ACPO Alley-gating Guide 2005/06

Research output: Working paper


A Word about Gates Alleys (snickets, ginnels, backways) are particularly common in British industrial cities and were originally designed to allow access to the rear of properties by coalmen and refuse collectors. Although many alleys are no longer used for their original purpose, they are still useful to allow residents to access the rear of their properties without walking through their house. This can be particularly helpful when gardening or carrying out DIY. Alley-gating involves the installation of lockable gates across these alleys, preventing access to the alley for those without a key. Although predominantly a crime reduction measure, alley-gating has the potential to do more than reduce crime; it can increase community confidence, improve the aesthetic appearance of an area, re-invigorate schemes such as Residents' Associations and Neighbourhood Watch and reduce levels of worry and fear about crime and anti-social behaviour. Although it has the potential to achieve more than crime reduction, it should be stressed that alley-gating is a crime reduction measure, which is targeted at alleys which are experiencing high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, or are being used to facilitate crime and disorder. It is not designed to limit freedom or constrain legitimate access. Although alley-gating does involve the installation of lockable gates, it is important that readers do not confuse alley-gating with gated communities. Alley-gating simply closes off the rear or side of properties for those without legitimate access. It does not create a closed community and people can still access the rest of the neighbourhood without using the alley. Alley-gates are rarely installed in alleys which are currently used as through routes, and where this is the case, detailed consideration is given towards the impact on existing users. Although gated communities involve the use of similar security measures, they are very different. Gated communities involve closing whole neighbourhoods to non-residents immediately creating a 'them' and 'us'. In gated communities non-residents are excluded from large spaces which had previously been public open spaces simply because they do not live within the community.
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationHuddersfield, UK
PublisherAssociation of Chief Police Officers
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006

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