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The police in the Hollands Midden (Central Holland) region, have devised a Dutch "Secured by Design" police seal of approval. A booklet describes the requirements that dwellings and the environment must meet to be eligible for the seal.
Social safety and burglary prevention have received considerable attention in plans for
new developments. Local authorities, housing associations, project developers, town
planners, architects and residents often approach the police for advice. As such advice is
non-binding, it is only partly implemented into projects, if at all. The situation
persuaded the Hollands Midden police to issue a clear package of requirements, linked with
a seal of quality: the Netherlands Police 'Secured by Design" seal of approval. The
idea is based on the British 'Secured by Design' project. Burglaries on estates in Britain
awarded the 'approved design' seal were ultimately found to have fallen by an average of
40 %. The residents consequently feel safer.
The Secured by Design police seal of approval is granted when an extensive package of
requirements is met. The package is applicable on five levels: district organisation,
parceling, detailing of the residential environment, residents' participation/management
and the building. At each level, so-called design components are distinguished. Linkage to
surrounding buildings, the scale and height are important, for example, for a safe estate.
The dwelling and residential environment are assessed on the basis of the package of requirements. The 'checklist' shows five scales, with 55 associated subject components. To be eligible for the seal of approval, eighteen of the 55 components must be fully achieved. These components all relate to two levels: detailing of the residential environment and the building. Examples are; short straight rear paths; windows in the side walls of dwellings; good visibility from the dwelling onto the street; good street lighting; and, of course burglar-proof windows and doors. The other three levels must be achieved for 60%. Examples are: not too massive or large-scale construction; cycle and pedestrian routes running safely along the housing; greenery and play space.
The package of requirements meets the new European standards and the existing Association of Plastic Frontage Element Manufacturers rules for burglar-proofing. Under these rules, not just the locks but all elements of the frontage (windows and doors) are checked to see if they are burglar-proof. Two approved inspection bodies check the frontage elements against these rules. To obtain the police seal of approval, the construction elements used must be approved.
The police seal of approval may be applied for in writing from a special Holland Midden
Police inspection committee set up for this purpose. Documentation material on the project
should accompany the application. Following endorsement by the inspection committee the
project is granted provisional approval as 'seal of approval applied for'. On completion,
the project is finally approved and the seal granted.
Hollands Midden Police cooperated with the Housing Experiments Steering Committee, the
Crime Prevention Directorate and the Ministry of Justice in developing the seal of
approval. Together, they adapted the British package to the Dutch situation. Five pilot
projects in the Holland Midden region were used to see whether approval is viable. The
Seal was finally developed during 1995. Three certificates have now been granted for
The writing of the manual and the necessary studies were financed by the national government, the police and the Housing Experiments Steering Committee. Certification is undertaken free of charge. Security facilities will be paid for by the builder himself. This will cost approximately 400 guilders per dwelling (a relatively small amount in relation to the cost of an average dwelling)
Hollands Midden Police, Leiderdorp
Housing Experiments Steering Committee, (SEV) Rotterdam
Ministry of Justice, The Hague
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