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We have recent experience in not achieving Secured by Design (SBD) in apartment blocks where letter boxes have not been located in an isolated lobby, separate from a further secure lobby (with access to dwellings). This is aimed to design out direct unauthorised access to dwelling entrances by deliverers.

Where this has not been properly designed, developments are failing to meet SBD requirements and consequently the MAN 4 credits of the Code for Sustainable Homes assessment at the post construction stage.

SBD will allow for some local interpretation of their requirements. These site specific requirements are to be set by an Architectural Liaison Officer (ALO) or a Crime Prevention Design Advisor (CPDA) from the local police force.

The ALO/CPDA will carry out a review of the local situation (i.e. a crime risk assessment) and work with developers/architects to mitigate vulnerability. Meeting the requirements of the ALO/CPDA would be sufficient to achieve MAN 4 credits.

For any developer/architect working on apartment blocks, our advice would be to clarify the recommendations of an ALO/CPDA as early on in the design process as possible, as interpretation of local issues may be different between developments.


Secured by Design - Letterbox locations

 Figure 1: Secured by Design – Compliant Letterboxes for Communal Flats 

Secured by Design - Letterbox criteria

Table 1: Mail Delivery for Communal Dwellings

(Source: Secured by Design – New Homes (2010) 24.6)