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Heritage and security - finding the balance when protecting the protected

Heritage crime is on the increase

Recent figures from Historic England show that Heritage Crime is on the up, a concerning indication of apathy towards the UK’s historic assets such as listed buildings, scheduled monuments and registered parks and gardens.

An estimated 18.7% of all listed buildings were physically affected by crime last year. That figure equates to 70,000 listed buildings, and for almost 30,000 of those, the impact was substantial (source – Historic England). These figures, along with a significant rise in rates of metal theft, reveal that there is a crucial need for a multi layered approach, including appropriate security measures, to reduce these alarming statistics.

Making reporting crimes easier

Historic England has partnered with Country Eye to produce a free app that makes reporting heritage crime quicker and easier for members of the public. They are also working alongside rural crime teams in police forces up and down the country to create Heritage Watch schemes, aiming to develop knowledge and awareness of historic environments whilst investigating and preventing crime and anti-social behaviour in these vulnerable areas.

Don’t just report it – prevent it!

It makes sense that deterring or preventing such events happening in the first place should be a priority. Physical security is vital, however, choosing the appropriate security measures for property or assets that are both effective in deterring intruders and visually sensitive to their surroundings can prove to be trickier than expected. Installing something like an anti-climb product within an area of sensitivity requires a similar level of consideration as replacing windows or a roof on a property.

DefendaStrip pipe installation in Conservation area and adjacent to Grade I Listed Skerne Bridge

Consultation with the Local Authority is vital for the property owner when choosing an appropriate security product such as a trespasser deterrent for installation in protected areas. Acts of law such as Town & County Planning Act 1990 (As amended), Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas Act 1990 (As amended) and the National Planning Policy Framework 2018 all play a significant part in the decision-making process for any planning enquiries or applications. Unauthorised development by owners is considered a crime threat and being forced to remove inappropriate security measures and replace with more suitable alternatives can be costly and time consuming.

A sensitive alternative to harsh metal products that is already planning approved

At DefendaStrip, we have developed an unobtrusive and cost-effective anti-climb system that provides a safe alternative to traditional harsh metal products and is more suitable for protected properties and environments. Our team has extensive architectural and planning knowledge and has advised on several projects where installation of anti-climb products has been more complex than usual. DefendaStrip has been approved for use in protected locations, including near Grade I and Grade II Listed structures where metal products were deemed to be unsightly and not in keeping with the surroundings.

DefendaStrip perimeter security installed at a popular attraction in a conservation area, shown here in our green colour way.

For full details of DefendaStrip products and specifications, including available colour ways, please visit our website, or call us on +44 (0)1425 400 805.


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