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High street advisor

Richard Stones OBE, pictured, the co-founder and director of CPTED-UK Ltd has been appointed as an expert advisor to the High Street Task Force.

That was commissioned by the British government in 2019 as part of its ‘Plan for the High Street’ and in response to recommendations of an expert panel, chaired by the retail entrepreneur Sir John Timpson.

The Task Force is un by the Institute of Place Management on behalf of government. Its purpose; to offer aid to local leadership in high streets and town centres in England: information, advice, training, knowledge and data. The Task Force’s experts advise on a range of issues, including planning, urban design, place-making, landscape architecture, resilience, transport, valuation, asset management, investment, governance, data and analytics, and place management besides leadership. Experts typically are experienced and respected professionals, at Member or Fellow level of a professional body, or, in the case of the Design Council, Built Environment Experts (BEE). Richard is a Fellow of The Security Institute, Chartered Security Professional and a BEE.

The Task Force’s website hosts training, learning, and data insights, including the Covid-19 Recovery Framework to help places identify what they need to do now, as well as how to plan and build capacity for recovery.

Richard Stones has advised on several EU and UK Home Office-funded projects. His role will be to advise the local planning authorities and business groups on how to prevent crime before it occurs by consulting on new and existing developments.

He said: “It’s an honour to be invited to consult on this Task Force and to play a positive role in the future of our towns and cities. To do this effectively you really need to understand how the built environment affects place management and consider the opportunities current and future urban spaces afford to criminals and the inherent challenges this poses to security.

“Basic examples include how the built environment and street lighting affects CCTV coverage and the movement of people in the night-time economy. By considering those factors at an early stage can avoid problems in the future.”

As for the High street post-Covid Richard added: “The reality is that our high streets will look very different in ten to 15 years’ time. Every town and city has been experiencing a decline in footfall which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. That means they’ll likely be fewer shops in the future and we will see more mixed living, an aspiration being the 15-minute city where everything is on hand from work to entertainment. Such changes will alter the crime profile of our cities and town centres.

“Our challenge is to think about those changes and to mitigate the potential impact they will have on crime within those communities. By applying CPTED methodology we can make our towns and cities better places to live in, to visit and to work in.”

For background, visit ‘who’s gone bust‘ by Prof Joshua Bamfield of the Centre for Retail Research.

For more on the experts, visit the Task Force’s website: https://www.highstreetstaskforce.org.uk/. For the board, click here.


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