Paul Ekblom

Industrial Design, Communication Design, Social Policy
10.41

Publications

  • Paul Ekblom, Alexander Hirschfield
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    ABSTRACT: Background The 25 Techniques of Situational Crime Prevention remain one of the bedrocks of research in Crime Science and play a key role in managing knowledge of research and practice. But they are not the only way of organising, transferring and applying this knowledge. Discussion Taking the 25 Techniques and their theoretical underpinnings as our starting point, this paper presents the (currently) 11 Ds, a set of intervention principles which focus specifically on how the interventions are intended to influence the offender in the proximal crime situation. The context of this work was a project to help security managers detect and control attempts to undertake 'hostile reconnaissance' of public places by those planning to commit crimes or acts of terrorism. We discuss why we judged 25 Techniques as a model for emulation in general terms but unsuitable in detail for the present purpose. We also describe the process of developing the principles, which involved both reflection, and capture of new knowledge from theory and practice, including the security domain. The distinctive contribution of professional design to this process is noted. We then present the Ds themselves and show how, as generic principles, they relate to practical methods of prevention; how they can be further organised to aid their learning and their use; how they relate to other formulations such as the Conjunction of Criminal Opportunity; and how they might apply, with expansion perhaps, to the wider field of SCP. Summary We discuss the process and the wider benefits of developing alternative – but rigorously linked – perspectives on the same theories and phenomena both for transferring existing research knowledge to practice and for sparking leading-edge theory and research.
    12/2014; 3(2). DOI:10.1186/s40163-014-0002-5
  • Paul Ekblom
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    ABSTRACT: Question: What makes connections (often deep ones) between diverse areas, has a network of equally diverse participants, and the potential to significantly impact the life of cities and their inhabitants? Answer: The researchers who combined to produce this special issue, of course. I was privileged to see them, and others, in action at a workshop convened in Stockholm by the Editor of this special issue, and to read the papers published here. I am no specialist in transport crime, but have a broad interest in research and practice in crime prevention and particular concern with the built environment and with design in general. The Editor has already capably summarised the content of the articles in the Introduction, which allows me, in what follows, to reflect on some of the many issues raised, both specific to transport and common to the whole of crime science.
    Security Journal 04/2014; 27(2). DOI:10.1057/sj.2014.10 · 0.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Game-based learning has been used to teach topics in diverse domains, but it is still hard to determine when such approaches are an efficient learning technique. In this paper we focus on one open challenge – the limited understanding in the community of the types of knowledge these games help to develop. Using a taxonomy that distinguishes between declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge, we evaluate a game-based toolkit to analyse and solve an information security problem within a holistic crime prevention framework. Twenty-eight participants used the toolkit. We designed a portfolio of learning assessment measures to capture learning of different types of knowledge. The measures included two theoretical open-answer questions to explore participants' understanding, three problem-specific open-answer questions to test their ability to apply the framework, and 9 multiple-choice questions to test their ability to transfer what was learned to other contexts. The assessment measures were administered before and after use of the toolkit. The application questions were analysed by classifying suggested ideas. The theoretical questions were qualitatively analysed using a set of analytical techniques. The transferability questions were statistically analysed using t-tests. Our results show that participants' answers to the application questions improved in quality after the use of the toolkit. In their answers to the theoretical questions most participants could explain the key features of the toolkit. Statistical analysis of the multiple-choice questions testing transferability however failed to demonstrate significant improvement. Whilist our participants understood the CCO framework and learned how to use the toolkit, participants didn't demonstrate transfer of knowledge to other situations in information security. We discuss our results, limitations of the study design and possible lessons to be learned from these.
    7th European Conference on Games Based Learning; 10/2013
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports on a case study of using rapid prototyping to develop a serious game about crime prevention. Five small-scale formative evaluations (with a total of 17 participants) were used to guide the collect user requirements and formative feedback. Early formative results are positive and provided early signals on what needs to be changed in the game design and what could be kept. Evaluations also provided valuable feedback for the underlying subject matter theory. The process used in this research could possibly be transferred and adopted in other serious game development projects, resulting in low-cost development and early feedback on game design ideas.
    01/2013; 8(1).
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we propose the fundaments of a design of an exploratory simulation of security management in a corporate environment. The model brings together theory and research findings on causes of information security risks in order to analyse diverse roles interacting through scripts. The framework is an adaptation of theoretical and empirical research in general crime prevention for the purposes of cybercrime. Its aim is to provide insights into the prerequisites for a more functional model.
