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Design Out Crime: a CPTED and engineering approach

Supplier: Harris Crime Prevention Services
13 January, 2012

Harris Crime Prevention Services are Design Out Crime specialists for the health, aged care and education/school sectors across Australia.

Local and state governments across Australia are incorporating Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles into planning legislation and regulation.

For example, in NSW there are now guidelines under Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment [EPA] Act whilst other states and territories are incorporating their own development guidelines into various planning instruments.

These requirements are a consequence of on-going law-and-order debates within governments, the business world and the community.

The CPTED model applies architecture and engineering to achieve holistic and integrated security design solutions. This is the approach that Harris Crime have successfully applied to over 250 development projects across Australia.

Knowledge and expertise in this area is evolving as this is a relatively 'new science' for Australia. It is a science (and an art) that is informed primarily by the disciplines of law, sociology, criminology, urban planning architecture and engineering.

Security design is more than the traditional inclusion of barriers, bolts, surveillance systems and alarms. It is a comprehensive environmental crime prevention strategy, applying aspects of architecture, engineering and technology to all development proposals, from concept to completion. Security design has two aims:

  1. To promote the legitimate and safe use of built environments by incorporating security design guidelines into development planning approval processes.
  2. To enhance the reputation of development projects by ensuring that security design criteria are incorporated into relevant architectural, engineering and technology documentation.

There are three key advantages of incorporating crime prevention into urban planning projects:

  1. ensuring compliance with statutory requirements,
  2. influencing the safety of a welcoming environment,
  3. providing a marketing edge for developers and investors.

There is a fourth advantage – reducing the likelihood of litigation from victims of crime occurring within built environment precincts. In these matters courts are increasingly likely to review links between the commission of crime and whether crime prevention measures have been factored into a development's architectural and engineering documentation.

Their specialist consultants have provided 'designing out crime strategies' for a wide range of projects. These include hospitals, aged care facilities, retirement villages, research institutions, retail complexes, waterfront redevelopments, universities, schools and entertainment/sporting venues.