A new care facility has been designed using police advice to protect its elderly residents from “sneak burglaries”.
Wigan Council wants to knock down its “ageing” Wharfdale sheltered accommodation in Henry Street, Leigh, and replace it with a modern purpose-built complex of 58 apartments.
But in documents submitted to the town hall, Greater Manchester Police described the area on the edge of the town centre as having high levels of crime and disorder.
There were 576 crimes recorded around Wharfdale in the past year, prompting the force to express security concerns. It advised the council to provide “defensible space” around the building to deter trespassers and cut the risk of criminal damage.
A crime impact statement reads: “A degree of separation between public and private space can act as a psychological barrier to some offenders, who are then less willing to cross from public to clearly defined private space.”
GMP also recommended that high railings, powered security gates, and CCTV were also included within the council’s plans to prevent unrestricted access onto the property. All ground floor windows will have key-operated locks and opening restrictors fitted, while doors will be self-closing and lock securely upon closure.
Care homes rarely attract much crime, says GMP, though offenders are likelier to sneak in through unlocked doors or windows rather than force entry.
A planning statement submitted by the council says: “The development has been designed to reduce crime through ‘built-in’ security methods including natural surveillance, good lighting and elimination of hiding places.”
Plans include 56 one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom flats for older people with support needs, plus communal gardens and parking.
Residents at the existing Wharfdale site have been rehomed after it was no longer found to meet modern standards.
The application will be considered by planners in the coming months.