Case Studies

Construction site guide

by Mark Rowe

Secured by Design (SBD), the UK police scheme, has issued a new guide for Construction Site Security which provides advice on how to secure a site from the very start to the end of construction.

Even before the pandemic emptied construction sites last spring, theft blighted the UK construction industry, with the industry suffering estimated losses of around £800 million a year. The impact of these losses – due also to criminal damage, arson and anti social behaviour – are not only limited to the stolen or damaged equipment or property, but may affect completion dates. Overall development costs also rise due to project delays, the need for equipment to be repaired or replaced, and higher insurance premiums.

The new guide has been produced with assistance from the Metropolitan Police, Police Scotland, the Considerate Constructors Scheme, London Fire Brigade (LFB), the National Business Crime Centre, Sold Secure, the UK official Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

Head of Operational Services at Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI), Michael Brooke, said: “This SBD guide is designed to be risk commensurate and provide advice on how to secure the site from the moment the hoarding goes up until the moment the development is handed over to the client or end user. The advice is based on proven crime prevention principles that are known to reduce criminal opportunity by creating safer, more secure and sustainable environments. It applies to all construction sites regardless of their size and is intended for all staff including security personnel.”

Stuart Ward, National Designing Out Crime Manager at Police Scotland, said: “Crime affecting the Construction Industry is known to have a negative impact on the ability of contractors to meet “on time and within budget delivery” of development work. This new publication by Secured by Design and UK Police Forces, provides quality and credible advice that can be applied from the design stages through to the completion of construction and which can have a positive impact in reducing the risk of crime and anti-social activity against construction sites.

“Throughout the UK the use of this guide and implementation of its recommendations where appropriate will significantly reduce the cost of crime both in terms of finance and reputation. The guide can be used as an excellent start point for security measures to be applied, and further advice can be sought from the local Police Designing Out Crime Officers, who can also assist in providing supplementary support.”

And PC James Smith from the Metropolitan Police, said: “This guidance has been produced with the construction industry and the problems they face firmly in mind. With the amount of construction work happening across the country, it is important that crime prevention advice be freely available to all tradespeople to help protect construction sites and equipment. I think this guidance will go some way to assisting the industry, and helping improve security on building sites.”

The guide can be downloaded for free from the SBD website.

For other development type guides, created to prevent crime in the built environment, downloadable for free also from the SBD website, visit:

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