About Secured by Design

Established in 1989, Secured by Design (SBD) is the title for a group of national police projects focusing on the design and security for new & refurbished homes, commercial premises and car parks as well as the acknowledgement of quality security products and crime prevention projects. It supports the principles of ‘designing out crime’ through physical security and processes.

Secured by Design works with the industry and test houses to create high level security standards, responding to trends in crime, and has given input on a number of key standards .The principles of the scheme have been proven to reduce the risk of crime and the fear of crime.

The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Sir Robert Peel

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Our Product licensing scheme

Secured by Design member company status is awarded to companies producing security products that pass standards and tests nominated by the police service. The standards and related tests must demonstrate the product effectiveness in preventing or reducing crime, usually by resistance to physical attack. Secured by Design does not sell or provide any guarantees in respect of the product; it is the attack test standard that we support.

Licensed products include: Bicycle security solutions , Anti-theft devices , Personal security/ lone, worker devices , Windows, doors and locks, IT/ computer security, Empty property protection, Asset tracking and recovery

Latest Secured by Design News

Automatrics Limited achieve success with their award-winning security products

Automatrics Limited, have this year achieved what was believed impossible with the protection, tracking and recovery of stolen …read more

OWL community engagement system receives SBD accreditation

OWL was the first community engagement system to receive SBD accreditation and has played a part in burglary …read more

London man caught in SmartWater trap car ‘sting’

A man has been convicted of stealing from a car after he was sprayed with SmartWater®.
Lokola Lokombe (48) …read more

Secured by Design: Facts & Figures

Our History

During the 1980s, the United Kingdom saw a dramatic increase in domestic burglary offences. Security was often only considered after a crime and there were examples of new housing estates where a set of just 12 keys could open the back door of every home on the estate.

Criminologists had also shown that criminals were taking advantage of residential layouts that failed to provide adequate natural surveillance, were highly permeable, where anonymity was absolute and escape routes plentiful. Identifying these risks and providing solutions became known as designing out crime.

During this period burglary figures peaked at 1.7 million offences a year and it was obvious that something needed to be done to encourage the building industry to adopt improved standards of design, layout and security.

Some police officers in South East England recognised that by combining the attributes of good standards of physical security with those of designing out crime and presenting this in an easily understood format would encourage architects and builders to address crime before the homes were built and at reduced cost. In 1989 they published their project under the title Secured by Design and for the first time gave participating builders a police award for achieving good levels of security.

A consistent and easily applied format, supported by the positive results of early evaluations, led all 53 UK police forces to adopt the project by 1992 and to assign staff to operate and manage it. These individuals were titled Architectural Liaison Officer (ALO) or Crime Prevention Design Advisor (CPDA) and their role, both then and now, involved them working closely with each local authority in their respective areas in order to maximise the potential for designing out crime as early in the planning process as possible.

There was early support from the Home Office and what are now the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the Welsh Assembly and Government for Scotland. However, it was obvious that to convince the construction industry of the long term commitment and ongoing R&D for the project that it required national management and independent funding. As a result, in 1999, the Association of Police Chief Officers (ACPO) formed ACPO Crime Prevention Initiatives (ACPO CPI), a not-for-profit company to manage this and similar projects and to raise finance from the private sector through the police recognition of security products that met high standards and evidenced a benefit in preventing crime.

Secured by Design, is today self-funding through over 400 companies making or supplying quality security products for the construction industry, businesses and the consumer. The funding has been used for research into aspects of crime prevention, test theories and to develop technical standards. The police experience, working with industry and standards organisations, has led to significant changes to standards and product design to resist criminal attack.

The organisation is regularly consulted on security material and projects and the Secured by Design model is being copied in The Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Australia, Chile, The UAE and several states in the USA.

Other Secured Initiatives Working With SBD

Secured by Design works with a number of organisations on best practise and initiatives that we support and assist with by working on guidance documents and specifications. Some of these organisations deliver specific schemes delivered on our behalf. These are detailed below

Park Mark™ Safer Parking scheme

Safer parking status, Park Mark™, is awarded to parking facilities that have met the requirements of a risk assessment conducted by the Police. These requirements mean the parking operator has put in place measures that help to deter criminal activity and anti-social behaviour, thereby doing everything they can to prevent crime and reduce the fear of crime in their parking facility.
Find out more about Park Mark™ Safer Parking scheme

Secure stations

The Secure Stations Scheme, which is managed by the Department for Transport (DfT) and British Transport Police (BTP), sets station design and management safety standards for crime reduction at overground and underground railway stations.
Find out more about The Secure station Scheme

Neighbourhood Watch

Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch work to bring neighbours together to create strong, friendly communities where crime and anti-social behaviour are less likely to happen. The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales) is the official umbrella body giving like-minded people the resources they need to meet, start schemes, share know-how and more. With over 170,000 schemes across England and Wales, the Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch are the collective voice for community safety: www.ourwatch.org.uk

Master Locksmiths Association (MLA)

The Master Locksmiths Association licenses its approved companies through strict vetting and regular assessments, in order to ensure quality of service and provide peace of mind to the end customer. www.locksmiths.co.uk

Our Media Spokespeople

For comments or any other media enquiries, please contact marketing@acpo-sbd.co.uk

Our team of experts can provide comment on a range of issues of interest to consumer and professional audiences, including:

  • Burglaries and how to prevent them
  • Personal safety
  • Innovations in crime prevention/ deterrence
  • Older victims of crime
  • Doorstep sales and bogus callers
  • Security in rented properties
  • The carbon cost of crime
  • Security for small businesses
  • Accredited products
Alan McInnes, General Manager

Following service with Sussex Police Alan became Director and General Manager of ACPO Crime Prevention Initiatives in 2006. He was one of the original authors of the Secured by Design project in 1989 and took it to national status in 1992. He has been a contributor and critical reader for several major projects, including two HMIC thematic reports on crime prevention, the Home Office/CLG publication Safer Places - the planning system & crime prevention, and a critique on vehicle crime prevention strategy in South Africa. Alan is a member of BSI and CEN European Standards for crime prevention-related projects.

Richard Childs, Managing Director

Richard is responsible for the Secured by Design licensing initiative and is the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead for Security Systems.

Richard served as a police officer working with the Metropolitan Police, Sussex Police, the Home Office, and for six years until 2003 as Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police. He was the national lead for the police service on police ‘visibility’ and ‘reassurance’, neighbourhood wardens, community support officers and the private security industry, and was an advisor on these issues to the Home Office and the Security Industry Authority. He worked for three years at the Home Office as Head of the Crime Prevention Agency and was responsible for the then government’s policy on CCTV.

Richard has a BSc and is a Fellow of the Security Institute.

Case Studies and Publications

Secured by Design has been evaluated on a number of occasions by independent third parties, such as universities and Housing Associations. Our principles have also been applied to some iconic developments. We have compiled these into case studies which are free to download on our download page. If you would like to contact our general enquiries, full research documents are available on request.

We also carry publications such as Designing out crime and Safer Places - the Planning System & Crime Prevention. Please refer to our Case Studies and Publications section.

Secured by Design identifies test standards which show a product has been tested to show a reasonable resilience to attack or effectiveness as a crime prevention product.

Security products without the benefit of a suitable public test standard may be accepted having passed our evaluation based on research by a technical authority acceptable to Secured by Design. Read more about Test Standards Explained.