Many of the 4,000 new homes being built close to the fast-expanding Cambridge Biomedical Campus have been signed off as incorporating proven crime prevention techniques set by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative.
The Campus, which centres on Addenbrooke’s Hospital, is being developed as an international centre of clinical care, teaching and research. It is bringing together Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University of Cambridge, Papworth Hospital, drug companies like AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, along with many other leading scientific and research based organisations, to create a world-class biomedical centre by the start of the 2020s.
The development, which is two miles south of Cambridge City Centre, is being created by UK builder and urban regeneration company Countryside PLC partnering with developers, including Crest, Bovis Homes, CALA Homes and Hill.
Although some of the private properties are being purchased by families of the academic, teaching, health and scientific staff who work at the Campus, the development includes a mix of property types, including social housing with accommodation available to rent through housing associations.
Specially trained police officers and staff, based at Cambridgeshire Constabulary HQ at Huntingdon, have been working with developers, architects and local authority planners to ‘design out crime’ at the planning stage through to construction.
These officers, known as Designing Out Crime Officers, promote the use of proven crime prevention techniques in the layout and landscaping of developments, such as to increase natural surveillance to ensure living spaces look out onto roads and pathways and limit excessive through movement to reduce alleyways and hiding places.
They also seek to improve the security of buildings through the use of doors, windows and locks that meet SBD’s Police Preferred Specification standard to ensure they are sufficiently robust to resist physical attack by opportunistic burglars.
Designing Out Crime Officers have so far signed off 1,274 homes on ten developments in areas known as Great Kneighton and Clay Farm. Over the last five years of development, there has only been one substantive burglary, which involved a brick being thrown through a rear patio door window. There have been three attempts to gain forced entry through garages but all failed.
At nearby, Trumpington Meadows, SBD has signed off 600 homes on nine development phases to date. Over the same time-period, there have been no burglaries and only two attempted burglaries through wooden garage doors, and one burglary from an insecure shed.
Dave Griffin, Designing Out Crime Officer, Cambridge, said these results show the importance of embedding crime prevention techniques into new homes. “We do the work that we do every day because we want families to benefit from secure homes and safe communities.
“The constabulary is determined to tackle burglary. Designing out crime helps to prevent these offences and therefore reduces calls for service at a time when demand is incredibly high.”
SBD Development Officer, Doug Skins, said: “These results have huge implications for policing because it means officers can concentrate on more urgent, pressing matters elsewhere.”
Police & Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, Jason Ablewhite, added: “I am pleased to see the Constabulary’s Designing Out Crime Officers have been able to work with the building firms involved to ensure residents feel safe in their homes.
“At a time of high demand for the Police Service, techniques such as this are great examples of how partnership working can help prevent crime. I hope to see more new builds benefit from this initiative.”
Homes at Great Kneighton built to police crime prevention standards
Homes at Trumpington Meadows
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