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What is Secured By Design?

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

Secured By Design (or SBD) is an initiative which was started in 1989 by the United Kingdom Police, and it is owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (or ACPO). The ACPO is a group of national police projects that focus on design and security for new and refurbished homes, commercial buildings and car parks as well as acknowledging quality services, products and crime prevention projects.

The company operates a licensing scheme in which companies can become members to use the SBD logo with the term ‘Police Preferred Specification for products which have passed tests specified by ACPO Secured By Design. If you were trying to create a code 6 (for more information about code 6 houses, click here) house, your designs for the property would need to pass the specified tests.

Following meetings with local Crime Prevention Design Advisors and Architectural Liaison Officers, you could receive the developer's award if your property meets the criteria. The developer's award is a certificate which is given to building developments that are built to SBD guidelines, and so reduce the opportunity for crime. When you get an SBD award, developers and property owners are permitted to use the SBD logo to promote the development/refurbishment.

Research shows us that the main principles of SBD have been proven to reduce crime risk by up to 75%, just by combining minimum standards of physical security, and well-tested principles of natural surveillance and defensible space. Natural surveillance is any place which can be seen clearly from within a property, through a window for example. Defensible space is an area which is clearly perceived by the property owners, you could do this by putting a fence around the property, this would clearly show others where your property ends. SBD doesn’t guarantee that a particular area will be crime-proof, but it indicates that the site has been subject to a design process and improved levels of security which have been shown to significantly reduce the risks and the fear of crime.

Your home is probably one of the largest investments you will make, if not the largest, so it is important to think about your future safety and security. Private builders currently don’t have to provide any physical security other than the basic locks for your home, unlike housing associations and social housing developments. There are a growing number of house developers who see the significance of your long-term safety and have placed this at the very heart of their designs.

Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.

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