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"Working together, we can build safer communities”

Designing Out Crime Officer Trace Rokahr, of Humberside Police, has won this year’s Secured by Design Bob Knights Scholarship Award for her ‘sterling work’ in forging close relationships with local authority planners and for helping and encouraging developers to work towards building safe communities.

With Trace’s passion, enthusiasm and belief in crime prevention and designing out crime, she has developed significant relationships with local authority planning and building control departments across the region to incorporate security into new developments and their surrounding layout and landscaping to deter and reduce crime.

Trace was presented with her award by Stephen Watson QPM, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Crime Prevention, and Helen Ball, Assistant Commissioner (Professionalism), Metropolitan Police at SBD’s ATLAS national training event for Designing Out Crime Officers.

The Bob Knights Scholarship Award has been designed to support an existing Designing Out Crime Practitioner and give them the opportunity to continue their professional development by undertaking the Level 5 Diploma in Designing Out Crime. The bursary award is given each year to a Designing Out Crime Officer who is acknowledged as being an advocate of designing out crime.

Bob Knights Scholarship WEB

Moments after receiving her award, Trace commented: “I’m absolutely over the moon and completely surprised. It’s very rewarding to be recognised for what you do as a Designing Out Crime Officer.

“The award recognises what DOCOs do but that relies on having good relationships with architects, developers and local authority planners. Working together, we can achieve developments that are safe and secure and build safer communities.”

Asked about the Diploma in Designing Out Crime, Trace said: “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to doing. To have that opportunity is fantastic and it will help me put my mark on designing out crime.”

Trace is working with East Riding Planning Department to influence the Local Plan and ensure SBD is included within this important policy document.

At the same time, she is working with a number of private sector developers who have been keen to find out how their building schemes can achieve SBD’s highest standard – its Gold Award. This has led to at least five schemes progressing towards this standard and this is solely down to Trace’s commitment to go above and beyond every day to promote the benefits of SBD - despite limited resources.

Most recently, Trace has played a key role in progressing the development and delivery of ten, one-day crime prevention awareness raising events specifically for neighbourhood police officers based at three police stations across the Humberside area. The events, being run by the Police Crime Prevention Academy during February and March 2020, have been requested and paid for by Humberside Police.

In typical Trace fashion, she is attending to introduce every event to emphasise the important benefits that crime prevention and designing out crime can bring to local communities in terms of physical building security with robust doors, windows and locks and into the surrounding area by maximising natural surveillance, creating defensible space and limiting excessive through movement to make an uncomfortable and difficult environment for criminals to operate.

More than one million homes have been built to SBD crime prevention standards with reductions in crime of up to 87% every year in the life of that development – a huge benefit for residents and for reducing the demand on hard-pressed police resources.

SBD Development Officer Alfie Hosker said: “I am delighted for Trace. She fully deserves this award for her sterling work in driving the message of Secured by Design and designing out crime across the private and public sectors throughout the Humberside Police Force region.

“I know she is pushing policy across her planning authorities to firmly embed SBD within Local Development Frameworks and other associated plans. Well done Trace, the award is truly warranted.”

The Bob Knights Scholarship Award is in memory of Robert ‘Bob’ Knights MBE, who died in 2018 after serving as both a front-line police officer and in the crime prevention role of designing out crime. He became a staunch advocate of Secured by Design from its earliest days and recognised the need for training and development in this specialist sector.