Armitage, Rachel (2006) ACPO Alley-gating Guide 2005/06. Project Report. Association of Chief Police Officers, Huddersfield, UK. (Submitted)

A Word about Gates
Alleys (snickets, ginnels, backways) are particularly common in British industrial
cities and were originally designed to allow access to the rear of properties by
coalmen and refuse collectors. Although many alleys are no longer used for their
original purpose, they are still useful to allow residents to access the rear of their
properties without walking through their house. This can be particularly helpful when
gardening or carrying out DIY.
Alley-gating involves the installation of lockable gates across these alleys,
preventing access to the alley for those without a key. Although predominantly a
crime reduction measure, alley-gating has the potential to do more than reduce
crime; it can increase community confidence, improve the aesthetic appearance of an
area, re-invigorate schemes such as Residents’ Associations and Neighbourhood
Watch and reduce levels of worry and fear about crime and anti-social behaviour.
Although it has the potential to achieve more than crime reduction, it should be
stressed that alley-gating is a crime reduction measure, which is targeted at alleys
which are experiencing high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, or are being
used to facilitate crime and disorder. It is not designed to limit freedom or constrain
legitimate access.
Although alley-gating does involve the installation of lockable gates, it is important
that readers do not confuse alley-gating with gated communities. Alley-gating
simply closes off the rear or side of properties for those without legitimate access. It
does not create a closed community and people can still access the rest of the
neighbourhood without using the alley. Alley-gates are rarely installed in alleys
which are currently used as through routes, and where this is the case, detailed
consideration is given towards the impact on existing users. Although gated
communities involve the use of similar security measures, they are very different.
Gated communities involve closing whole neighbourhoods to non-residents
immediately creating a ‘them’ and ‘us’. In gated communities non-residents are
excluded from large spaces which had previously been public open spaces simply
because they do not live within the community.

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