Many of the 4,000 new homes being built close to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus have been signed off as incorporating proven crime prevention techniques set by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative. So what does it do and how has the success been achieved?
What is Secured by Design (SBD)?
We are the national police crime prevention initiative which seeks to ‘design out crime’ by bringing together police, architects, developers and local authority planners at the outset before building commences.
How are the police involved?
SBD has a network of around 200 SBD trained officers and staff in Police Forces around the UK. Some of these Designing Out Crime Officers are based in police stations whilst some are embedded with local authority planning or community safety teams.
What does this partnership working actually mean in practice?
Designing Out Crime Officers will meet frequently with all interested parties at the planning stage through to construction to incorporate SBD crime prevention techniques into the layout and landscaping of new build developments and refurbishments, and into the physical security of buildings.
Give us an example of what you have done?
More than 1,800 of the 4,000 homes being built near the expanding Cambridge Biomedical Campus, which seeks to become a world-class centre of clinical care, teaching and research centred around Addenbrooke’s Hospital, have been built so far to SBD crime prevention standards. Although some of the private properties are being purchased by families of the academic, health and scientific staff who work at the Campus, the development includes a mix of property types, including social housing with accommodation available to rent through housing associations.
Designing Out Crime Officers, who work at Cambridgeshire Constabulary HQ at Huntingdon, have been working with a number of developers involved in the build to incorporate natural surveillance, such as homes having unrestricted views into the street; the avoidance of excessive through movement to limit escape routes and hiding places; and the creation of defensible space, such as boundaries being protected with railings at the front and high fencing at the rear of properties. SBD techniques also include the security of buildings through the use of doors, windows and locks that meet SBD’s Police Preferred Specification standard to ensure they are sufficiently robust to resist physical attack by opportunistic burglars.
Designing Out Crime Officers have so far signed off 1,274 homes on ten developments in areas known as Great Kneighton and Clay Farm, and a further 600 homes on nine development phases to date at nearby Trumpington Meadows.
What difference has this made to crime in the area?
Over the last five years of development, there has only been one substantive burglary, which involved a brick being thrown through a rear patio door window. There have been five attempts to gain forced entry through garages but all failed. There has been one report of a burglary from an insecure shed. Dave Griffin, Designing Out Crime Officer, Cambridge, said these results show the importance of embedding crime prevention techniques into new homes. “We want families to benefit from secure homes and safe communities. The constabulary is determined to tackle burglary.”
What does the local Police and Crime Commissioner have to say about this?
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, Jason Ablewhite, added: “I am pleased to see the Constabulary’s Designing Out Crime Officers have been able to work with the building firms involved to ensure residents feel safe in their homes. At a time of high demand for the Police Service, techniques such as this are great examples of how partnership working can help prevent crime. I hope to see more new builds benefit from this initiative.”
Secured by Design
Our aim is to achieve sustainable reductions in crime through design and other approaches to enable people to live in a safer society.
Tel: 0203 8623 999
Email: [email protected]