Designer-thinking alone will fail to tackle crime

As reported in ‘Criminal opportunities’ (DW 10 July), Sebastian Conran of the Home Office’s Design and Technology Alliance says design can tackle broader crime-related issues including youth and knife crime.

Since time immemorial, the designer and thief have been in a cat-and-mouse game outwitting and out-innovating each other. We have all benefited from this and are free to choose, buy and use the end-product.

But now there is an altogether different agenda going on. Here, the design establishment is openly colluding with knee-jerk Government policy and PR-

friendly agendas on all kinds of issues including crime.

But unless Conran and others possess real answers that can eradicate crime, and at the same time are able to refute many of the panic-ridden assumptions and statistics about crime, their contribution can only make matters worse.

Why? Because they will be doing the Government’s PR while at the same time continuing to stoke up our fears of crime.

How all this ‘designerly thinking’ will help resolve crime’s tricky causes is anyone’s guess.

Martyn Perks, Design consultant, by e-mail

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