Academics Warn Changes to Housing Standards Risk Crime Hotspots

Academics have published an open letter in the Times (23rd October 2013) warning that the DCLG’s review housing standards risks creating a new generation of crime hotspots across the country.

The DCLG has been chairing and leading the review of housing standards, with a group of members drawn from industry bodies including the House Builders Association, National Housing Federation, Local Government Association and Home Builders Federation. The Department describes the goal of the review as to “significantly rationalise the untenable forest of codes, standards, rules, regulations and guidance that add unnecessary cost and complexity to the house-building process”.

The 69 academics signatories headed up by Dr Rachel Armitage from the University of Huddersfield and Professor Ken Pease visiting Professor at the University College of London signatories have expressed their concern over proposals to dramatically reduce the need for developers to address crime in the way they design new housing projects.

Despite driving significant reductions in offences and in the fear of crime, the letter warns that proposed changes to housing standards risk jeopardising the progress that has been made in addressing crime and security through the way new developments are designed.

The academics “urge the Government to reconsider home security standards, with the emphasis on simplicity. All new homes should have good levels of inbuilt security measures that have been thoroughly tested”

Posted: 23/10/13