Armitage, Rachel (2012) Let’s be brave! Making the transition from research to reality. In: Design Against Crime: Crime Proofing Everyday Products. Crime Prevention Studies (27). Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, CO. ISBN 978-1-58826-813-6

This chapter reviews the progress made within the field of product design and crime prevention and suggests that although much has been discussed, little has made the transition from research to policy or practice. Whist accepting that this weakness can be explained in part through limited funding and changes in personnel within key organisations, it is suggested that the central difficulty has been a lack of leadership from a central organisation, a duplication of effort and a reluctance to implement ideas which may seem unfeasible, unrealistic or unachievable. As well as reviewing the progress made within this field, this chapter proposes a system to measure the risk of theft of electronic products as a means of motivating developers to design secure products and encouraging consumers to demand secure products. Building upon the gains made within the fields of the built environment, food standards and environmental protection, this chapter proposes a two-tiered system to allow manufacturers to market their products as ‘secure’ and consumers to easily identify a product’s risk of theft. The first system would be a voluntary accreditation scheme and associated logo which would allow products meeting the required standards to be marketed as a ‘Secure Product’. The second proposal, aimed at allowing consumers to readily identify the risk of theft of electronic products, would be the introduction of a signposting ‘traffic light’ system which assigns two traffic light colours to each product – the first would identify the product’s vulnerability to theft (measured using a crime risk assessment mechanism), the second would identify the product’s existing levels of security. The chapter concludes by suggesting that it is time for those working within the field of product design and crime prevention to be bold and push forward proposals to make research a reality.

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