Secured by Design

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For the computer security principle, see secure by design.

Established in 1989, Secured by Design (SBD) is a not for profit organisation owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and is the title for a group of national police projects focusing on the design and security for new & refurbished homes, commercial premises and car parks as well as the acknowledgement of quality security products and crime prevention projects. It supports the principles of ‘designing out crime’ through physical security and processes.

Designing out crime deals with concepts of reducing anonymity of the offender, territoriality - the relationship between private space and public space, environmental and building design all supported by physical security measures. Offenders feel more vulnerable in private space and adjoining public spaces can feed off this reaction making it appear that potential crime targets in the public area are under the control of residents.

Linked to the governments planning objective of creating secure, quality places where people wish to live and work, Secured by Design has been cited as a key model in the Office of Deputy Prime Minister's guide 'Safer Places - The Planning System & Crime Prevention' and in the Home Office's 'Crime Reduction Strategy 2008-11'.[citation needed]

Secured by Design Principles have been applied to sites including Brindley Place in Birmingham, Cardiff City Football Club stadium, Westfield Shopping Malls, The London 2012 Olympic Park and the 2014 Commonwealth Games Village.[citation needed]

Secured by Design seeks to persuade the building, construction and design industry to adopt secure design methodology and to use products with a proven track record in defeating known criminal methods of entry.

Product licensing Scheme[edit]

Secured by Design member company status is awarded to companies producing security products that pass standards and tests nominated by the police service. The standards and related tests must demonstrate the product effectiveness in preventing or reducing crime, usually by resistance to physical attack. Secured by Design does not sell or provide any guarantees in respect of the product; it is the attack test standard that they support. Product categories range from doors, windows, garage doors, forensic trace and asset recovery products, tracking systems, lone worker systems to computer security, safes, shutters & grilles, roofing and anti-graffiti.

Secured by Design Developer Award[edit]

The SBD Developers Award is given to building developments which, following consultation with local police Architectural Liaison Officers or Crime Prevention Design Advisors, are built to Secured by Design guidelines and so reduce the opportunity for crime. The ALO/CPDA will consider the factors which can influence crime such as poor natural surveillance, undefined public and private space, secluded parking areas and make suitable recommendation.


Secured by Design has been evaluated many times by external bodies. Results from these evaluations have show that the use of high quality windows and doors that meet Secured by Design requirements, will reduce burglary.

Nottingham City Homes Secure, Modern and Warm

Nottingham City Homes, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, are conducting a two-year impact study on the wider social benefits of the Decent Homes programme (known in Nottingham as Secure, Warm, Modern). The first stage of the research was to conduct a pilot study, which aimed to evaluate the impact of installing secure windows and doors on burglary in NCH properties, and the impact on residents and surrounding communities. This report sets out the findings from data analysis and interviews with local tenants and front line officers.1

The research focused on the two estates which were amongst the first estates to have an extensive programme of window replacement. All the new windows are double glazed and meet the Secured by Design (SBD) standard. The work programme took place in 2008/09, during which 1,520 properties had their windows replaced out of a total of 1,717 NCH properties on the two estates.

The analysis found:

  • Burglary was reduced by 42% across Bells Lane and Broxtowe, compared to a city wide reduction of 21% over the same period. This was also higher than the reduction seen in similar areas (in terms of tenure and demographic profile) in the city, of 38%. NCH properties experienced 62 fewer burglaries per year after the work was completed, compared to 33 fewer burglaries a year to non-NCH properties on the estates
  • The proportion of burglaries via a window is lower for properties that have had the secure windows fitted. The major change is that the proportion of burglaries that successfully gain entry by forcing the window has halved – going from 30% of burglaries to NCH non-Secure 2 properties, to 15% of burglaries to NCH Secure properties
  • There is a higher proportion of attempted burglaries (which do not successfully gain entry) for NCH Secure properties compared to NCH non-Secure properties, which indicates that there is therefore a lower success rate for burglaries against NCH Secure properties.[citation needed]

Other Research

Glasgow Housing Association adoption of Secured by Design 2004 & Glasgow Caledonian University 2009

Glasgow Housing Association, one of Europe’s largest social landlords, invested in Secured by Design windows for over 11,000 homes and installed nearly 47,000 Secured by Design entrance doors. Research by Glasgow Caledonian University reported that in the area fitted with the new doors and windows: Total housebreaking crime decreased by 26%, Attempted housebreaking decreased by 59%, Theft by housebreaking decreased by 18%

Re-evaluating Secured by Design housing in West Yorkshire, Armitage & Monchuk 2009

This survey mirrored the original survey of 1999 and took into account the improvements made in SBD requirements over 10 years. The results were very positive, replicating the earlier reductions in crime and fear of crime compared with non-SBD estates and West Yorkshire as a whole.

Securing the Nation: the case for safer homes. Association of British Insurers 2006

Summarises the evidence for Secured by Design, calls for its wider adoption and identifies the benefits to the wider audience, the economy and householders. It provides a per unit cost to developers. Cost is dependent on the pre-existing level to be upgraded but these are mainly confined to physical security upgrades with little or no cost for the environmental design element of SBD. The costs were re-assessed in 2010 by Davis Langdon in the light of significant reductions in unit costs as more tested products have become available since publication.[citation needed]


Secured by Design
Park Mark - Safer Parking
Secured Environments
Glasgow Housing Association adoption of Secured by Design 2004 & Glasgow Caledonian University 2009
Re-evaluating Secured by Design housing in West Yorkshire, Armitage & Monchuk 2009
The ‘Secure Warm Modern’ programme Nottingham City Homes

External links[edit]