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Dutch Police Label Secure Housing a Successful Approach

NCJ Number
Internal Security Volume: 2 Issue: 1 Dated: 2010 Pages: 147-162
Armando Jongejan
Date Published
16 pages
This article discusses the use of environmental design guidelines by police authorities in the Netherlands to reduce crime.
The Dutch Police Label Secure Housing (since 1994) is a part of a broader policy called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Designing Out Crime (DOC). The police label has reduced crime through the application of CPTED principles and by ensuring that the shell of the dwellings can stand up to criminal attack for a contact time of at least for 3 minutes. The label has been so successful that many local planning authorities in the Netherlands have adopted the Police Label Secure Housing into their planning policy guidelines. This label enables police officers to structure negotiations on safety and security with the various players involved in the maintenance of existing houses/dwellings, estates, environments and neighborhoods. The police label has, of course, developed a great deal further since 1994 and the first evaluation of the scheme in 1998. Much of the design guidelines have since been updated to allow for greater flexibility and interpretation. The guidelines were written in a form that could be equally understood by the town planner, the architect and the police officer. The risk of dwellings developed and certified by the Dutch 'Police Label Secure Housing' being burgled has dropped by a spectacular 98 percent! (Published Abstract)