Designing out crime

The concept of 'Designing out Crime' is nothing new.

West Yorkshire Police have been working with Local Authority planners, builders and architects for many years now, advising on 'Design principles' aimed at reducing crime and the fear of crime at the design stage within new developments and certain other buildings such as shopping centres, schools etc.

The design and layout of the built environment has an impact on Crime, the fear of crime and Community Safety. A number of strategies and documents from both the Government and Local Authorities seek to promote safe and secure design.

Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places a duty on local authorities to exercise their functions with due regard to likely effect on crime and disorder, and the need to do "all that the authority reasonably can" to prevent crime and disorder. "Crime and disorder" includes anti-social and other behaviour adversely affecting the local environment; and the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances.

Our Design Out Crime Officers (DOCO's) in each of the 5 districts are embedded in their local authorities playing a major part in the future of community safety within the Force area.

They are;

However it is not just large 'New Estates' that can benefit from the principles of Designing out Crime, everyone can play a part to make their homes and communities better.

West Yorkshire Police are committed to working with communities to ensure that wherever possible 'Design' opportunities are taken and security advice is given. To that end we have Crime Prevention Officers at each District and at Headquarters who have experience of Problem Solving and crime reduction and look at the principles of 'Crime Prevention through Environmental Design' in everything they do.



'Crime Prevention through Environmental Design' (CPtED) originated in the USA around 1960 and developed almost as a science from then. Growing interest in environmental criminology led to detailed studies of specific topics such as 'natural surveillance', 'access control' and 'territoriality.'

'Secured by Design' is the UK police flagship initiative which supports the principles of designing out crime. The initiative improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work, shop and visit. It was developed in 1989 following the housing boom of the 1960s - 1980s when there was a huge and urgent demand for housing and estates were built quickly and often cheaply without any basic security.

SBD (Secured by Design) were set up to combat the significant rise in Burglary at that time. Since that time over 1 million homes have been built to SBD specifications resulting in a burglary reduction of over 80%.

The 'Secured by Design' membership scheme includes member companies whose products have been awarded the 'Police Preferred Specification' status.

An SBD approved product gives the owner confidence in that it has gone through stringent security tests allowing Police and partners to recommend.



The Secured by Design logo and title 'Police Preferred Specification' indicates that a company or a product meets the high standards set by Secured by Design. Usage of the logo is restricted exclusively to those products that have successfully tested to 'Secured by Design' requirements.


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