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Winning students dig deep to come up with ‘brilliant’ crime prevention garden for prestigious 2018 show

Two mature students have won the opportunity to design and build a ‘crime prevention’ garden for display at next year’s Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, in a competition sponsored by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative.

It will be the first time that a garden, which will incorporate proven techniques to deter opportunistic burglars, will have featured at this prestigious annual show, which runs from 2-8 July 2018.

Five entries were submitted by students in the final year of their foundation degree course in garden design at Capel Manor College’s School of Garden Design and Plantsmanship, Enfield.

They were given four weeks to prepare to present their city or urban garden, which could be for a front or rear garden, or both, to ‘provide an enjoyable and safe space, which has well protected boundaries, preventing easy access to the rear and protects everything within’.

Students Lucy Glover and Jacqueline Poll were declared joint winners and will now work together on their garden for the show. The elements they included to make the garden safe, secure and sustainable included fencing topped with trellis to provide a high boundary; prickly plants, such as pyracantha or climbing roses, to protect windows, fencing and drainpipes; and fixed concrete benches topped with wood panels so they couldn’t be repositioned to access windows.

They also featured dawn-to-dusk low voltage lighting; solar globe lights in sandstone finish to provide low level illumination at night as well as sculptural interest to borders; and a pergola with a roof made of round poles with lose fitting wrap-around metal tubes to discourage climbing.

Other measures included gravel paths to hear the crunch of approaching footsteps; and a secure shed, topped with a green planting roof, with items inside like bicycles and gardening tools marked with DNA forensic marking liquids to identify them if stolen.

They delivered their presentations in front of a five-member judging panel comprising garden design and police crime prevention experts.

The panel was led by Julian Bennett, Central and South Area Commander with the Metropolitan Police, who is also the Met’s Lead on Burglary, and Julian Tatlock, lecturer in garden design, incorporating advanced construction and business management, at Capel Manor.

The other judges were Matt Turner, Prevention and Partnership Inspector, Met Police, who also has overall responsibility for the SBD trained Designing Out Crime Officers in London; Lyn Poole, the local area Development Officer with SBD; and Julie Dowbiggin, Capel Manor Plant Sales Manager.

Julian Tatlock said: “The standard was exceptionally high from all the students who had undertaken a great deal of work in a short period of time. They explored the whole spectrum of the design brief. Their designs were exciting, original, imaginative, and at the same time, edgy and contemporary. The designs had a simplicity about them to make them achievable to anyone interested in incorporating the key features in their garden. The designs were absolutely brilliant.”

Lyn Poole, of SBD, commented: “Gardens are all about being attractive and relaxing spaces for people to enjoy. We don’t want them to look like fortresses. However, you can include effective security measures that look like they are part of the overall garden without them appearing as standalone security features.”

SBD’s sponsorship will help to meet the costs of creating the garden and setting it up at the RHS show next year.

The competition was the result of close collaboration between the Met Police Designing Out Crime Team in North East London, SBD and Capel Manor College.

Secured by Design
Secured by Design (SBD) is the national police crime prevention initiative. Our aim is to achieve sustainable reductions in crime through design and other approaches to enable people to live in a safer society.
Tel: 0203 8623 999

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Entrants from left: Ivan Mackenzie, Fiona Ferguson, Lucy Glover, Jacqueline Poll and Alek Stoodley

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Our judges from left: Julian Tatlock, Lyn Poole, Julie Dowbiggin, Insp Matt Turner and Area Commander Julian Bennett