Cutting Crime Impact: innovative brainstorming methods for the partner local authorities

IMG_3388Manchester, United Kingdom, September 2019The University of Salford, leader of the Cutting Crime Impact (CCI) project on the reduction of the impact of petty crime on citizens, in which Efus is a partner, organised three DesignLab sessions in Manchester (GB), on 24-26 September, with the objective of providing solutions to the project’s partner Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), including local authorities, in order to prevent, investigate and mitigate this type of crime. 

> Innovation is central to Cutting Crime Impact

The CCI project  aims to develop support tools, resources and guidance materials (or “toolkits”) to enable police forces and policymakers in Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK to implement effective practices to reduce the impact of crime and, where possible, prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Innovation is central to CCI, which is why the project uses a specific approach inspired by the process used in product design. It involves four aspects:

  • Discover: developing support in order to capture the requirements of end users
  • Define: an iterative design and prototyping
  • Develop: prototype testing, based on an understanding of the needs and context, and final production
  • Deliver: a demonstration of the resulting tools in their operational setting.

To achieve this objective, CCI has adopted an innovative action-research methodology, where research is conducted as part of a process of progressive problem-solving and is led by a multidisciplinary team that includes researchers, practitioners and end users. One of the most important aspects of this methodology is to be able to identify and understand users’ needs, contexts, priorities and potential areas of conflict.

Through social science research methods, including observation, interviews and focus groups, the project’s end user partners (the LEAs) brought together data from multiple sources and analysed them in order to generate insights, ideas and priorities.

> DesignLabs to support innovation

“DesignLab” is a process through which participants are encouraged to think about issues in a critical and creative manner in order to reframe them and come up with new, creative ideas.

In Manchester, the CCI partner LEAs thus reflected creatively on how to tackle petty crime along the project’s four lines of work: predictive policing; community policing; crime prevention through urban design & planning; measuring and mitigating citizens’ feeling of insecurity. In particular, they worked on how to facilitate information-sharing between stakeholders to better implement an urban design & planning approach; how to increase the transparency of predictive policing, and how to improve citizens’ knowledge and understanding in community policing.

Following this creative brainstorming, all the other consortium partners, each with their specific local context, experience and domain, joined in and worked on ideas of innovative tools that can provide a response to the issues identified by the LEAs. In the next stage, the partner LEAs will analyse these ideas and decide which ones they would like to see developed.

More information about Cutting Crime Impact (CCI)