Policy 7.3 Designing out crime



A  Boroughs and others should seek to create safe, secure and appropriately accessible environments where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime do not undermine quality of life or community cohesion.

Planning decisions

B  Development should reduce the opportunities for criminal behaviour and contribute to a sense of security without being overbearing or intimidating. In particular:

a  routes and spaces should be legible and well maintained, providing for convenient movement without compromising security

b  there should be a clear indication of whether a space is private, semi-public or public, with natural surveillance of publicly accessible spaces from buildings at their lower floors

c  design should encourage a level of human activity that is appropriate to the location, incorporating a mix of uses where appropriate, to maximize activity throughout the day and night, creating a reduced risk of crime and a sense of safety at all times

d  places should be designed to promote an appropriate sense of ownership over communal spaces

e  places, buildings and structures should incorporate appropriately designed security features

f  schemes should be designed to minimise on-going management and future maintenance costs of the particular safety and security measures proposed

The above measures should be incorporated at the design stage to ensure that overall design quality is not compromised.

Supporting text

7.10  Measures to design out crime should be integral to development proposals and be considered early in the design process, taking into account the principles contained in Government guidance on ‘Safer Places’[1] and other guidance such as Secured by Design’[2] published by the Police. Development should reduce the opportunities for criminal and anti-social behaviour and contribute to a sense of security without being overbearing or intimidating. Places and buildings should incorporate well-designed security features as appropriate to their location and use, which maximise the security of people and property without compromising the quality of the local environment. All spaces should have clear ownership and be managed in a way that states that the space is cared for. Future maintenance of the space or building should be considered at the design stage.

7.11  Buildings and spaces should be designed in a way that clearly defines whether they are public, semi-public or private, and provides opportunities for activity and passive surveillance of publicly accessible spaces from ground and lower floors of buildings.  Pedestrian, cycle and vehicular routes should be well defined, and limit opportunities for concealment.

7.12  An integrated mix of land uses throughout a neighbourhood will add to its vitality and security but should be carefully designed to minimise conflict between incompatible activities. Day time and night time uses should be incorporated into development where appropriate to ensure that public spaces are active and overlooked.

[1] Office for the Deputy Prime Minster (ODPM), Safer Places: the Planning System and Crime Prevention, Thomas Telford Ltd, April 2004 (or any subsequent replacement guidance)

[2] Association of Chief Police Officers Project and Design Group, Secure By Design, 2004

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