  • Sunniva Meyer, Paul Ekblom
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    ABSTRACT: Anyone trying to devise counter-terrorist designs for railway carriages faces a range of issues. In particular, designers need a framework for thinking about security. This article explores the specific practical design problem of securing railway carriages against explosive terrorist attacks and assesses the benefits of articulating such exploration through the use of the Security Function Framework (SFF). We present the SFF framework, apply it to the ExRes carriage and evaluate it according to defined criteria. Our evaluation shows that the SFF framework is clearly expressed, aids the designer in communicating design requirements, facilitates systematic creativity without necessarily generating completely new ideas, and appears practically applicable. However, we emphasize that ours have been ‘bench tests’; such tests are really no substitute for trying the SFF out with real life designers. KeywordsSecurity–Design against crime–Offender scripts–Counter-terrorism–Transport–Improvised explosive devices
    Journal of Transportation Security 03/2011; 5(1):69-85. DOI:10.1007/s12198-011-0082-3
  • Paul Ekblom
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the latest stage of an ongoing attempt to update and upgrade CPTED’s concepts and actions and link them more closely to developments in architecture, design and crime science. The concept of territoriality, for example, is central to the practice domain of CPTED. Yet territoriality is only vaguely defined within that domain, as are the other core concepts such as activity support and target hardening; and all of them confusingly intersect and overlap. The paper attempts a remedy by developing a suite of definitions in depth, relating the core concepts to various frameworks and discourses developed for crime prevention and design against crime, and more generally exploring ways in which CPTED could become richer and more subtle. It will also consider the ‘dark side’ of the environment, covering offenders’ countermoves to prevention and their own counter-exploitation of space, buildings and what they contain. The ultimate intention is to produce a more rigorous, yet deeper and better-integrated conception of CPTED useful for practice, research and theory alike. The paper should be considered as work in progress, indicating what might be possible and stimulating debate rather than offering a definitive resolution of the issue. Further steps are suggested and constructive contributions from readers are invited. KeywordsAccess control–Activity support–CPTED–Crime prevention–Defensible space–Image and maintenance–Surveillance–Target-hardening–Territoriality
    European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 01/2011; 17(1):7-28. DOI:10.1007/s10610-010-9132-9 · 0.53 Impact Factor
  • Karen Bullock, Paul Ekblom
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    ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on descriptions of crime prevention projects identified as ‘good practice’, and how they are captured and shared in knowledge bases, with the purpose of improving performance in the field as a whole. This relates both to evidence-based approaches to practice, and to growing attempts at explicit knowledge management. There are, however, fundamental issues in the transfer of effective practice in the crime prevention field, which few working knowledge bases have properly addressed. Evaluation often remains weak and descriptions of successful projects do not always contain the right information to help practitioners select and replicate projects suitable for transfer to their own contexts. Knowledge remains fragmentary. With these concerns in mind this paper systematically examines the projects contained in the UK Home Office ‘Effective Practice Database’, a repository of project descriptions volunteered and self-completed on a standard online form by practitioners. The Home Office descriptions (and their equivalents elsewhere) reveal significant limitations of richness, retrievability and reliability. Ways of addressing these issues are discussed, ranging from the media and processes of ‘knowledge-harvesting’ to the use of more purpose-designed frameworks such as 5Is. But the fundamental issue remains one of taking knowledge management seriously and investing sustained time, money and leadership effort to make it work. KeywordsBest practice-Evaluation-Good practice-Home Office-Knowledge management-SARA-5Is
    European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 03/2010; 16(1):29-47. DOI:10.1007/s10610-010-9116-9 · 0.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Planners of crime prevention evaluations often face a dilemma: how to actively manage numerous interacting variables needing prospective consideration as part of a research design. Failure to consider one design component at the expense of another, or lavishing disproportionate attention on some and not others can increase the likelihood of non-convincing and/or non-significant findings. To assist the decision-making processes needed at the initial stage of evaluation design to avoid such outcomes, we describe an evolving systematic prospective planning tool given the acronym CRITIC. CRITIC raises awareness, and discusses the effect, of Crime history (how crime-prone the action and control sites are), Reduction (in terms of proportional reduction in the crime problem anticipated in the action sites when compared to the control), Intensity (in terms of the number and/or strength of interventions necessary per target exposed to crime risk), Time period (that over which the action and control sites are tracked before and after implementation), Immensity (in terms of the number of units of analysis at risk of crime to be tracked) and Cost (in terms of the unit cost per intervention) on the likelihood of statistically significant outcome analyses and cost-effective results. The application of CRITIC is demonstrated on a bag-theft reduction study in a chain of bars in central London. Its wider utility to other crime prevention evaluation contexts is also discussed.
    Crime Prevention and Community Safety 02/2009; 11(1):48-70. DOI:10.1057/cpcs.2008.20
  • Paul Ekblom
    Criminal Justice Matters 03/2008; 46(1):38-40. DOI:10.1080/09627250108553670
  • Paul Ekblom, Aiden Sidebottom
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    ABSTRACT: Project MARC aimed to develop a mechanism to assess the risk of theft of consumer electronic products, and their corresponding security; and to devise an operational scheme for EU level to influence manufacturers to make their products less criminogenic. The project encountered serious difficulties in the assessment process due, among other things, to limitations of concepts and terminology. This paper describes and analyses those limitations; discusses an approach to redesigning language that draws on biological and risk management concepts; proposes a ‘basic grammar’ of risk and security covering their dual dimensions of probability and harm (underemphasised in crime prevention); focuses on sources of risk centred on the product, based on ‘crime scripts’ and criminal motivation; and explores wider ecological and evolutionary issues. It makes suggestions for improving any assessment scheme and raises wider issues on how crime science should tighten its terminology and bring together approaches to crime prevention and risk management. The present contribution comprises proposals for discussion and development rather than a perfected schema.
