CPTED without RTM is like playing darts blindfolded.
Psychologists have revealed that physical landscapes consciously and unconsciously influence human behaviors. So a good way to change undesired outcomes is to alter the environment [1, 2]. A meta-analysis performed on crime intervention programs  found that decreases in crime were related to modified environments where offenders operated.
Altering the physical design of landscapes is a main goal of 'Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design' (CPTED). CPTED is a multidisciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior that focuses on interactions of people at places and how these places look and feel.
But what specifically about environments should be altered to prevent different types of crime? High-crime areas should receive priority for CPTED interventions. But what makes these areas problematic? Do some co-located features of the landscape interact to aggravate crime risks? Why are some places so attractive and suitable for crime?
Spatial analysis tools such as risk terrain modeling (RTM) diagnose environmental conditions that lead to crime. RTM identifies attractors and generators that create behavior settings for the emergence and persistence of crime. It helps allocate resources and guide CPTED activities at crime hot spots.
CPTED without RTM is like playing darts blindfolded. Know where to aim! RTM before CPTED helps target interventions on the most important environmental factors. It gets the right resources to the places that need them most. This results in the most impactful crime prevention programming.
CPTED works well. RTM does too. They're great together!
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1. Louiselli, J. K., & Cameron, M. J. (Eds.). (1998). Antecedent control: Innovative approaches to behavioral support. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.
2. Kennedy, L. W., & Forde, D. R. (1998). When push comes to shove: A routine conflict approach to violence. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
3. Braga, A. A., & Weisburd, D. (2010). Policing problem places: Crime hot spots and effective prevention. Oxford: Oxford University Press.