Designing out crime at the RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show
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Essex Police are designing out crime at the RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show
“Gardens are a place to relax, unwind or spend time with loved ones. “They can also be purposeful and help make your home more secure. With a few small changes to your garden, you can help protect your home and reduce your chances of being a victim of crime.” Chief Constable Harrington, Essex Police
The Essex Police Secure Garden opened today as part of the RHS Hyde Hall Summer Flower Show.
The show garden has been designed to illustrate how you can incorporate home security into your garden while still maintaining a tranquil and sociable space.
The event will run from Wednesday 3 to Sunday 7 August 2022 and was designed in partnership with the Essex Police Design Out Crime Team, Secured by Design (SBD), RHS Hyde Hall and the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst.
For those lucky to have some outdoor garden space, we know how important it is to have a place you can relax in, socialise, enjoy and feel safe. The idea of someone destroying it or using it as a means to gain access to our homes can be heart-breaking.
The secure garden was created to help inspire people to think about how they can use their spaces both for enjoyment and to increase their sense of safety and wellbeing. Through the innovative demonstration of how creative planting, boundary planning and technology can come together.
Ian Le Gros, Head of Site at RHS Garden Hyde Hall and Garden Designer, said:
"Well thought-out design and planting demonstrates that you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for security. "There are several things that can be done to improve security in the garden – most of which are relatively quick and inexpensive to do”.
Visitors to the garden will have an opportunity to speak with Our Design Out Crime Officers about the different security features in the garden including plants that can help protect a home, secure boundaries and fencing, padlocks, solar lighting, and much more.
Gravel driveways and paths will make sure you hear anyone approach.
Security light; install an outside security light so that intruders can’t approach without being seen.
Secure your shed; always keep your shed locked and secured, and make sure it is anchored down to prevent it from being lifted in order to gain access.
Planting prickly or barbed shrubbery along boundaries and fence lines acts as an effective natural barrier.
Consider a battery-operated shed alarm. They look low key but they respond to movement or door contact with an extremely loud siren.
Trellis, thorny plants, or a suitable anti-climb topping such as plastic spikes make it difficult for anyone climbing over a fence or gate.
Position cameras where they are best able to obtain good quality facial images. Could you recognise or identify someone from the footage?
Secure your bike to the ground or a lockable stand within a locked shed or garage
Consider an accredited burglar alarm system with audible alarm boxes mounted high at the front and rear of your home.
What is designing out crime?
Designing out crime is about working with partners across Essex to embed crime prevention through environmental design principles.
Our Design Out Crime Team specialise in providing advice on security for new and refurbished buildings, to enable designs to be as safe and secure as possible. Working on projects across our communities including new housing developments, schools, hospitals and even football stadiums.
Heather Gurden, Strategic Designing Out Crime Officer and lead on the garden project, said:
“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of being able to access open spaces, be that within our homes or in parks and communal areas. “‘Safer green spaces’ are more than just a garden, it’s about creating a sense of wellbeing, with security measures blending in seamlessly into the background. “The garden showcases that security does not need to be a fortress in nature, but can be subliminal, aesthetically pleasing and integrated with a garden. While most importantly still being affordable.”
Heather and the team work with teams across Essex Police and partner organisations to ensure that development and changes across our community’s infrastructure take into consideration the security of those who might live or work there in the future.
When asked about the impact the team have had, Heather explained:
“Our greatest achievement is that we have secured legal planning conditions, whereby developers must evidence that they have considered security throughout their design. “In doing so, we are doing our bit to obtain reductions in crime and help communities live in a safer society, which in turn increases sustainability, health, and wellbeing."
What is your top tip for keeping your home safe?
“Prevention is better than cure! Often taking simple steps can reduce the chances of your home being burgled.” Heather said. “When looking at your home security start by looking at the boundary – are your fences and gates in good condition, are there any bins that can be used to climb over or on, are all your locks still working correctly and have not become weather worn. “If you are happy with your boundary, start to look at your doors and windows. Make sure that all your doors are locked when you leave the property and that windows are closed when you are not in the room.“
Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex and a partner in the secure garden project, said:
“Nobody wants to be the victim of crime and by working together we can make it much harder for criminals to commit offences. “Simple actions such as joining your local Neighbourhood Watch, working with your community to support and keep an eye out for the most vulnerable in society and using physical features to make it harder for criminal to gain access to our gardens all make a significant difference. “The Hyde Hall garden is a great opportunity to see how clever, sensible and defensive planting can make you and your community safer. These easy actions that we can all do to collectively make a big difference.”
For further information on the garden, security features contained within it and crime prevention advice, visit the Secured by Design website.
For advice on how to stay safe and protect your home, yourself, your business and your vehicles from crime, please visit our crime prevention pages.
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