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Secured by Design: An Investigation of Its History, Development and Future Role in Crime Reduction

NCJ Number
Rachel Armitage
Date Published
299 pages
This thesis examines the past history, current practice, and potential improvements in Great Britain's Secured by Design (SBD) program, which is an award scheme designed to encourage house developers to design houses so as to minimize the crime opportunities they present.
The SBD scheme is managed by the Association of Chief Police Officers and supported by the Home Office. The implementation of SBD requires the cooperation of a variety of agencies, from police and local authorities to architects and housing developers. The findings of this study show that properties built to the SBD standard experience lower levels of crime than non-SBD estates matched according to age, housing tenure, location, and environmental factors. Residents of SBD housing also have less fear of crime. Although the difference in crime rates between SBD and non-SBD housing is not strongly statistically significant, the improved performance of the scheme suggests that a more recent sample would show a stronger link between SBD status and crime levels. The study recommends ways to improve the SBD program. These include ensuring that the scheme implements its own principles, incorporating repeat victimization packages into its standards, and considering the threat to revoke the scheme for estates that fail to maintain the SBD standards. Levers that can encourage social and private-sector developers to build to the SBD standards include increased funding from the Housing Corporation, the appeal of additional security for homebuyers, and the savings. This study presents a risk assessment mechanism to be used by crime-reduction practitioners as a means of identifying which properties will become vulnerable to crime if built, which would allow them to challenge planning applications. In the case of properties already developed, the risk assessment would allow resources to be directed toward properties most vulnerable to crime. 84 tables, 38 figures, approximately 200 references, and appended current SBD standards and study instruments