Design experts to tackle youth crime

Forty of the UK’s leading technology designers and manufacturers joined Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and a number of young people last week to discuss new ways of harnessing the power of design to protect young people from crime – particularly theft of ‘hot products’ such as mobile phones and MP3 players.

May 21, 2008
By Paul Jacques

Forty of the UK’s leading technology designers and manufacturers joined Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and a number of young people last week to discuss new ways of harnessing the power of design to protect young people from crime – particularly theft of ‘hot products’ such as mobile phones and MP3 players.

The event, hosted by the Design Council, is the first time that senior designers from leading technology firms, including Sony and Nokia, have joined the police, young people, youth workers and branding experts to develop products and services which will protect young people from becoming victims of crime. The focus is on generating innovative design briefs which offer a clear business opportunity for manufacturers who will be encouraged to develop them into the next generation of crime-safe gadgets.

New research published last week by the Design Council on behalf of the Home Office shows that the vast majority of 11 to 16-year-olds in England carry a gadget with them at some point. The data also shows that one in eight (12 per cent) have been the victim of ‘hot product’ theft in the last three years.

The Home Secretary also announced proposals to extend the British Crime Survey (BCS) to include surveys of under-16s’ experiences of crime. This will build on current research to understand as fully as possible young people`s concerns and experiences about crime – establishing the most comprehensive picture of youth victimisation.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: “We know that young people remain more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators.

“I am delighted that so many of our best designers have contributed their time and expertise to the event and I look forward to seeing genuinely new and commercially viable products flow from it. The role that good design can play in cutting crime is well established but success depends on effective partnerships between the Government, the police and the design industry. We have made a clear commitment in last year’s Crime Strategy to bring design into the centre of our fight against crime and to receive such strong support from our partners is extremely encouraging.

“I want to ensure that young people are offered as much protection from crime as possible, and receive support if they do become victims, whilst also tackling offending vigorously.

“Extending the British Crime Survey will help us to understand better how crime affects young people and do even more to prevent it. This summer we will publish a Youth Crime Action Plan to further coordinate this effort across government.”

The research involved 1,000 11 to 16-year-olds who were questioned about their experiences of ‘hot product’ crime. The survey revealed that:

•One in eight (12 per cent) in England has been the victim of ‘hot product’ theft in the last three years.

•97 per cent carry a gadget with them at some point.

•One in three (31 per cent) victims were listening to music on headphones, talking or texting on a phone or playing on a games console when their item was stolen.

•85 per cent carry phones with them and 35 per cent carry an MP3 player.

•Nearly half of those questioned estimated the value of these products to be between £100 and £500.

•Almost two thirds are concerned about the items being stolen.

Police recorded crime figures show that robbery has fallen by seven per cent since 2002/03 with the latest data showing a 21 per cent drop since last year.

With over half of robberies involving a mobile phone, the Government’s work with the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum to block stolen phones has played a big part.

Design Council Chief Executive David Kester said: “By bringing together, for the first time, manufacturers, designers, victims of crime, technologists and crime experts, we can not only bring an unrivalled level of creativity to the problem, we can also identify the business opportunities which will ultimately bring these crime-reducing innovations off the drawing

Related News

Select Vacancies

International Liaison Officers

National Crime Agency

Deputy Chief Constable

Cleveland Police

Superintendent

Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Superintendent

South Yorkshire Police

Sergeants

Nottinghamshire Police

PEQF Lecturer

Babcock

Copyright © 2020 Police Professional