Police Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCO’s)

The UK Police Service has a number of specialised staff called Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCOs) whose role is to provide specialist security advice and guidance as it pertains to the built environment at every stage of the design process, from pre-planning to the full development control process, in order to minimise the potential for crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.

Liaising with architects, designers and developers, DOCOs provide ongoing specialist advice on the security of new buildings and the refurbishment of existing buildings to enable building designs to be as safe and secure as is reasonably possible, promoting an awareness of the principles of crime prevention through design to both build awareness of, and ensure the adoption of, recommended security standards and specifications.

The DOCO role is referenced within planning policy for England, Scotland and Wales, adding significant weight to their involvement in issues of design and both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) promote creating safe and sustainable communities, encouraging pre-application discussion between planners and DOCOs, and also involving architects, developers and key stakeholders.

DOCOs engage with the rest of the policing family to ensure that a ‘whole’ building security solution is provided. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is in place between Counter Terrorism Security Advisers (CTSAs) and DOCOs to support this measure and ensure they work together effectively to provide formal responses to relevant planning applications.  DOCOs are recommended as a source of assistance by the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure (CPNI) due to their comprehensive, specialist training.

Police CPI support this specialist policing role which works to deliver our range of initiatives including Secured by Design, Home Office Safer Streets Fund, Home Office Places of Worship scheme, Operation Bridger, Park Mark and the SBD Sanctuary Scheme. Through the creation of the Police Crime Prevention Academy Police CPI now provides the academic framework for all DOCOs culminating in their Level 5 qualification in Designing Out Crime.

As part of their professional development, Police CPI regularly bring together these specialist officers, ensuring they keep pace with changing patterns of criminal behaviour and advances in building design and new technology. 

Contact details for each force’s DOCOs can be found here https://www.securedbydesign.com/contact-us/national-network-of-designing-out-crime-officers?view=article&id=308

For further information contact Kenny McHugh

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