Design Against Crime

Submitting Institution

University of Salford

Unit of Assessment

Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Human Society: Criminology
Studies In Creative Arts and Writing: Other Studies In Creative Arts and Writing

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Summary of the impact

The Design Against Crime research initiative provides leadership in the field of design-led, sustainable practice in crime prevention and community safety, demonstrating the following impact:

  • Supporting crime prevention and community safety in the UK and Europe, through action research partnerships with; police forces, voluntary sector organisations, planning authorities and local and national governments
  • 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
  • Shaping the European research agenda for design-led crime prevention through collaboration with key experts and practitioners.

Underpinning research

The key researchers and positions they held at the institution at the time of the research are as follows: Professor Rachel Cooper, Professor of Design Management (1999-2006), Dr Caroline Davey Senior Research Fellow (2000-2004); Reader in Design, Innovation & Society, from 2004), Andrew Wootton, Research Fellow 2000-2006; Senior Research Fellow, (from 2006) and Sam Ingleson Programme Leader for MA Art & Design (from 2000). Design Against Crime (DAC) at the University of Salford offers a distinctive approach, considering 2017design` 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 of integrated systems of delivery and value for end users. The impact of DAC is underpinned by the following research:

  • 2002-2011: The Crime Lifecycle Model and associated guidance material: Developed by Wootton & Davey to enable design professionals to address crime issues during the development of design concepts. The model builds on knowledge about crime causal factors from environmental criminology, integrates this with knowledge of the design process, and extends the result to cover issues arising before, during and after a crime 'event'.
  • 2005-2010: The Design Against Crime Evaluation Framework: An EU-funded project to support implementation and evaluation of crime prevention in design development. It provides designers, developers and manufacturers with detailed guidance on integrating crime prevention within the development process, enabling crime prevention experts to conduct rigorous design evaluations of products, services and environments.
  • 2007-2009: City Centre Crime — Cooling Crime Hotspots by Design: An action research project initiated by Manchester Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) and delivered in collaboration with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Manchester City Council. The project investigated 'crime hotspots' in Manchester city centre, developing an analytical framework to understand the relationship between the design, management and use of the urban environment, behaviours within it and crime problems.
  • 2007-2009: National Police Crime Prevention Service: After evaluating the delivery of the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Architectural Liaison Service to architects, planners and developers, Wootton & Davey were commissioned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Home Office to research the potential for a National Police Crime Prevention Service (NPCPS). Evaluating the crime prevention services provided by Architectural Liaison Officers in 42 police forces across England and Wales, this was the first study of its kind, resulting in a report to ACPO with recommendations for action.
  • 2009-2012: Planning Urban Security (PLuS): Wootton & Davey were invited by the Landeskriminalamt Niedersachsen (Federal Police of Lower Saxony) in Germany to be partners in this EU-funded research project. PLuS investigated the applicability of crime prevention measures and standards to different European contexts. The project conducted empirical research to understand the social and physical environment, and reviewed examples of design interventions to address crime and related social issues in: Hannover (DE); Manchester (UK); Szczecin (PL) and Vienna (AT).
  • 2009-onwards: Youth Design Against Crime (YDAC): Developed in partnership with Catch 22 (a young people`s charity), YDAC challenges young people considered 2017at risk of offending` by police, education and social services to tackle problems in their neighbourhoods. Using a process of research and design developed by Wootton & Davey, teams of young people mentored by police officers generate innovative and evidence-based design solutions to local crime issues.
  • 2010-onwards: Artistic & Creative Social Intervention KTP: A UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Knowledge Transfer Fellowship aimed at building new and innovative models of creative community engagement and collaboration. The research supports active citizenship among young people by transferring the creative lead in socially responsive arts projects to those in need of empowerment, and developing benchmarks that young people can own and influence. Ingleson is developing a toolkit for applied social arts practice relating to multi-agency project working, creative research, action learning and empowerment.

