Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 12:21 UK

Glasgow social housing revamp 'cutting crime'

Building site
GHA is refurbishing Glasgow's social housing stock

A social housing revamp in Scotland's largest city has dramatically cut localised crime, new research suggests.

Police figures show housebreaking down 61% and thefts cut by 18% where Glasgow Housing Association has modernised properties to "design out crime".

The approach sees architects follow police advice on how design can make homes and social spaces safer.

This is then reflected in the choice of windows, doors, lighting and open space used in housing refurbishments.

The research, carried out by Glasgow Caledonian University, was commissioned by Secured by Design (SBD).

This UK-wide police initiative sets down criteria to help architects and builders improve public safety.

They focus on crime prevention at the design, layout and construction phases of homes and other premises, such as schools.

Safer areas

The Glasgow Caledonian University researchers looked at Glasgow Housing Association stock refurbished to SBD standards since 2006.

They found significant reduction in some crime statistics at properties across the Royston corridor, Keystone, Balmore and New Shaws.

Jacqui Shiel, SBD's development officer for Scotland, said: "Designing products, homes and neighbourhoods to cut crime works.

"It has been proved in Glasgow that people feel safer in homes where SBD has been applied.

"Crime isn't displaced from secure to less secure houses and streets. Whole areas are improved."

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