    European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 11/2007; 14(1):61-87. DOI:10.1007/s10610-007-9041-8 · 0.53 Impact Factor
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    Jason Roach, Paul Ekblom, Richard Flynn
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    ABSTRACT: This paper outlines a framework which draws together the currently fragmented understandings of, and actions against, terrorism. The 'conjunction of terrorist opportunity' (CTO) stems from a widely known equivalent in crime prevention. Detailed distinctions emerge which clarify the relationship between crime and terrorism. There is special emphasis on historical and higher-level emergent causes, including terrorists' pursuit of strategic objectives and the career of the terrorist organisation itself, as it co-evolves with the society trying to frustrate and destroy it. But the framework seeks to anchor these understandings by reference to terrorist events and their immediate causes. On the basis of this analysis a suite of interventions can then be chosen to match terrorist problem and context and to reflect tactical and strategic priorities. Although the framework is only sketched here, it appears sufficiently promising to test out on a range of case studies by diagnosing causes and describing or suggesting interventions.
    Security Journal 05/2005; 18(3):7-25. DOI:10.1057/palgrave.sj.8340201 · 0.61 Impact Factor
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    Paul Ekblom
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge, in combination with pragmatic, cultural, organ- isational and conceptual factors, determines the performance of practi- tioners such as police, local government community safety officers and product designers. This paper addresses the serious and widespread obstacles to the transfer and application of knowledge generated by professional criminological research, development and evaluation, to the mainstream of practice in the overlapping fields of crime prevention and problem-oriented policing. The emphasis is on those obstacles inherent in the nature and form of knowledge itself. It therefore relates content- free concepts of knowledge management to content-rich considerations of the particular qualities of crime prevention knowledge and how it is applied in practice. It covers key issues of replication, innovation, and anticipation through, for example, foresight activities. It draws on ideas from design, evolutionary epistemology, memetics, more conventional anthropological views of cultural transmission and evolution, and or- ganisational research on diffusion of innovation. The aim is to open up new ways of thinking centring on "genotypic" principles of prevention that apply across contexts and across time — which can provide the foundations for practical suggestions for training, guidance and design of knowledge bases. So many, and diverse, connections emerge to the
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    Paul Ekblom
  • P. Ekblom
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    ABSTRACT: In showing more interest in the crime event than the offender, situational crime prevention has tended to be at the margins of mainstream academic criminology. Yet offenders can only exploit potential crime opportunities if they have the resources to take advantage of them. To understand how crime patterns are generated, situational crime prevention must also consider offender resources and their distribution and social-technical change. Resources have been central to much traditional offender-centred criminology but mainly for understanding what motivates offending. Consideration of crime-resource needs, availability, development, distribution and change provides a potential bridge between traditional offender-centred criminology and situational crime prevention.
    British Journal of Criminology 01/2000; 40(3):376-398. DOI:10.1093/bjc/40.3.376 · 2.13 Impact Factor
  • Paul Ekblom, Ken Pease
    Crime and Justice 01/1995; 19. DOI:10.1086/449238 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been debated for some time whether lower rates of personal victimisation among the elderly are due to the fact that - because of fear or other reasons - they shield themselves from situations in which they might be victimised. This ‘differential exposure’ explanation is examined using data from the 1982 British Crime Survey which provides risks for different age/ sex groups and detailed information about respondents' ‘lifestyles’. Looking at evening ‘street’ offences, differences in risks between the age groups change very little when account is taken of different patterns of going out: irrespective of frequency, means of travel, destination and activity, the elderly are still less frequently victimised. Some theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
    The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 01/1985; 24(1):1 - 9. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-2311.1985.tb00509.x
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    Dean Southall, Paul Ekblom
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    PAUL EKBLOM
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    ABSTRACT: Crime prevention faces a perpetual struggle to keep up with changing opportunities for crime and adaptable offenders. To avoid obsolescence, it has to become adaptive itself. The task of keeping prevention up to date resembles other 'evolutionary struggles' such as biological co-evolution between predator and prey (e.g. continually sharper teeth versus continually tougher hide), or military arms races (e.g. more powerful guns versus heavier armour). These are both examples of protracted co- evolution of conflicting parties against a background of inciden- tal disturbances which from time to time give the edge to offend- ers or to defenders. The disturbances in question originate from natural processes or human ones (such as the arrival of new technology). This paper explores the lessons for crime preven- tion which might be drawn from the other struggles at several levels: technology/ engineering, generic new methods of preven- tion and strategic concepts in prevention. An extremely wide range of possible lessons is identified which can take crime prevention a long way up the learning curve, but caution and consolidation are advised. Some ways of achieving this consolida- tion through systematic mapping are considered but not yet attempted. (Studies on Crime and Crime Prevention Vol. 8 No.1 1999. National Council for Crime Prevention).
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    Paul Ekblom

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