7.8 Campus safety | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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7.8 Campus safety

The 2012 Campus Master Plan intends that all staff, students and community users of the campus are able to carry out their daily activities in an environment of personal safety and security, and without the fear of crime. The incorporation of community safety and crime prevention design strategies at all stages of planning will help create such an environment.

The key element of community safety and crime prevention in the 2012 Campus Master Plan is the endorsement and implementation of “Crime Prevention Trough Environmental Design” (CPTED) principles in the planning and design of all buildings and spaces throughout the University. The application of CPTED principles will contribute to the effectiveness of the subsequent layers of security and access control systems, awareness programs, and human resources (i.e. security teams), and will furthermore reduce the ongoing operational costs of security measures.

Security and Access Control Systems (SACS) are designed in conjunction with CPTED to enhance the CPTED principles and to provide the tools for securing, monitoring, reporting, and controlling access to space. It is significantly cheaper to integrate SACS during the construction of projects than to fit them retrospectively.

Community safety and crime prevention is the joint responsibility between the University and its community. Personal safety and security awareness programs contribute to the reduction of incidents of crime and the creation of the perception of a safe and secure environment, and a reduction in the fear of crime. These programs educate and empower the users of a space to contribute to their own personal safety and security, and the security of the University, by providing them with the information to prevent, deter, and report potential crime.

The final element of the community safety and crime prevention design is the “face” of all the underpinning layers, the security team. Above all else the security team must develop and maintain the confidence of the University community, which in turn will foster the perception of a safe and secure environment, reducing the fear of crime.

The operational cost of human resources is high and the maximum benefit must be gained from the deployment of the minimum resources. The proper design of space, integrated application of security and access control systems, and cooperative awareness by the community, will contribute to the reduction of the levels of human resources required. Resources are best deployed as a highly visible patrol to interact with staff and students, provide a visible crime deterrent, and reduce the fear of crime.

It is not the purpose of this document to specify Community Safety and Crime Prevention Controls (CPTED) measures that will suit all development types and situations. Further details can be accessed through the Queensland Government Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Guidelines.

All new development or redevelopment on campus will require a statement detailing consideration of CPTED principles and how they are considered and incorporated in the project design.

There are a number of generic principles relevant to CPTED. Some of these are outlined below and should be taken into account in development design and the development assessment process.

The inability to see what is ahead because of sharp corners, walls, topographical features, landscaping, shrubs or columns is a serious impediment to feeling and being safe. These same features provide concealment for crimes such as assault, robbery, burglary, vandalism and graffiti. Designers shall maximise "visual permeability" and opportunities for "natural surveillance", while avoiding "blind" corners, especially on stairs, in corridors, and in the location of toilets. Special consideration must be given to car parks and pedestrian/bicycle routes.
Entrapment Spots

Entrapment spots are small, confined areas, adjacent or near frequently used routes. They are typically shielded on three sides by opaque barriers such as walls or vegetation. For example, dark recessed entrances, loading docks, gaps in vegetation along paths, toilet airlocks, small courtyards or certain architectural features may create entrapment spots. Entrapment spots are to be avoided either through design, such as maze entry systems in toilets, or by restricting access to spaces by using hardware such as gates/grilles. Where an entrapment spot is unavoidable, it shall be lit to a minimum of 30 lux and brought to the attention of University.

Isolated placement of facilities such as toilets, public telephones, car parks, bus stops, pedestrian paths and tunnels, after-hours computer and science laboratories, libraries, etc. can increase fear on the part of the users, and increase the opportunities for crime. Designers shall give careful consideration to mitigating the sense of isolation by using techniques such as incorporating windows to overlook pedestrian routes and locating the above mentioned facilities adjacent to high circulation areas where opportunities for "natural surveillance" are enhanced. Toilets shall not be located within isolated corridors or adjacent to a fire exit.

Designers shall avoid locating toilets or bathrooms adjacent to public telephones, external seating, vending machines, notice boards, or any other item that may legitimise loitering in the vicinity of the toilet.

Transitional space and signage

The ability to easily navigate the university campus reduces confusion and enhances confidence on the part of students, staff and particularly visitors. Designers shall incorporate techniques such as landscaping, changes in texture and/or colour, placement of furniture, etc. to aid with "legibility" of the site and clearly define the transition from public to semi-public to semi-private to private space. Where signs are used, their meaning shall be clear and unambiguous, and they shall be strategically located at entrances and near the intersections of corridors and paths.

The successful application of CPTED concepts requires designers to consider not only the proposed building and the activity which it supports, but also its relationship to neighbouring buildings and activities, whether on campus or on an adjacent property. Protective security measures shall be integrated with CPTED strategies, where appropriate, to further reduce crime risk and enhance personal safety.

University safety and crime prevention design standards

University Safety and Crime Prevention Design Standards have been developed on the understanding that the University will be the sole occupant of the building. If a commercial or shared tenancy is contemplated then additional advice should be sought from the University.

The philosophy behind these recommendations is to combine like areas in function to the one area or cell-like areas. This allows for easier methods of securing areas and enhances the “need-to-know” principle of security. In areas such as laboratories, the economics of concentrated locations support security considerations.

The University Safety and Crime Prevention Design Standards will be applied as required to all built environment planning and developments. Where variations to the design standards are recommended they are to be referred to the University for approval. These design standards are to be considered in conjunction with the application of CPTED principles outlined above.

Security operational plan

The University Security Operational Plan details the objectives and methodology for security operations, and in particular the deployment and use of human resources. The objectives of the Security Operational Plan influence safety and security measures, and the CPTED strategies that are to be designed into the built environment. Consideration must be given to the interoperability between the designed, technical, and human resource elements of this community safety and crime prevention planning.