

  • Use low maintenance or maintenance-free building products in your construction.
  • Use low maintenance or maintenance-free plants and shrubbery in your landscape design. Consider low maintenance ground covers instead of high-maintenance expanses of grass or lawns.
  • Use landscaping that has a natural growth habit to meet these standards when located along building entrances, walkways, or in parking lots.
    • Shrubs – Choose shrubs that grow to a maximum height of 2 to 3 feet
    • Trees – Choose trees that grow a canopy that is raised up from the ground a minimum of 4 feet.
  • Trim shrubs and trees regularly. Keep grass cut and eliminate weeds.
  • Consider using long life bulbs for home applications to minimize frequently burned out exterior lighting.
  • Install dusk to dawn sensors on lighting fixtures. Remember: lighting is the least expensive crime prevention method.
  • Remove inoperable vehicles, trash, and debris regularly. Check to see what services the County offers by visiting the Community Revitalization web page.

Contact Us


7721 E. Parham Rd.
Henrico, VA 23294

Police Non-Emergency
(804) 501-5000
General Information
(804) 501-4800

[email protected]

Mailing Address
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775

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