First report on crime prevention in 10 years lists key attributes of safe neighbourhoods and offers 17 case studies
Planning minister Keith Hill this week launched a guidance document to help designers, planners and developers to “design out” crime from the built environment.

Safer Places: The Planning System and Crime Prevention is the government’s first guidance document on crime prevention for 10 years.

It is intended as guidance to Planning Policy Statement One, which sets out the role of the whole planning system. The document has been drawn up by architect Llewelyn-Davies.

Hill said: “We are determined to build thriving, sustainable communities, and that means places people feel safe in.” He said that the guidance sets out how interested parties are expected to play their part in planning out crime.

The guidance covers a broader scope than previous official publications, such as the Association of Chief Police Officers’ website Secured by Design, which focuses on housing design and layout. It is also a response to the 1998 Crime & Disorder Act, which makes councils responsible for crime prevention.

In a housing estate in Swanley, a series of minor improvements helped to reduce crime by 80%

The report encourages professionals to think themselves into the mindset of a criminal faced with a particular situation.

It also lists seven attributes of safer places. As well as physical protection by means of secure doors, locks and alarms, they cover well-defined routes, good surveillance and the promotion of a sense of ownership.

Practical crime prevention measures are given in 17 case studies, which cover housing developments, a town centre, an industrial estate, a college, a car park, a bus station and a park.