Secured by Design shares how developers can meet security criteria set out in building regulations through its new scheme SBD National Building Approval

Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, works closely with specialist police officers in Police Forces around the UK to promote secure development and building security. These officers are known as Designing Out Crime Officers, Crime Prevention Design Advisers or Architectural Liaison Officers. They are specialists who they have been trained by SBD to liaise with and advise architects, developers and local planning authorities about crime prevention and security matters often at the design stage of developments. Their advice on the built environment could include creating safer spaces through the use of natural surveillance, landscaping, lighting, fencing, gating and other measures. They would also be advising about the physical security of buildings and would want to see the use of products that meet Police Preferred Specifications.

Manufacturers of products, such as doors, windows and skylights, would have to pass physical tests to gain PAS 24 or equivalent to meet the requirements of Part Q (Security – Dwellings) of the Building Regulations that came into effect in England in October 2015. However, to gain Police Preferred Specification status, they would need third-party certification from a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) authority. This provides independent third-party certification, and the process ensures that every product produced meets the same physical standard and specifications as the one that was originally tested. Regular production audits guarantee that this level of quality is consistent over time. SBD is the only way for any security products to achieve Police Preferred Specification status.

What is SBD National Building Approval?

SBD has launched a new product called SBD National Building Approval (NBA), which focuses on all aspects of building security. It’s a scheme that makes it simpler and quicker for companies seeking to deliver security and meet the Building Regulations for their new-build developments or major refurbishment schemes in the residential, commercial, leisure, transport, retail, mixed-use, educational or health sectors.

How does NBA work?

We engage with developers to agree on the basic level of physical security and carry out thorough ‘due diligence’ checks on their list of suppliers to ensure they meet the requirements of the Building Regulations and Police Preferred Specification standards. Captured in a Technical Schedule and its Appendix ‘A’, this information acts as a template for future developments and is accepted by all Police Forces throughout the UK. SBD NBA members receive an SBD Silver Certificate which they can use as evidence to discharge new Building Regulations for security, as well as for any other third-party requirement, such as a planning obligation or client instruction. With the support of one of our Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs), members can go on to attain an SBD Gold Certificate, which shows they have also incorporated other proven crime prevention techniques into the external environment.

How SBD NBA assists planning and building control officers

Our work with the Department for Communities and Local Government, National House Building Council, Local Authority Building Control and the Building Control Alliance, means our SBD Silver Certificates can be used as evidence by the developer to discharge their third party obligations under Part Q of Schedule 1 (Security) to the Building Regulations 2010 and the Scottish Building Standard 4.13 – Security.

This helps Local Authority Building Control Officers and Approved Inspectors in their dealings with developers who tender one of our SBD Certificates. The due diligence performed by both SBD and the wider police family ensures that the level of security provided exceeds that required of the developer by any building regulation.

What difference can SBD make?

Independent academic research shows that SBD developments that incorporate crime prevention techniques in the building design and layout and accredited products can achieve crime reductions of up to 75% compared to non-SBD sites. Breaking into premises where Police Preferred Specification products have been fitted could take up to 15 minutes, by which time, with good surveillance in place, they are likely to have been spotted or heard, and the police called. Building in extra security at the design stage typically costs around £170 for a three-bed dwelling – a relatively low-cost deterrent to criminality.

SBD Development Officer Michael Brooke, who developed NBA as a product, said: “This has become an extremely popular scheme very quickly. We have signed up 18 construction companies, most of them in the new-build residential marketplace, making a total of 2,874 buildings currently under SBD NBA management.

“It not only makes life easier for developers but also greatly assists in the planning process because our NBA Silver Certificates can be used as evidence that acceptable levels of security have been met after we have carried out considerable engagement with the developer and carried out due diligence on their supply chain.

“We expect SBD NBA to expand quickly over the coming months as professionals in the industry come to learn of its many benefits including the fact that it saves time and money, a crucial factor in today’s highly competitive, fast-moving and cost conscious new-build marketplace.”

Comment from Kevin Dawson, Chair of the Building Control Alliance: “The Building Control Alliance welcomes the introduction of Secured by Design National Building Approval and acknowledges the award as one way of demonstrating compliance with Part Q of the Building Regulations (England).”


Police Crime Prevention

Initiatives Limited


Please note: this is a commercial profile


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here