Crime Prevention Design Advice

Safety Helmet With Blueprint by Sailom with Home Plot Plan by supakitmod/Freedigitalphotos

Oxford University is committed to creating and providing a safe environment for staff, students and visitors. The University’s Security Services team offers crime prevention design advice from a trained Adviser to help fulfil this commitment.

The Crime Prevention Design Adviser works alongside teams across Estates Services to ensure that crime prevention is taken into consideration in the design, management and security of all University developments and public spaces.

What is a Crime Prevention Design Adviser?

A Crime Prevention Design Adviser (CPDA) is a trained Crime Prevention and Reduction Adviser (CPRA) who has undertaken additional extensive training in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).   The CPDA is also trained in ‘Secured by Design’ (SbD), an association of Chief Police Officers security initiative which encourages the building industry to adopt crime prevention in developments and the Safer Parking Award Scheme which is aimed at reducing crime and the fear of crime in parking facilities.

How do I contact a Crime Prevention Design Adviser?

Crime Prevention Design Advice is available from Oxford University Security Services. Contact:

Lesley Nesbitt, email: phone: 01865 272943

Belinda Hopkins, email: phone: 01865 272942

Alternatively, call the Security Services control room on 01865 272944 and leave a message for an Adviser to contact you.

What is crime prevention design advice?

This is the service offered by a trained adviser with expertise in crime prevention, reducing crime and the fear of crime in all aspects of building developments, environmental design and public spaces.

What is the aim of crime prevention design?

No one can totally eliminate crime but the ultimate aim is to design out opportunities for people to commit crime and disorder in the built environment. The purpose is to create safe environments where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime, do not undermine the quality of life or discourage community cohesion.

All projects may be referred to an Adviser, but please ensure that all new building projects, large refurbishment projects (exceeding £100,000) and green open space projects receive crime prevention design advice.

When should I seek crime prevention design advice?

It is never too soon to engage with a Crime Prevention Design Adviser to support and guide a project team. Crime risks and the fear of crime can be significantly reduced by assessing a development’s design, layout and its security risks early on.

Ideally, this is done from feasibility stage (RIBA stage 2) and then at every subsequent stage of the project. It can prove costly and difficult to alter a design once planning permission has been agreed.

How does an Adviser assess a development?

An advisor will assess a development by referring the principles of Secured by Design which are:

  • Environmental quality and sense of ownership
  • Natural surveillance
  • Appropriate permeability
  • Open amenity spaces & landscaping
  • Provision for good car and cycle parking
  • Appropriate lighting
  • Minimum physical security standards (SBD)

Further information can be found in the Design Against Crime Philosophy Document V5 (1,103kb). 

Why do I need to demonstrate that a development has taken crime prevention into consideration?

Both national and local planning policies require that crime prevention has been taken into consideration in the design, layout and physical security features of a development.

  • The National Planning Policy Framework 2012 (Part 7, Section 58; Requiring good Design and Part 8, Section 69; Promoting Healthy Communities) states that developments should create: ‘Safe and accessible environments where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime do not undermine quality of life or community cohesion’. 
  • Oxford City Council Core Strategy 2011 – 2026 (Page 89, CS19 - Community Safety) states that: ‘Planning permission will only be granted for development that meets the principles of Secured by Design’ including well designed public spaces and access routes, maximising natural surveillance and providing appropriate lighting to public spaces and access routes’. 

When completing a Design and Access Statement, how can I demonstrate that crime prevention has been taken into consideration?

When completing a Design and Access Statement to accompany your planning application you should include a dedicated section titled ‘Crime Prevention.’

In this section you should state that you have sought the advice, support and guidance of a Crime Prevention Design Adviser at Oxford University throughout the design stage of the development.

You then need to provide information to demonstrate how the principles of secured by design have been incorporated into the design of the development.

What other services does a Crime Prevention Design Adviser offer?

General Physical Security Surveys

Security surveys offering crime prevention advice, support and guidance are available for all types of buildings. The survey will highlight any security weaknesses and make appropriate recommendations for remedying them.

Protective security

An Adviser can offer advice, support and guidance for creating an effective security plan, advising on physical, information and personnel security measures that are available.   

Physical security

Physical security covers the various installations, measures and controls that protect against an actual physical attack, including:

  • intruder detection and alarms
  • access control systems
  • security guard presence
  • vehicle security barriers.