Australian Institute of Criminology

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Technology working to reduce crime

Crime facts info no. 13

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, December 2001

A report by the Australian Institute of Criminology, "Crime Reduction Through Product Design", highlights a number of ways in which technology is increasingly being used to reduce or prevent crime. Crime reduction through product design (CRPD) involves integrating protective features into products in order to reduce their potential to become targets of criminal activity, as well as preventing their use as instruments of crime. The term "product" encompasses any physical property and forms of currency, as well as electronic information and computer software. Property crimes such as theft can be targeted through product design (for example, ink tags on retail merchandise), as well as potential violent crimes and traffic offences (for example, through "smart guns" which do not work if stolen, or cars that will not start if the driver is drunk). The report details a range of product design innovations in the context of crimes such as theft, fraud, tampering and graffiti, and considers implications of their use, such as user acceptance and crime displacement.

Examples of crime reduction through product design

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Source

  • Lester, A., "Crime Reduction Through Product Design", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 206, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.