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Secured by Design
Secured by Design
Keywords: Secured by Design, Crime, Residential
Research has shown that the police's Secured by Design (SBD) scheme in public-sector housing has reduced both the fear and the incidence of crime.
SBD is a police initiative in which officers inspect building designs and recommend actions to prevent crime. If these are implemented the building project is awarded the police SBD logo. There are design criteria for new-build housing, refurbishments and multi-storey housing.
A recent study (by BRE's Risk Assessment Centre with support from DETR, various police forces and the Building Research Housing Group) examined SBD's success in reducing crime and the fear of crime, and in improving residents' quality of life.
Ten different housing estates from across the country, representing a range of different social housing types, were selected for investigation. Nine of these were either refurbishments or new build on brownfield sites, so a good proportion of the residents questioned had either lived there before modernisation or knew of the area's reputation. This made it possible to compare the experiences of residents before and after SBD.
Data were obtained from questionnaires completed by the residents and from focus groups of residents, local management teams and police. The results clearly showed that SBD had reduced the perceived levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, the biggest reduction being burglary and vehicle crime. These findings were supported by residents' actual experience of crime and, where available, police figures. The results also showed a considerable increase in the numbers of residents satisfied with their homes.
The study was also able to recommend improvements to SBD, based on residents' concerns. These included the need to concentrate on improving street lighting, controlling and reducing access through streets and making streets appear more private. SBD criteria should be developed for social policing and providing facilities for youth, and for providing advice on housing management of tenants including vetting prospective tenants and evicting anti-social/criminal tenants.
A full report of this work, Evaluation of Secured by Design in Public Sector Housing (ref BR 381), is available from CRC Ltd, 151 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB. Tel: 0171 505 6622; Fax: 0171 505 6606; E-mail: email@example.com