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“Safety is such an essential part of our services” - UK’s first purpose built women’s centre for 20 years gains Secured by Design Gold safety award

A newly built women’s centre – the first purpose built women’s centre in the UK for 20 years - 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, landscaping and physical security of the development.

The Preston Road Women’s Centre in Hull, which is run by the charity WINNER and cares for women fleeing abusive homes and relationships, had outgrown its current premises ‘Purple House’, two prefab semis knocked together and in need of modernisation, which has been its home for the last 18 years.

Established in 2000, the charity has assisted in excess of 4,000 women over the years, but reports a recent 40% spike in women and children who have experienced violence accessing their services.

To assist with the construction of the new centre, the charity was awarded a grant of £996,910 from the Big Lottery Fund in 2016, the second largest Reaching Communities Buildings lottery grant. Another £5,000 grant was put towards the build after the charity won the ‘Embracing Opportunity and Harnessing Risk’ award at the 2017 Charity Governance Awards. The remaining £151,000 for the build was raised by the charity through ‘The Big Purple Build’ campaign.

Construction of the new centre, which is just half a mile from the current centre on the corner of Bilton Grove and Preston Road, commended in November 2017, on land gifted to the charity by the local authority, Hull City Council.

An SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officer worked with the architects, LNS Partnership, and the construction company, Hobson and Porter Construction, from the planning stages through to construction to incorporate SBD crime prevention techniques and security in the build.

The measures included the built environment, are lighting, fencing, CCTV, alarms and the installation of SBD accredited windows and doors.

The new building, which is more environmentally friendly and will allow more services to be offered to local women and children, has:

• A bigger nursery, with room for 18 children
• Four one to one rooms where support can be offered to women in private
• More room for volunteers to look after women visiting the centre
• Clinical space for women to see medical practitioners when needed
• Two training rooms
• A large meeting space for groups, including their Girlz Only group
• A laundrette so local women don't have to travel to do their laundry
• A pram park
• A bigger charity shop
• More office space for growing number of staff

Ann Clarkson, Centre Coordinator for Preston Road Women’s Centre, said: “We are delighted to have this new facility which will help us extend the services we have provided to women and children in the area for over 18 years.

“Safety is such an essential part of our services and it was important for us to know that the new building is fit for purpose and built for visitors to feel secure and protected in their surroundings. The additional SBD security features are very reassuring for both staff and visitors alike and we’re really grateful for the support of this scheme.

Marc Dias, Designing Out Crime Officer for Humberside Police, said: “This is an excellent new addition to Preston Road that will provide an important service for years to come. The incorporation of SBD standards helps ensure that the development provides a safe, secure and sustainable setting in to the future”.

Helen Smith from LNS Partnership Architects, said: “We have worked with Preston Road Women’s Centre from the inception of this project and it is very rewarding to see the finished building which results from early discussions with Centre staff, management, trustees, volunteers and users to establish their requirements and translate these into a building which satisfies the very specialised function.

“The involvement, commitment and enthusiasm for the Centre shown by all the women who contribute to the range of services provided has made WINNER a joy to work with as clients and we wish them every success in their new building”.

Dave Blades, Business Development Director from Hobson & Porter Construction, said: “The security of any public-use building and the safety of its users are always important considerations for us as a contractor. It was a valuable experience for our project team at Preston Road Women’s Centre to work alongside the Designing Out Crime Officer and learn more about SBD crime prevention techniques, and we will look to utilise this knowledge to help provide further protection on future schemes.”

WINNER, the Preston Road Women’s Centre: provides information, support and advice to women in Hull. It is a multi-purpose organization run by women for women offering a wide range of services under one roof.

Women can drop into WINNER anytime between 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday to access any of our services or to meet other women in a safe environment.

WINNER offer the following services and activities:

• Drop in for relaxation and informal support
• Specialist domestic violence support and advocacy
• Safe, affordable housing across the city
• Accredited training in a variety of subjects
• Registered Nursery provision for 0-5 year olds
• Comprehensive volunteering programme aimed at improving quality of life and job opportunities
• Sexual health information and advice, including free confidential pregnancy testing and free confidential chlamydia testing
• Young women’s participation project
• Rainbows Charity shop offering affordable, quality second hand goods
• Crafts group
• Complementary therapies

Tel: 01482 790310

Secured by Design: Secured by Design is the national police crime prevention initiative. It is part of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI), a police owned organisation that works on behalf of Police & Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives across the UK. It is a not-for-profit organisation and Board Members include senior police officers from each of the four Home Nations who control and direct the work PCPI carries out on behalf of the Police Service.

As a national crime prevention scheme, SBD has achieved significant successes. In our work with National Government, we have influenced national planning policy to embed crime prevention in the planning process and established police security standards in the building and construction industry.

SBD work to include proven crime prevention techniques and measures into the layout and landscaping of new developments and also work to improve the physical security of buildings using products, such as doors, windows, locks and walling systems that meet SBD security requirements.
This has led to more than one million homes built to SBD crime prevention standards across the UK – that’s 30% of all new homes built – with reductions in crime of up to 87% year-on-year as reported by Police Scotland in 2017.

Key to such achievements is the network of SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officers based in Police Forces and local authorities around the UK, who specialise in designing out crime and who liaise with local authority planners, developers and architects to design out crime at the planning stage in a wide range of building sectors. A number of local authorities have even gone so far as to introduce SBD standards as a planning requirement.

It is important for buildings of all types to be physically secure to deter criminal activity and reduce crime. SBD has worked with manufacturers, the construction industry and standards authorities for many years to ensure that security standards are current and updated to keep pace with changing patterns of criminal behaviour.

Today, SBD has more than 700 member companies with thousands of products in more than 30 different crime categories that have achieved our Police Preferred Specification.

Our membership recognises that products not only have been tested to relevant security standards but also fully certified by an independent third-party certification body accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Companies that achieve our Police Preferred Specification can become an SBD member company and use our coveted logo for sales and marketing purposes. Police forces can recommend SBD accredited products and signpost members of the public to the list of SBD member companies and products on our website, where all our 700 plus member companies and their many thousands of products are listed.

SBD is the only way for companies to obtain police accreditation for security-related products in the UK.

SBD’s most iconic buildings include the 2012 London Olympics site, the 2014 Commonwealth Games Village, Wembley Stadium, the National Stadium of Wales, and the Scottish and Welsh Assembly Buildings.

Tel: 0203 8623 999