References to the research

Key outputs

1. Wootton, A.B. & Davey, C. (2012) "Embedding Crime Prevention within Design" in Ekblom, P. (ed.), "Design Against Crime: Crime Proofing Everyday Products", Crime Prevention Studies Vol. 27, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Col., USA, pp.37-64. ISBN: 978-1-58826-813-6 (REF2)

2. Wootton, A.B., Davey, C.L. & Marselle, M. (2011) "Youth Design Against Crime: A Catalyst for Change Amongst Young People" in The Endless End - 9th conference of the European Academy of Design, 4-7 May 2011, Porto, Portugal, pp.558-569. Weblink

3. Boyko, C.T., Cooper, R., Davey, C.L. & Wootton, A.B. (2010) "Informing an urban design process by way of a practical example", Urban Design and Planning, 163(1), 17-30. DOI (REF 2)


4. Davey, C.L., Mackay, L & Wootton, A.B. (2009) "Designing safe residential areas", in Cooper, R., Evans, G. and Boyko, C. (Eds) Designing Sustainable Cities, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester (UK), pp. 139-162. ISBN: 9781405179157 (REF 2)

5. Wootton, A.B., Marselle, M., Davey, C.L., Armitage, R. & Monchuk, L. (2009) National Police Crime Prevention Service: Implementation Planning Research Project, DAC Solution Centre: Salford, UK. Available from

6. Wootton, A B & Marselle, M (2008), "City Centre Crime: Cooling crime hotspots by design", Papers from the British Criminology Conference, 8, pp.187-204. DOI (REF2)

Key grants

1. 2009: Planning Urban Security (PLuS) European Commission: Prevention of and Fight Against Crime, £89,815, A.Wootton (50%); C.Davey (50%)

2. 2009: GMP, ACPO & Home Office, £101,737, A.Wootton (100%)

3. 2006: Developing the Secured by Design European Exchange Tool European Commission — AGIS 2006 Programme, £173,740, C.Davey (50%); A.Wootton (50%)

4. 2003: A European Evaluation Framework for the Design of Secure Urban Environments, European Commission — AGIS 2003 Programme, £154,792, C.Davey (90%); R.Cooper (10%)

Details of the impact

The impact of the DAC Solution Centre research follows a process of dissemination and adoption by practitioners and policymakers. This section on impact is organised by different users and beneficiaries:

