SBD at work from Scotland to the South Coast of England
It may seem unremarkable to report that members of Kingdom Housing Association (KHA) met in Fife, Scotland, for their annual general meeting during September. But what made this meeting different to the many others they have had before was that KHA – a registered social landlord – was celebrating 20 years of building homes to standards of security set by Secured by Design (SBD), the UK police crime prevention initiative.
KHA has built 3,000 homes on more than 150 developments to SBD’s high standards to deter burglars, reduce crime and keep residents safe. These are homes which have been designed to incorporate natural surveillance and limit through-movement in the layout and landscaping to increase the likelihood of burglars being noticed and challenged. In addition, these homes benefit from increased physical security, such as external doors and accessible windows, which have been accredited by SBD to be sufficiently robust to resist physical attack by opportunist burglars.
But what made this meeting especially newsworthy was that Police announced research which showed that KHA’s SBD developments had benefited from 87% fewer crimes compared to properties not similarly designed and protected, underlining KHA’s mission statement to provide ‘more than a home’.
Stuart Ward, SBD National Designing Out Crime Manager, who has responsibilities for all 13 Divisions of Police Scotland, said: “These results highlight the benefits of building to SBD security standards.”
Bill Banks, Group Chief Executive, Kingdom Housing Association, commented: “I feel all developers, and providers of new housing projects should be adopting the SBD standards of increased safety and security to enhance the well-being of residents in their respective developments.”
Taking a look at SBD developments around the UK
SBD-trained police officers and staff, called Designing Out Crime Officers, based in Police Forces, work with developers, architects and local authority planners all over the UK to design out crime, preferably at the planning stage. Over recent years, tens of thousands of homes have been designed and built to SBD’s crime prevention standards, which can also be applied to other building sectors too, including commercial, health, education, transport, leisure and many others. Here’s what’s happening at some of our other sites:
Isle of Skye
In Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye, SBD presented an award to Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association for their development at Pat Gordon Place. The award was an SBD Gold Award recognising that SBD crime prevention standards had been achieved in the built environment and the physical security of buildings. Lynda Allan, Police Scotland’s Inspector on Skye, said complying with SBD standards would ensure “long term security and safety.”
A 150-home SBD development on former grounds of the adjoining St John’s Senior School, Epping, included SBD principles, not only into the homes, such as CCTV, but also in the landscaping and green spaces, to increase visibility particularly around a public path through the homes to the school. Paul Gardener, Community Safety Officer with Epping Forest District Council, said he had not received a single report of any criminal or anti-social behaviour from the development since it was completed in 2016.
Bournemouth Borough Council’s social housing development at Cheshire Drive was recognised with an SBD Gold Award presented by designing out crime specialist, John Green, of Dorset Police. Bournemouth City Council require all their new homes to reach SBD standards of physical security but in this development, the developers Jones Building Group, incorporated SBD techniques into the built environment too. Their Construction Manager, Martin Higgins, explained: “We always look to have a level of security built into our projects and in this case it was required, but the team went the extra mile to work with Police to achieve the highest standard for residents.”
SBD is working with the University of Cambridge to influence the security design of the University’s new North West Cambridge Development adjacent to the M11 and close to the City of Cambridge. When complete it will provide a mixed academic and urban community with homes for around 8,500 people with 1,500 homes for university staff, accommodation for 2,000 post graduate students and 1,500 private houses for sale. SBD Development Officer, Doug Skins, said: “This is very much an ongoing partnership between SBD, the University and the companies involved to create this exciting new district.”
St Bart’s, City of London
SBD is working closely with developers on the largest residential development in the Square Mile on the site of the former St Bart’s Hospital, the oldest hospital in the country, which dates back to 1123. The first tranche of 236 apartments became available in September 2017 with the remaining apartments due to be completed in 2019. Sitting within the City of London Conservation Area, it involved recycling original bricks, refreshing ornate metalwork and replacing timber windows with the latest sash and casement products.
Elephant & Castle, Central London
Global developer Lendlease has taken SBD crime prevention guidance on board at its 3,000 home regeneration Elephant Park. SBD Development Officer Lyn Poole explained that SBD was involved at the design stage to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
Ed Mayes, Lendlease Development Director, Elephant Park, explained: “Getting SBD involved from the outset has been critical to the success of Elephant Park, ensuring the masterplan layouts are inherently safe and will provide great secure streets and public spaces as well as homes for our customers.
“Having those officers involved in the design teams from the early stages avoided abortive work and ensured we were reducing our costs and, more importantly, it will leave a legacy which is truly safe for years to come.”
And back to Scotland: Dumbarton
Two co-located primary schools on the £9.3 million Bellsmyre Education Campus, which were built to SBD crime prevention standards, have not received any reports of crime like theft or anti-social behaviour, such as graffiti or vandalism, since they were opened in November 2016. The site features high, climb resistant barriers, fencing and gating supported by CCTV and motion sensors to trigger alerts. There is an absence of external door handles with many doors opening using a push bar from the inside. The sweeping steps at the front of the building lead into main reception, which is shared by both schools, with further access limited through secure doors into either school. Police Inspector Scott Carlin commented: “The building is welcoming, safe and secure and will save money through reduced graffiti removal and repairs.”
Secured by Design works
SBD seeks to achieve sustainable reductions in crime through design and other approaches to enable people to live in a safer society. Less crime frees up police and council resources to focus on other more pressing priorities and with police accredited products means they last longer and require less maintenance and replacement.