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DOC-Gram - Design Out Crime and CPTED News - 15 Feb 2021

DOC-Gram - Design Out Crime and CPTED News - 15 Feb 2021

DOC-Gram Newsletter

New Directions in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), Design Out Crime and cyber-CPTED

Welcome to Doc-Gram! For the latest information on Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Designing Out Crime plus Cyber-CPTED (CPTED + cyber-security).



1. Cyber-CPTED - Doorbell security cameras easily hackable by criminals


2. CPTED to prevent Modern Slavery


3. CPTED Crime Risk Assessments - when to redo them?


4. CPTED and Designing Out Crime resources



Doorbell cameras are easily hacked by criminals

Researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology recently demonstrated how criminals find it easy it is to hack wireless doorbell cameras.


Why is this important?

The most immediate value to a criminal in hacking your doorbell camera is it tells them when you are out.


It also tells them your routine activities (including those of your neighbours) enabling them better to plan burglary and thefts.


In some cases, hacking doorbell cameras enables deeper access into your personal life allowing criminals and voyeurs to spy via any networked cameras inside your home.


Worse, it provides predators, stalkers and the like with deep insights into their victims' behaviours and the limits of their protection.


Attackers can use the vulnerabilities to control (download, add and delete) video from the devices.


This presents additional issues in relation to the increasing tendency to use camera 'evidence' in court both for and against plaintiffs. The ability for third-parties to modify the evidence significantly reduces the value of doorbell and other cameras for litigation and criminal forensics.


This is a classic example of what I have called Cyber-CPTED.


Cyber -CPTED is a new kind of crime prevention approach. It is needed to go beyond the limitations of conventional cyber-security and CPTED to address new forms of crime enabled by combinations of digital and physical environments .



The research was undertaken by Terrence O'Connor, an associate computer science professor at FIT, and his graduate student, Daniel Campos. They found vulnerabilities in seven models of smart cameras and doorbells commonly sold on Amazon and similar retailers. Their work was reported in:



CPTED to prevent Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is a term used to describe exploitation and can include:


  • Human trafficking
  • Slavery
  • Servitude
  • Forced labour
  • Debt bondage
  • Forced marriage
  • Sexual exploitation of the vulnerable
  • Child labour
  • Sexual favours to obtain work
  • Wage theft from the vulnerable


Modern slavery can occur in every industry and sector and has severe consequences for victims.


The Australian Institute of Criminology estimates there were up to 1900 cases of human trafficking and direct slavery in 2016-17. However, this excludes those large numbers of victims involved in the many other categories of modern slavery in Australia.Such as labour exploitation in the horticultural industry in regional Australia, particularly by labour hire companies (see 2017 Parliamentary Inquiry into Modern Slavery).


Previous strategies

Strategies to control Modern Slavery have primarily focused on:

  • Guidance to identify individuals subject to Modern Slavery
  • Pressure on large enterprises to ensure their supply chains are free of Modern Slavery
  • Reporting requirements for very large enterprises
  • Policing of organised crime syndicates
  • Academic research aimed at revealing the scale and individual experiences of Modern Slavery


For example, entities have a responsibility to respect human rights in their operations and supply chains, as outlined in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In Australia,  the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018 of January 2019 established a national Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement.


These prior strategies focus only on the very large-scale international organisational structures (large enterprises and organised crime syndicates) and the smallest human scale (individuals subject to Modern Slavery).


CPTED strategies to control Modern Slavery

Missing from the above are control strategies in the broad middle ground of local government areas in which a large proportion of Modern Slavery occurs. It is this area that local government and crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) strategies can be effective.


Additionally, most previous strategies are targeted to addressing problems AFTER the crime has been committed. They are not crime prevention.


Lacking are strategies for discouraging or preventing Modern Slavery at a local-scale in urban, peri-urban and rural environments, where it occurs most frequently. 


This is the scale of local government, planning, local courts, community safety, local policing, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).


CPTED thinking to reduce Modern Slavery

Using CPTED at the local government scale changes the focus to situations and locations in the local environment.


CPTED offers a direct approach to addressing Modern Slavery based on answers to three questions:


  • Which types of location where modern slavery occurs most commonly?
  • Which kinds of businesses where Modern Slavery is most commonly found?
  • Which CPTED approaches will discourage modern slavery in these environments.


These enable targeted CPTED responses to the hot-spots of high-risk Modern Slavery locations in any local government territory.


Multiple CPTED strategies can be used  to discourage expose and restrict instances of Modern Slavery, including:


  • Natural and Formal Surveillance
  • Natural access control (particularly in relation to documentation)
  • Territoriality (the ability for workers to manage their lives)
  • Image and maintenance - e.g. in accommodation and public spaces for farm workers
  • Geographic juxtaposition analysis (review of locations close to or likely to be influenced by other high risk Modern Slavery environments
  • Activity Support
  • Routine Behaviour analysis
  • Cyber-CPTED strategies - focus on review of electronic records and systems that identify Modern Slavery indications


For example, one of the key reasons for the prevalence of Modern Slavery in certain locations is lack of surveillance of any sort. CPTED approaches can increase natural surveillance in high-risk environments by a variety of means.


Moving forward using CPTED to reduce Modern Slavery

Please contact us if you wish to use our support in using CPTED and related methods to address Modern Slavery.

Additional Resources


CPTED Crime Risk Assessments - When to redo them?


Crime Risk Assessments (CRAs) are a key component of CPTED and Community Safety and Security planning.

They are a snapshot of the crime risks and crime risk factors at a location at a particular point in time.


However, changes to the environment alter crime risks over time.


This can be significant. Research indicates that, in cities such as Sydney, construction can be delayed by several years. Around 30% of developments for which CRAs had been prepared as part of Development Approval (DA) had not been built 5 years later (


When should you redo a Crime Risk Assessment?

Crime risks and the factors that influence crime change over time.

Obvious indicators of the need to redo a Crime Risk Assessment for a Development Approval (DA) include:

  • The development is redesigned and a revised DA is submitted
  • Local environments become more developed
  • There is a change of land use(s)
  • Significant changes in routine activities and movements in and around the location
  • Criminal behaviour changes
  • Crime prevention methods and crime methods change
  • Significant changes in crime targets
  • Changes to the culture of the location and/or nearby environment (e.g. gentrification)
  • Crime influences nearby change
  • Technologies change in such a way as to change crime risks
  • Changes to local and nearby demographics
  • Changes to laws and governance
  • Changes to the broader built environment
  • Changes in the availability of crime statistics


 All of the above changes (and more) are likely to result in a new Crime Risk Assessment differing significantly from previous.


This in turn, is likely to affect CPTED analyses appropriate to a Development Application and the reduction in crime in a location.


Crime Risk Assessment guidance

As ICA qualified CPTED Professionals, we are happy to offer guidance on whether it is appropriate to redo or revise a Crime Risk Assessment and CPTED strategy in light of any of the above changes.

Free CPTED Resources

We provide a large number of free CPTED and CyberCPTED resources on the Design Out Crime and CPTED Centre website at:


We also provide a large number of CPTED articles via


These free resources are added to each time we undertake research for a project.


CPTED Training and CPTED reviews and advice

For CPTED and CyberCPTED training, CPTED reviews for development applications and CPTED and cyberCPTED advice, please see: or contact me directly.


Dr Terence Love
CEO, Design Out Crime and CPTED Centre
+61 (0)434975848