Designing out crime: building safer communities through collaboration in crime prevention and counter-terrorism strategies

Integrating safety and crime prevention into large-scale project planning is essential, particularly when considering the infrastructure's long-term security and resilience. A practical approach involves local authorities working closely with the police, specifically Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs), who play a pivotal role in advising on how to design environments that deter crime and terrorism. These officers, alongside Counter Terrorism Security Coordinators (CTSECOs), bring valuable insights into the planning process, not as a legal requirement but as a highly beneficial practice for creating safer public spaces.
The emphasis on consulting with the Perimeter Security Suppliers Association (PSSA) members cannot be overstated. Their involvement would be a key factor in bolstering the effectiveness of safety measures in urban development projects. The PSSA member companies can provide expert guidance and support in crime prevention and counter-terrorism strategies, making it a sensible step for local authorities to engage with both the police and PSSA members from the outset. This collaboration ensures that projects are not only aesthetically pleasing but also secure, addressing potential threats before they arise.
Paul Jeffrey, PSSA Chairman said “Incorporating insights from the PSSA should be considered a crucial step in urban planning. While engagement with PSSA members is progressing, embedding it more systematically into planning strategies could significantly enhance the development of safer urban spaces.
Collaborating closely with Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs), Counter Terrorism Security Coordinators (CTSECOs), and PSSA experts from the outset, I feel is essential for creating urban areas that are not only functional but also resilient against crime and terrorism.”
Paul added, “This engagement suggests a move towards a nuanced crime prevention strategy that surpasses traditional security measures. By involving PSSA members, DOCOs, architects, and local authorities early in the planning process, a holistic safety strategy is developed. This strategy goes beyond the basics of lighting and secure public spaces, incorporating architectural designs that deter criminal activity and demonstrating a sophisticated approach to police involvement in safety and design processes. Such collaboration ensures that urban infrastructure is not only visually appealing but inherently secure.”
The increasing involvement of the police force, demonstrated by the specialised training received by DOCOs and CTSECOs on UK terror threats, signifies a move towards more proactive engagement in planning and safety discussions. This approach goes beyond the simple installation of lighting and physical barriers, embracing a comprehensive understanding of security that weaves crime prevention into the essence of urban design. By doing so, local authorities can ensure that every element of the urban landscape contributes to creating spaces that are secure, welcoming, and resilient against crime and terrorism threats. This sophisticated strategy not only enhances physical security measures but also promotes a sense of safety and community well-being.
This pragmatic and forward-thinking strategy highlights the importance of collaboration between local authorities, the police, and security experts. It demonstrates a commitment to not only developing infrastructure that meets today's needs but also anticipating and mitigating potential future threats. By prioritising safety and crime prevention from the beginning, these partnerships pave the way for creating urban environments that are secure, welcoming, and resilient.


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