Crime Prevention Call in House-Builds

Press/Media: Expert Comment


New planning rules on house-building might lead to a rise in crime, such as more burglaries, and cause a ‘flight from crime-ravaged areas’, according to university criminologists in a letter to The Times.

In their letter published on Wednesday, October 23, Dr Rachel Armitage, reader in criminology at Huddersfield, and Prof Ken Pease, and 67 other academics, called for the Government to re-consider home security standards, ‘with the emphasis on simplicity. All new homes should have good levels of in-built security measures that have been thoroughly tested,’ they wrote.


“A lot of people think that designing out crime is about physical security, such as locks and bolts, but it is really about very subtle changes in architecture.”

For example, a housing estate could be designed so that sight lines between properties are not obstructed by high walls or overgrown trees – known as “natural surveillance”. Footpaths – enabling would-be offenders to come and go quickly and easily – can be limited, and other measures include narrowing the entrance to an estate and introducing a change in road colour or changing the texture to red brick.

“This is a subtle way of giving an impression to offenders that they are coming to a private area, without having to have any gates or fences,” said Dr Armitage.

Period1 Oct 2013

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