The latest SBD interactive guide, this time covering school design, has been added to our website. The guide shows examples of good design and also examples of risks that may inadvertently be included in the design. It is based on the information and guidance contained in the New Schools 2014 guidance document. Click here to have a look.
A sensible and practical level of security, which will not adversely affect the efficient running of the school, is essential to a successful teaching and learning environment. The majority of criminal incidents in schools relate to property crime. This is because the modern school contains a vast array of portable and desirable goods with a ready market, such as personal computers, laptops, digital projectors and other valuable equipment. Other crimes that occur, particularly in our larger cities, are acts of vandalism, such as graffiti, arson and assaults. Assaults range from staff being physically assaulted by parents and students, to bullying by one or more students against another. In more recent times ‘cyber’ bullying has become a noticeable problem in schools, although there are now software solutions that are proving to be most effective. The victims of school crime can also extend beyond the staff and students as many schools open into the evenings and at weekends for use by the local community for activities such as adult education, sport and social events.
The police service places great importance upon the need to build sustainable developments. This not only includes the need to use environmental friendly products, materials and construction methods, but also the need to raise awareness of the fact that crime prevention is a positive sustainability issue. Academic research conducted on behalf of SBD has confirmed that crime alone is responsible for the release of at least 6,000,000 tonnes of CO² into the atmosphere each year. It therefore follows that the achievement of a Secured by Design certificate for the school not only indicates that the designer has made a significant effort to create a secure teaching environment (recognised by the police), but by doing so has also reduced the school’s carbon footprint.
It is also important that the benefits of a new secure school are complemented with a clear management and maintenance programme to ensure a safe and secure teaching and learning environment. Further information about risk management in both new and existing schools can be obtained from the SBD partner initiative ‘Secured Environments’ at www. securedenvironments.com.
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