Getting security design right before breaking ground

Crime Prevention
through Environmental Design

Facility or development design can influence the occurrence of crime and nuisance both positively and negatively. The aim of crime reduction through environmental design CPTED, is to reduce the vulnerability of people and property to crime by removing opportunities that may be provided Inadvertently by the built environment. Doing so effectively reduces fear of crime and enhances quality of life. Evidence also suggests that appropriate safety and security features Incorporated into the design and layout of a development project is highly beneficial on many levels: It need not increase costs, indeed aligned with the right policies and procedures and the proper balance of design, human touch and technology it will often ensure cost savings. It will also be more economical in the longer term not least with reduced maintenance expenditure. Read our article which gives a subject matter expert insight into crime prevention through environmental design

Designing Out Crime Specialists

Rather than relying on reactive measures Lions Gate’s Designing Out Crime Team provides expert risk management advice to new developments and new build projects throughout the development process.  Through pre-design direction, schematic or concept design, further design development; to comprehensive construction drawings, plans and document review.  Then ensuring all the requisite check boxes are ticked in construction project administration, through to final security requirement compliance auditing, ahead of commissioning.  We are familiar with design processes, the language of design and symbology applied to design.  Our annotations will reflect this and by using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software we also utilize the tools employed by design professionals.  Read our designing out crime article to gain a fuller appreciation of the scope of designing out crime and the clients who stand to benefit from its application 

Pre-design we establish the regulatory framework and compliance requirements.  We then guide design, throughout the project life cycle,ensuring alignment with policy documentation, operating procedures, protocols, processes and program development.  We focus on minimizing imposition in determining security measures and in achieving functional and aesthetically pleasing design.

Our role as designing out crime consultants is to reduce opportunities for crime and nuisance activity and we have the subject matter expertise within our team at Lions Gate to do so effectively.  We apply years of offender behavior experience to remove or adjust design features that would foster crime and apply / add community safety enhancements into the design mix.  Security is but one requirement in the design process, so we also adapt security layering to accommodate compromise, where it is necessary to do so, and where a ‘compliance requirement’ is not impacted.

We conduct community audits to establish the impact of the community on the facility/development and the facility/development on the community.  We interview law enforcement to establish the locality crime and nuisance footprint; we establish the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats presented by facilities of type already in operation.  Our research is extensive and through our pro-activity we contribute to getting the ‘security component’ of any design right before the digger hits the dirt and structures are built.


The SAFE Design Standard®

Specifically selected by the SAFE Design Council as the first Accredited firm to provide SAFE Design Consulting services based on the firm’s exceptional leadership, impeccable national reputation, and unique professional capacity. Lions Gate is an independent entity authorized as an exclusive representative for the SAFE Design Companies applying the SAFE Design Standard® with respect to the security sector within Canada and the United States.

Our Team

The Lions Gate Risk Management Group SAFE Design Team is comprised of a group of highly qualified individuals with a unique combination of academic, private sector, law enforcement and designing out crime backgrounds. Our SAFE Team is a high value resource, a trained team of accredited professionals ready to serve clients seeking SAFE Design Standard Certification.

Crime Reduction Through Design

The SAFE Design Standard® (Security Achieved through Functional Environmental Design) includes the foundational elements of CPTED and builds on them. SAFE Design acknowledges that CPTED has changed little since the 1970s and has refreshed and updated the approach.

Crime reduction through design Is most aptly achieved when applied in a systematic manner by educated professionals who understand the interaction between the physical, social, and designed environments –– safeguarding against overt fortification and unnecessary security features.

Occupiers Liability

The SAFE Design Standard is a very timely innovation given a recent ruling of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench which indicates that property owners must ensure they apply the foundational principles of CPTED as part of demonstrating their duty of care to occupants of their property.

“The duty of care owed would include the installation and maintenance of sufficient lighting, video surveillance, and staffing levels to deter crime or allow its detection and an appropriate and timely response thereto. “

New Build and Existing Structure Projects

The SAFE Design Standard is primarily aimed at reducing crime through functional planning, landscape architecture, architecture, engineering, interior design, and space programming at the design stage, before plans morph into structures or completed spaces.

The SAFE Design Standard is no less viable when it is directed to reducing crime risk through design for existing structures.

Recognizing these distinctions and to better meet client needs the SAFE design Council has drawn together and trained SAFE Design Accredited Professionals (SAFE AP’s) from a range of different professions.

The existing and connected resource pool of Architects, Engineers, Landscape Designers. Security Consultants and Academics, will expand as the program grows.

The SAFE Design Standard leads the field in Crime Reduction Through Design because it:

  • Is an Environmental Crime Reduction Program modelled on the highly successful Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED Program.
  • Focuses on sustainability and reducing carbon emissions generated by crime events
  • Draws on Social Science and Design Scholarship.
  • Is the only ‘accredited’ certification program of its type.
  • Can only be applied by an Accredited Safe Professional (SAFE-AP™).
  • Is peer reviewed regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Is applied in a systematic, standardized way for clients with multiple locations.
  • Is applied in a systematic, standardized way from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
  • Includes a consistently applied and unique multi scale risk assessment for every application.
  • Provides comparable sector and locational data sets for SAFE Design Council analysis to inform future program developments.
  • Provides ‘apples to apples’ comparable data sets for organizations with multiple sites and the insurance industry
  • Requires re-certification to retain the SAFE Design Standard which ensures measures continue to be risk commensurate
  • Is a new, innovative, and effective way to minimize exposure to civil litigation because program ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ will: discourage lawyers from initiating suits, help clients avoid possible occupational health and safety claims; enable access to expert and scholarly resources to either defend or deflect suits.
  • Provides insurance underwriters with compelling reasons to offer certified clients business insurance premium reductions.

The SAFE Design Process

The SAFE Design Standard is a Managed Crime Reduction Through Design Solution For:

  • All Public and Private Sector Organizations
  • All New Build Projects
  • All Owners and Managers with Existing Premises, Spaces
  • Any Organization looking to reduce their exposure to the risk of civil litigation
  • Any organization looking to secure a return on investment through program certification

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