Environmental Design for Licensed Premises
Guidelines for Crime Prevention through Environmental Design for Licensed Premises
8 AUGUST 2012
Guidelines to reduce opportunities for crime and anti social behaviour both in and around licensed premises and enhance the safety of customers and staff as well as the security of the buildings and facilities have just been released.
Developed by the former Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) which is now part of the new entity the Health Promotion Agency (HPA), the guidelines are for those involved in the design, development and refurbishment of licensed premises.
“There is a growing body of research that good design of licensed premises can make a significant contribution to reducing the likelihood of disorder or criminal activities,” said Dr Andrew Hearn, Health Promotion Agency General Manager Research, Policy and Advice.
“While the strongest tool in preventing disorder is alert and firm management, there is a general acceptance that the design of buildings and their surroundings are major factors affecting crime and, in particular, alcohol-related disorder,” he said.
“It is recognised that certain elements in the design of licensed premises can promote or dissuade criminal behaviour at or near licensed premises and also assist the ability of a licensee to exercise control over their premises.”
Specific factors that have been linked to a higher likelihood of aggression in licensed premises include crowding, poor bar layout, inadequate seating or insufficient bar serving areas, inappropriate temperatures, sound and light fittings, unclean conditions, discount drinks and promotions that encourage heavy drinking, lack of availability of food.
The solution to many of these problems could be simple and cost effective, Dr Hearn said.
“A comfortable and entertaining atmosphere reduces both frustration and boredom among patrons, which can reduce aggression levels. Also, attractive and well maintained bars suggest to patrons that the owners care about their property and will not tolerate disorderly and violent conduct that might destroy it.”
Dr Hearn said crime and the fear of crime were real and important issues for people in New Zealand. “This fear affects people’s quality of life – people may avoid going out at night or stay away from particular areas because of their fear of crime. This in turn has important economic consequences as people choose to avoid certain retail and entertainment areas in favour of those that are safer or perceived as safer.”
The guidelines suggest simple strategies for both on and off-licensed premises as well as club-licensed premises which if implemented could reduce the potential for crime and violence occurring on those premises. They present examples of well designed and poorly designed bar and off-licence store layouts as well as checklists for each type of premises to assist those wishing to carry out their own CPTED audit.
The guidelines are available to download or hard copies may be ordered on-line at www.healthpromotion.org.nz