A development of retirement homes in Penkridge, Staffordshire 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 physical security of buildings – as well as winning the Best Inclusive Building category at the 2018 West Midlands LABC Awards.
The River View retirement apartment development is a £6.25 million development of 41 one and two bedroom retirement apartments for the Housing Plus Group. It has been built at the heart of Penkridge Village on a brownfield site in meadows running down to the banks of the river Penk, a short walk away from the village centre.
In addition to the apartments, River View – which offers both affordable rent and shared ownership options - provides its residents with an orangery, residents lounge, buggy store, activity room and catering kitchen, landscaped gardens and on-site parking.
An SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officer worked with the architects, Sutton & Wilkinson, the developers, Cruden Construction, and the Housing Plus Group from the planning stages through to construction to incorporate SBD crime prevention techniques and security into the development.
These measures included the built environment, such as creating natural surveillance from the properties, 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.
There are three levels of SBD award: Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Gold Award is the highest level and it is awarded where the physical security specification of the home is enhanced by the security provided in the external environment.
The development was judged the winner in the Best Inclusive Building category at the West Midlands Local Authority Building Control Excellence Awards 2018 in June 2018, where it was recognised for the quality of its design, construction and sustainable energy technologies by the judges.
Gordon Scott, Designing Out Crime Officer for Staffordshire Police, said: “This project was about delivering high quality homes for elderly people in a village environment where such provision is limited.
“The project goes back to 2014 and is one of many SBD partnership projects with the local housing association and architects Sutton & Wilkinson.
“All aspects of the site were covering in detail, including the local crime risk and close liaison was maintained with the architects and all changes to the design discussed and altered where appropriate.
“As far as I'm concerned the SBD Gold award was a really a formality as all parties continued to work together throughout the build to achieve the desired result”.
Sarah Boden, chief executive of Housing Plus Group said: “‘We’re delighted to receive the Secured by Design Gold award for River View, this project was always about delivering high quality homes for the local community. As a retirement living community, it was essential that the building should be as secure as possible for the comfort and safety of our residents.
“We’re passionate about delivering high quality homes and services, working closely with our partners in the local area to make sure our communities feel safe and this accolade is proof of that success.”
Secured by Design
SBD is a police-owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives.
SBD plays a significant crime prevention role in the planning process to design out crime in a wide range of building sectors. It has achieved some significant success including one million homes built to SBD standards with reductions in crime of up to 87%. SBD have more than 200 SBD trained police officers and staff in Police Forces around the UK. These Designing Out Crime Officers work with architects, developers and local authority planners to build in tried, tested and proven crime prevention techniques at the planning stage to reduce crime and keep communities safe.
SBD have many partner organisations, ranging from the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Police Service through to local authorities, housing associations, developers and manufacturers and work closely with standards and certification bodies to ensure that their publicly available standards actually meet the needs of the police and public alike. Products must be subjected to vigorous testing and auditing by an accredited third party organisation before being allowed to carry the SBD logo – this is the only way for companies to obtain police accreditation for security related products in the UK.
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