Chair: Martin Gill

Panellists:
Bruce Braes – Head of Security Consulting at Buro Happold (UK)
Greg Howlett – Director at Cox Group Architects and Planners (Australia)
Michael Brooke – Head of Operational Services at Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (UK)
Mark Hainsworth – Director at Cox Group Architects and Planners (Australia)

Key points

Bruce Braes argues that while the concept is definitely not outdated, there is a lack of unity around what it means and how it is represented and calls for a more united approach amongst its proponents. Design he argues is an essential component of good security albeit it needs to be effective and that is complicated by being at the interface between humans, buildings and technology. He laments that while design is core at the early stages it is deprioritised, even eliminated by value engineering, therein rests a challenge.

Mark Hainsworth draws the link between security and safety when design is considered and makes the point that he considers them to be aligned. As he notes most security is not about physical security measures but about softer issues (my word not his) of which design is a part, so ensuring lines of sight as an example is as much about safety as security. There is an opportunity then, since Covid-19 is much about safety, to regenerate interest in security design generally and SBD specifically. He highlights the changes that have taken place in during Covid-19 with the move from an emphasis on physical security to cyber and suggests that we will have to wait and see how these impact on buildings. Commenting specifically on SBD he notes that it falls in a gap between planning and design and that too often physical security is an afterthought.

Michael Brooke outlines the role of his organisation, Police CPI, in promoting the cause of SBD, not just in policing but beyond. A lot of progress has been made not least in setting standards as a way of engaging planners, and in accrediting those who supply to the SBD world. As he argues, independent research has been very supportive of its effectiveness, and he challenges those who see good design as expensive where a policy of not following good secured by design principles can be severe. He notes the benefits of making good security design a statutory requirement of the planning process.

Greg Howlett outlines the role of good security design in Australia noting that it is already endemic and thus Covid-19 has not had too much impact. As architects his colleagues and his company see security design as part of every building they are involved with. Clearly the role security will play varies, in prisons it is central, in office buildings important but not so central. One of the big issues interestingly is aesthetics. You will also hear Greg discuss how security design is perceived in different countries.

Security professionals have long been persuaded that the design of the environment is crucial to making it less attractive to criminals. What this webinar shows is that it is alive and thriving albeit in some locales more than others. In some countries it is still not a statuary requirement and some are concerned about costs and mixed messages from proponents of the concept. These represent both challenges and opportunities as we move forward.

Martin Gill
8th September 2020

Learn more about Secured Environments, a police certification scheme in association with Secured by Design.