  • 2007-onwards: Landeskriminalamt Niedersachsen (Federal Police of Lower Saxony), Germany: For the EU-funded research project PLuS (, Wootton & Davey developed the Crime Prevention Capability Maturity Model (CPCMM)—a means of analysing and classifying approaches to crime prevention in order to improve implementation capability. The CPCMM was presented at the 2013 German Police Crime Prevention Day (Deutsche Präventionstag —, where of 55 presentations evaluated, it was rated as the third highest for interest and practical use. The success of PLuS led to German government-funded research (TRANSIT: Trans-disciplinary Security Strategies for Police, Local Authorities and Housing Industry — to further improve crime prevention policy and practice in Germany.
  • 2007-2012: Manchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP): Wootton and Davey developed the action research project City Centre Crime at the request of Manchester CDRP. Research revealed causal factors underpinning crime 'hotspots' in the city centre and identified that problematic GIS crime data analysis was wasting police resources in targeting false hotspots. Recommendations for 20 practical design interventions in policing, urban management and the physical environment were provided and incorporated into Manchester CDRP's service delivery plans. The suggested 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.
  • 2007-2010: Greater Manchester Police, Manchester planners and architects: Wootton & Davey were 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 significant service redesign to be more user-oriented, 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. Wootton & Davey rebranded the GMP Architectural Liaison Unit to become Design for Security (, adopting a professional consultancy model for delivering crime prevention advice to the development industry, and for which GMP are able to charge a fee. The Design for Security service ( is 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.
  • 2008-2010: Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Home Office and police forces in England & Wales: Wootton and Davey were commissioned to research crime prevention delivery across England and Wales, and the potential for a improved, nationally coordinated service—a National Police Crime Prevention Service (NPCPS). Research into 42 police forces revealed fragmentation, uneven coverage and ad hoc implementation of the Secured by Design accreditation scheme. A proposal for national implementation of a professionalised NPCPS based on the "Manchester model" was developed by Wootton and Davey, in collaboration with ACPO and Price Waterhouse Coopers. Endorsed by ACPO cabinet, the foreword to the National Police Crime Prevention Service report ( was provided by Rod Jarman, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and ACPO Lead for Crime Prevention.
  • 2009-onwards: Young people`s charity Catch 22 and young people at risk of offending: 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 has provided participants the opportunity to gain an ASDAN Wider Skills Level 2 problem-solving qualification, and has improved their confidence and sense of agency. 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 have been implemented by local authorities. In 2011, the Solution Centre and Catch 22 were awarded the Manchester Beacons for Public Engagement Recognition Award for the YDAC programme. YDAC has delivered five projects across the UK, including: Greater Manchester YDAC (2009); the London borough of Southwark YDAC (2010); the London borough of Lambeth YDAC (2011); Salford YDAC (2011) and Bolton YDAC (2012) and is attracting interest from a range of international agencies.
  • 2012-onwards: Danish Crime Prevention Council (DKR), Danish Planners and Danish planning policy: The DKR commissioned Wootton & Davey to organise an event to share knowledge about practices developed in Manchester for implementing CPTED, as part of the project Tryghed via byplanlægning (Urban Planning for a Safer Environment). Fifteen planners from five Danish local authorities visited the Solution Centre at MediaCityUK, where Davey & Wootton, with GMP and Manchester City Council planners, presented work undertaken to incorporate crime prevention within urban planning. The DKR project is using this knowledge to incorporate CPTED within planning and administrative systems of five Danish local authorities. The intention is to incorporate CPTED into planning policy in all 98 local authorities across Denmark.
  • 2012-onwards: EU academics, practitioners and policymakers in planning, architecture and crime prevention: Wootton represents the UK on the Management Committee of EU COST Action TU1203 Crime Prevention through Urban Design & Planning, and Dr Davey leads Working Group 3 of the Action. COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science & Technology, coordinating nationally-funded research on a European level. COST Action TU1203 is transferring knowledge on crime prevention in urban design and planning from advanced states to those just beginning to tackle the issue.

Sources to corroborate the impact

Design for Security

a) Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police, highlights 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."

b) Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (2009) highlights the relevance of the Manchester approach to crime prevention to other police forces (2009): "GMP has established a model in Manchester that delivers a consistent CPDA /ALO service with the benefits of income generation to support the funding of the office." (Foreword to NPCP Final Report, available from

Planning Urban Security (PLuS)

c) PLuS project information and reports available to download from:

d) Evaluation report of 2013 Deutsche Präventionstag (German Police Crime Prevention Day):

City Centre Crime

e) "We have now started to incorporate the interventions into the ways that we are delivering our services." Local Authority Liaison Officer, Manchester CDRP (2009) in Urban_Regeneration_Making_a_Difference Making a Difference, report from Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Feedback on implemented pedestrianisation scheme in 2012, and potential wider impact in other night-time economy areas of the city:

Youth Design Against Crime

f) Superintendent, Metropolitan Police, highlights the impact of YDAC (2011): "[Participants] have identified real issues that affect the whole community and developed innovative and workable alternatives." 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.":


h) Paper on results of YDAC evaluation in International Perspectives on Crime Prevention 5 ( -

COST Action 1203

i) Official COST Action website: Danish Crime Prevention Council (DKR) project

j) Article in European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) Newsletter, Issue 25, September 2012, Page 5: Newsletter September 2012.pdf&type=5