Crime Prevention through Housing Design: Policy and Practice by Armitage Rachel

By Armitage Rachel

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The GMP approach to delivering the ALO/CPDA role involves a team of six consultants and one dedicated crime analyst3 under the title of Greater Manchester Police Design for Security Consultancy (GMP DfSC). Although the team are based within GMP Police Headquarters, have access to police recorded crime data, Neighbourhood 36 Crime Prevention through Housing Design Policing Teams (NPTs) and other relevant police intelligence, the DfS consultants are civilian staff who have a background within a built environment profession such as design, architecture or planning.

As will be discussed below, ALO/CPDA involvement at the preplanning stage of the development is beneficial to all agencies involved in the process. Pre-planning is the stage where design concepts and ideas are being explored and tested, and the design of the development is not yet fixed. At this stage, amendments to the design, based upon ALO/CPDA recommendations, will be easier to accommodate and will incur fewer costs. The earlier the involvement in the planning and design process, the easier it is to address trade-offs and avoid uneasy compromises.

In an attempt to establish how far the SBD scheme was theoretically and empirically supported at the time of its inception, Pascoe and Topping (1997) conducted a review of the available documentation as well as interviews with 15 police officers. They suggest that the scheme was influenced by both environmental criminology (including situational crime prevention and defensible space) as well as theories (including rational choice theory) which focused upon offenders as decision-makers. The principles of SBD fall largely into the following categories: Reducing Residential Crime in Practice 39 Physical Security SBD sets standards of physical security for each property and its boundaries.

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