Reducing crime on housing developments

Birmingham City Council has become the first local authority to join a scheme run by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, to build-in crime prevention techniques into all its new social housing developments to help keep residents safe.

SBD’s UK-wide National Building Approval (NBA) scheme provides organisations and private building companies with an easy and cheap route to ensure their standard house and apartment building types achieve the security requirements contained in the building regulations.

SBD does this by taking on the tasks of checking those property types, and the companies in the supply chain, to ensure that products, such as windows and doors, meet SBD standards and are security compliant, thereby removing a significant administrative burden.

It means residents moving into Birmingham City Council’s new housing developments will benefit from crime prevention measures and techniques. These include products that can resist attack from casual burglars, and from landscaping, which has lots of natural surveillance to ensure strangers can be seen, and avoids hiding places like alleyways.

Research has found that homes built to SBD standards can reduce crimes like burglary by up to 87% compared to equivalent non-SBD developments – a figure that is sustainable each and every year. 

Birmingham City Council will additionally benefit from reduced repair, maintenance and replacement costs because SBD accredited products are stronger and will last longer. Less crime and anti-social behaviour also reduce demand on local police.

Reducing crime on housing developments - Police Article

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham City Council is proud to work with Secured by Design on this initiative that will give residents peace of mind in their homes. Through innovative design and planning, we can begin to future proof the safety of those who live and work across the city and, where possible, eliminate anti-social behaviour in local neighbourhoods.”

West Midlands Police, Designing Out Crime Officer, Gareth Pemberton, said: “This agreement will speed up and tie everyone into the process of reducing crime. It will ensure a high standard of security will be enjoyed by residents and local communities in the years ahead.”   

National lead for the SBD NBA, Michael Brooke, said: “Birmingham City Council will benefit from reduced crime and anti-social behaviour and achieve cost savings. This is all good for local authorities in tough financial times.”

SBD NBA has 27 member companies and organisations with a total of 9,960 buildings in the scheme using products that have been accredited by SBD. Member organisations include Barratt Homes, Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson (London), David Wilson Homes, Foreman Homes, Gleeson Homes, Knight Dragon Developments, London Square Developments, Quadrant Construction Services, Redrow Homes and Taylor Wimpey (North Thames).

 Photo from left: Gareth Pemberton, Designing Out Crime Officer, West Midlands Police; Guy Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer, Secured by Design; Birmingham City Council Leader Ian Ward; and Chief Supt Danny Long, who is Borough Commander, Birmingham West which includes the City Centre.

Secured by Design

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