The following interview was held with Hazel Goss MBE, Development Officer at Secured by Design and Sarah Cooper, Head of Marketing at Strongdor. Hazel gives us an insight into what it means for a steel door to be SBD and PAS 24 accredited and the importance of the scheme.
So what does Secured by Design mean?
Secured by Design is the official police security initiative.
SBD has worked with the Government to embed crime prevention into the planning process and establish police security standards in the building and construction industry. Across the UK SBD is delivered by local specialist officers called Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs). These officers work closely with architects, developers and local authority planners at the design stage to design out crime by improving the physical security of buildings and incorporating crime prevention techniques in the layout and landscaping of the immediate surroundings.
Why is it important to design a building with SBD principles?
The housing boom of the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, led to homes being built quickly and cheaply, often with little consideration given to security. Crime increased significantly, particularly burglary. In response, the Police Service set up Secured by Design in 1989 and since it was launched SBD has built up a wealth of experience promoting crime prevention and security through active involvement in local communities – constantly adapting the advice to keep pace with changing patterns of criminal behaviour.
The changes to the English Planning and Building Control regulations following in-depth reviews by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have underlined the importance of the police advice delivered over the past 30 years, specifically in the form of the SBD initiative.
The police service places great importance upon the need to build sustainable and inclusive communities and to raise awareness of the significant impact that low crime makes to the ongoing and long term sustainability of a development.
What process did Strongdor go through in order to obtain SBD accreditation for their steel doors?
On behalf of the UK Police Service, SBD also operates an accreditation scheme for products or services that have met recognised security standards. These products or services – must be capable of deterring or preventing crime - are known as being of a ‘Police Preferred Specification’.
The Police Preferred Specification scheme has been operating for over 20 years. It requires all security products to meet or exceed the performance expectations documented within the relevant security standard for that type of product. In the case of Strongdor’s steel security door this has been tested to both PAS 24 and PAS 23. This ensures that the product is sufficiently strong to resist physical attack by casual and opportunistic criminals. The SBD focus is on the critical factors that combine to deliver a product’s performance - design, use, quality control and the ability to deter or prevent crime.
Products that have met the Police Preferred Specification provides reassurance to the specifier, purchaser or user that their products have been independently tested to a relevant security standard and fully certified by an independent third-party certification body recognised by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), or tested and certified by an alternative approved body such as Sold Secure or Thatcham.
Strongdor’s Securidor steel single and double leaf door-set range have been through this rigorous assessment to achieve Police Preferred Specification.
Better quality means these products last longer too, making them more cost effective and leading to greater sustainability in crime prevention.
What impact does this have on crime prevention?
More than one million homes have been built to SBD crime prevention standards across the UK – that’s 30% of all new homes built – with reductions in crimes such as burglary of up to 87%, 25% less vehicle crime and 25% less criminal damage. It also has a significant impact on anti-social behaviour. These are sustainable reductions each and every year, which is significant as most SBD homes are in social housing, many in deprived and higher crime areas.
The environmental benefits of SBD are the substantial carbon cost savings associated with building new homes and refurbishing existing homes to the SBD standard i.e. less replacement of poor quality doors, windows and the stolen property from within the home as a result of criminal acts. This has been achieved through adherence to well researched and effective design solutions, innovative and creative product design coupled with stringent manufacturing standards.
What advice do you have for anyone starting out the planning phase on a new build construction projects?
My advice would be to visit the SBD website and download one of the free SBD Design Guides available. SBD has produced a series of authoritative Design Guides to assist the building, design and construction industry to incorporate security into developments to comply with the Building Regulations in England, Scotland and Wales and meet the requirements of SBD.
The SBD Design Guides cover a range of building sectors, including residential, education, health, transport and commercial. The Design Guides have been updated over the years to keep pace with changing patterns of criminal behaviour and advances in building design and new technology. They are a valuable source of reference to architects, developers, self-builders, local authority planners and police officers.
All police forces have designated DOC (Design Out Crime) officers who are available free of charge to offer advice and guidance to specifiers, house builders and architects on both new build and refurbishment projects.
One of our Secured by Design products is a PAS 24 security rated Louvre door, often used on bin stores in these kind of projects. So why does it matter if external products are SBD?
Criminals are observant and opportunistic and whether they are intent on committing burglary, stealing cars or any other property, or simply committing criminal damage, they are always on the lookout for vulnerable features to exploit or places to hide, which is why it’s important for a whole project to be SBD.
For example, take the Louvidor from the Strongdor steel door range. This is a Secured by Design door-set tested to PAS 24 and offers a secure solution to bin stores, bike sheds and electrical cupboards.
For more information on the Strongdor SBD steel door range, please contact our steel door experts today.