The Crime Prevention Website


Some terraced housing has been designed with passageway tunnels between pairs of houses to provide access to the back gardens.  Providing these are fitted with a locked gate at the entrance to the tunnel (which fills the tunnel portal to prevent climbing over) they will not present a major security risk.  However, the quality of the gate and the fitted lock will make all the difference and I recommend the use of a British Standard mortice sashlock that has been fitted into a lock pocket that’s been welded onto the gate.  Also make sure that the gate cannot be lifted off its hinges and the hinge pins are securely held within the hinge, i.e. they cannot be knocked through the hinge or pulled out.

A doorset is sometimes seen in place of a metal gate, but this will reduce the amount of daylighting the passageway needs.  If you have a door then you might want to look at Door Security on this website for further advice about locking arrangements.

Although uncommon, some housing design has put the main entrance door to a dwelling down one of these tunnels.  This bazaar and poor security design feature means that the entrance door is likely to be out of sight from the road and the neighbours.  Fitting a new door at the entrance to the tunnel would help immensely, but it is likely that this will have to be a communal door, shared with one or more neighbours.  Take a look at Door security, Improving the security of your existing doors  Entrance doors to houses in multiple occupation – manual operation for further advice about securing communal doorsets.  Planning permission may be required for a new gate or door.