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CRITIC: a prospective planning tool for crime prevention evaluation designs

Bowers, Kate J. and Sidebottom, Aiden and Ekblom, Paul (2009) CRITIC: a prospective planning tool for crime prevention evaluation designs. Crime Prevention and Community Safety Journal, 11. pp. 48-70. ISSN 14603780

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Bowers, Kate J. and Sidebottom, Aiden and Ekblom, Paul

This paper is aimed at developing and trialling a clip to reduce theft of customers’ bags in bars. It is a pioneering attempt to merge the disciplines of practice-led research on product design, and crime science, an applied social research approach to crime prevention. The paper covers technical aspects of evaluating the impact of the clips on crime, which required simultaneous consideration of issues in the design of the evaluation, and the design/deployment of the product.

Planners of crime prevention evaluations must manage numerous interacting variables. Failure to consider one at the expense of another, or lavishing disproportionate attention on some and not others, can increase the likelihood of non-convincing and/or non-significant findings. To assist the decision processes at start of evaluation design, this paper describes a systematic prospective planning tool, CRITIC. CRITIC raises awareness, and discusses the effect, on the likelihood of statistically significant outcome analyses and cost-effective results, of Crime history (how crime-prone the action and control sites are), Reduction (proportional reduction in the crime problem anticipated in the action sites compared to the control), Intensity (number and/or strength of interventions necessary per target exposed to crime risk), Time period (over which the sites are tracked before/after implementation), Immensity (number of units of analysis at risk of crime to be tracked) and Cost (unit cost per intervention).

The spreadsheet developed enabled the team to conduct a what-if exercise with a range of product design-relevant values (such as number and cost of clips to be manufactured and trialled) to estimate the most cost-effective combination designed to give a reliable and credible evaluation result. It is applicable to a wide range of other crime prevention evaluations, and fellow researchers have requested copies to aid their own studies.

Official Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/cpcs.2008.20
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Paul Ekblom

Research Interests

Designing products, places and systems against crime, disorder, drug abuse and terrorism, situational crime prevention, conceptual frameworks for integrating crime science, managing crime prevention knowledge and improving practice, evaluation methods, crime, evolution, complexity and design, crime futures. Theory, development, implementation & evaluation of Design Against Crime, definitions & conceptual frameworks for knowledge transfer of good practice in crime prevention, horizon scanning, incl. crime risk/ impact assessment, evolution, arms races, complexity & simulation applied to crime.

Current Research

1. Principal Investigator, AHRC-funded project, with JDI/UCL, to design, implement and evaluate range of security products intended to reduce theft of customers' bags in bars. Based on this, developing concepts and language for describing/specifying security and security weaknesses in designed products, systems and environments.

2. Co-investigator, AHRC-funded project to develop more secure bike parking, including through guidance and standards. Based on my part of this work, recently completed, www.bikeoff.org/2009/01/05/final-report-wpa2-of-bike-off-2/ developing advanced frameworks for supporting crime risk analysis leading to design guidance. Currently discussing development of these frameworks in built environment and anti-terrorist contexts.

3. Currently writing book to elaborate key concepts, details and applications of 5Is framework, an advanced process model for crime prevention, and used in capture, synthesis and retrieval of good practice knowledge, supporting intelligenf replication and innovation. See www.designagainstcrime.com/web/crimeframeworks. Related to this, involved as partner in EU-funded project Beccaria on developing crime prevention training in EU and a range of informal national/international collaborations on knowledge management.

5. Developing new ways of thinking about Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design based on a tighter conceptual/theoretical framework than currently exists.

6. Investigating scope for using graphic/communications design to represent complexity in policy/practice systems such as, but not confined to, crime prevention.

I became Professor and Associate Director of the DAC Centre in June 2005, and co-manage the Centre. I will be delivering academic papers and publications aimed at driving forward the DAC Research Agenda both at home and abroad. One of the major roles I have concerns making and improving links that will establish new research collaborations for the development of externally funded projects. These links in the fields of crime science, criminology and design will initially focus on UCL (the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science (where I am currently an Associate and regularly give lectures on Masters courses), Huddersfield and Salford Universities (where I am also Visiting Professor); Loughborough, Cambridge, LSE and KCL. I am a member of academic networks including the EPSRC-funded SERVE and International Crime Science Network; and have contacts in a range of EU funding and potential collaborating institutions in academia, European Commission and national governments. I am an established figure in the worlds of police and crime prevention training, research, knowledge management and advanced practice and am well-placed to develop funding, collaboration and practical research opportunities there (as well as applying this experience to DAC).

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RPE
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Palgrave Macmillan
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Research Centres/Networks > Design Against Crime at the Innovation Centre (DAC)
Date: February 2009
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1057/cpcs.2008.20
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2010 13:23
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2021 12:35
Item ID: 2173
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/2173

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