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London community upgrades hailed

by Mark Rowe

Secured by Design member company Premier Security and Fire Consultants have been thanked by the Metropolitan Police for their work on the Met’s Youth and Community Centre Safety Scheme. That’s a blue light collaboration between the Met, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and Secured by Design (SBD), about creating safer places for staff and members of the community to enjoy educational, diversionary and community-based activities.

Neil Johns, Managing Director at Premier Security and Fire Consultants, was thanked for going “above and beyond to forge relationships and collaborate with communities and other Blue Light Services to deliver this innovative project on time and in budget.” Neil’s work, commitment and passion for the scheme, which has resulted in safer places for communities and young people to use, safer places for staff to work and sustainability of this vital community resource, was also highlighted. Premier have provided doors, glazing, access control systems and bespoke panels.

Neil is pictured left, with Guy Ferguson, CEO of Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (PCPI, the parent company of SBD). Neil said: “To see this scheme develop from concept to reality has been truly amazing and to know that Premier’s designs and security systems have been embraced by the Youth and Community Centre Safety Scheme is incredibly rewarding and pleasing for us. Working alongside the Designing Out Crime Officers [DOCOs] has been an education and I believe we have all benefited from the collaboration.”


The scheme was the idea of DOCO James Smith and came about after the murder of a young man in 2019 who was chased into a youth centre and stabbed. Physical security upgrades were then installed at the youth centre by an SBD member company using tested and accredited security rated products which had achieved the Police Preferred Specification standard.

In March 2020, James and his DOCO colleagues worked to secure funding from the Home Office to build on the successful intervention at the youth centre and replicate it at other youth clubs across London. The scheme is now in its third year, with funding from the Mayor of London’s Office and to date some 26 venues across the capital have seen fully funded physical security upgrades.

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