Council to build crime prevention into housing developments
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Birmingham City Council has become the first local authority to join a police initiative that will build crime prevention techniques into all its new social housing developments.
Secured by Design’s (SBD) UK-wide National Building Approval (NBA) scheme promises to make it simpler and cheaper for organisations and private building companies to achieve the security requirements contained in the Building Regulations for standard building types, such as houses and apartments.
It checks the properties and the companies within the supply chain involved in their construction to ensure that building products used meet SBD standards.
These include robust doors, windows and locks that can resist attack from casual burglars. SBD also looks to help design out areas like alleyways that could serve as possible hiding places.
Once SBD is satisfied its standards have been met, a certificate is issued which is evidence of compliance for security with the Building Regulations.
Existing member companies include major housebuilders like Barratt Homes, Berkeley Homes, Bovis Homes, Crest Nicholson, Gleeson, Redrow, and Taylor Wimpey.
SBD claims that research has found that homes built to its standards can reduce crimes like burglary by up to 87% compared to equivalent non-SBD developments.
Birmingham City Council also hopes to benefit from reduced repair, maintenance and replacement costs.
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.”