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Design against crime

Design against crime

The Design Against Crime research initiative led by Dr Caroline Davey and Andrew Wootton with Sam Ingleson at the University’s School of Art and Design provides leadership in the field of design-led, sustainable practice in crime prevention and community safety:

  • Using innovative design thinking to develop models, methods and solutions for improving crime prevention and community safety, through partnership and creative engagement with stakeholders and end users.

Design for crime prevention and community safety

Design Against Crime (DAC) at the University of Salford offers a distinctive approach, considering ‘design’ as referring not only to the design of physical products and environments, but also to the creative formulation of research concepts, methods and analyses, and integrated systems of delivery and value for end users. Among the highlights of its research impact are:

  • DAC developed the action research project City Centre Crime at the request of Manchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP). The recommended targeted pedestrianisation of the 'gay village' area of the city on weekend nights to reduce violent crime and road accidents was trialled in 2009 and fully implemented in 2012.
  • DAC was commissioned to evaluate the police Architectural Liaison service which provides crime prevention advice to architects and planners in Greater Manchester. The research resulted in a service redesign and supported the development of the Crime Impact Statement (CIS) as a vehicle to provide crime prevention design advice at an early-stage in the development process. Greater Manchester Police, highlighted the impact of GMP's partnership with the Design Against Crime Solution Centre (2010): “This is a unique example of the benefits of partnership working and illustrates what can be achieved through innovation. The foresight of Design for Security with the support of the Solution Centre has resulted in a ground-breaking process that has achieved huge benefits in crime prevention.” Andrew and Caroline rebranded the GMP Architectural Liaison Unit to become Design for Security unique in UK policing, becoming known as the "Manchester model". In 2010, Design for Security and the Solution Centre were awarded the ACPO Secured by Design Innovation Award.
  • DAC was commissioned to research crime prevention delivery across England and Wales, and the potential for an improved, nationally coordinated service—a National Police Crime Prevention Service (NPCPS). The proposal for national implementation of a professionalised NPCPS based on the "Manchester model" was developed by DAC in collaboration with ACPO and Price Waterhouse Coopers.  
  • Developed in partnership with UK charity Catch 22, the Youth Design Against Crime (YDAC) programme has engaged more than 200 young people identified as 'at risk of offending', of which most were excluded from school. YDAC provided participants the opportunity to gain an ASDAN Wider Skills Level 2 problem-solving qualification. The assumptions of police officer mentors were positively challenged, as well of those of planners, local councillors, and senior police officers involved in judging proposed design solutions. A number of solutions were implemented by local authorities. Norman Lloyd, Catch 22 National Programme Manager, underlines the benefits of YDAC to young people (2011): "The YDAC project demonstrates that young people (can) bring imagination and innovation to tackling difficult community issues. It also shows that young people can be part of the solution and not, as they are often portrayed in the press and media, just part of the problem."