A development of new homes in Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye, has gained the highest award given by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, for incorporating crime prevention techniques into the layout and landscaping and the physical security of buildings.
The SBD Gold Award was presented to Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association for their development at Pat Gordon Place, Portree, a bustling port, cultural centre and tourist destination on the east side of the island.
An SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officer worked with the architects, Reynolds Architecture, and the developers, O’Brien Properties, both of Dingwall, near Inverness, from the planning stages through to construction to incorporate SBD crime prevention techniques and security.
These measures included the built environment, such as creating natural surveillance from the properties over parking areas and access routes through to the doors, windows and locks which meet Police Preferred Specification standards. These measures combine to make the properties more robust and less attractive to opportunist criminals.
Independent academic research shows that SBD developments that have been designed to ‘design out crime’ and include crime prevention techniques in the built environment and accredited products can reduce crimes like burglary by up to 75% in new build homes and up to 63% in refurbishments. Evidence suggests these figures are sustainable year-on-year and represent a significant reduction especially as most SBD developments are in social housing in deprived areas.
SBD also offers Bronze and Silver Awards to recognise police security standards have been achieved in refurbishments and new homes respectively.
Stuart Ward, Police Scotland National Designing Out Crime Manager, explained: “These properties designed to SBD specifications offer a higher standard of security compared to most residential properties. Combined with our crime prevention measures into the overall layout of the homes, the site will reduce significantly the risk of crime and anti-social behaviour.”
Stuart added: “The inclusion of SBD measures at the design stage by police, architects and developers ensures an improved level of security for properties before they are built. SBD is the only long term crime reduction initiative which can impact on reducing opportunist crime through the lifetime of a building.”
Lynda Allan, Police Scotland’s Inspector on Skye, who presented the SBD award, said: “I am delighted to be presenting this award which recognises the measures included by architects and developers from the early design stages to ensure the long term security and safety for residents and tenants.”
Insp Allan continued: “These measures have benefits for the wider community because the police will be far less likely to have to investigate property crime in these dwellings, which reduces the demand on police and associated services. I commend all the project members for their support and adherence to this national police crime prevention initiative.”
Lachie MacDonald, Chief Executive, Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association, who received the award, said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award which gives us confidence in the security of our new properties in Portree. The design of the development is contemporary while retaining local character. It fits nicely into the surrounding area.
“We are happy the design has been able to accommodate the security recommendations without affecting the architectural style of these homes. We extend our gratitude to the architects and developers for delivering these high quality homes for rent in Portree,” he said.
Windows and doors for the development were supplied by SBD member company Sash UK, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, whose products have been tested and certified to meet SBD standards, which means they are subject to regular production audits and re-testing to attain SBD’s Police Preferred Specification standards.
From left: Stuart Ward, Inspector Lynda Allan, Lachie MacDonald, Lewis Ross, Site Agent O’Brien Properties and Greig Ross, Architect, Reynolds Architecture
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