Crime prevention advice

Designing out crime

It's widely recognised that there's a link between design and crime.

Careful attention to the planning of towns, buildings and housing estates can help reduce crime. Design can also help reduce anti-social behaviour as well as the fear of crime. 

In Southwark, we've been working closely with the police for a number of years to prevent crime through environmental design to make the borough's physical environment as safe as possible. 

We've taken advantage of police expertise to influence projects ranging from small lighting schemes and public space closed circuit television (CCTV) to major regeneration projects.


The police borough crime prevention design adviser visits our planning offices weekly to discuss the security and safety implications of planning applications.

Planning officers now impose crime prevention conditions on planning approvals, requiring adequate security measures to make homes and businesses less vulnerable. 

Take a look at recent guidance from the The following link opens in a new windowOffice of the Deputy Prime Minister (pdf, 3.1mb).

While designing out crime is an advisory role for police, the new Southwark Plan sets out crime prevention through environmental design on a more formal basis, setting thresholds at which developers will be expected to have consulted the police.

The Southwark Plan, which will replace the Unitary Development Plan (UDP), will be the planning policy framework for all land use and development in the borough for the next ten years. The plan is supported by a number of supplementary planning guidance notes (SPGs).

Read our guidance on good design in Southwark (pdf, 47kb)

For more information on planning policy, visit our Planning pages.

Page last updated: 08 March 2019