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Elegant security: Concept, evidence and implications

Farrell, G; Tilley, N; (2020) Elegant security: Concept, evidence and implications. European Journal of Criminology 10.1177/1477370820932107. Green open access

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Some security devices can be ugly, inconvenient or an infringement on civil liberties. This means that security is a quality of life issue as well as one of crime prevention. Here we propose that, in addition to preventing crime and being cost effective, security should preferably be ethical and unobtrusive, aesthetically neutral or pleasing, and the easy-to-use or default option. We describe security with such characteristics as ‘elegant’. We use two case studies to explore how, as many types of crime have declined in recent decades, there was an increase in elegant and a decrease in inelegant security. We suggest that the lifecycle of some security technologies sees them evolve from inelegant to elegant, that continual improvement is required to keep ahead of offender adaptations, and that inelegant security can fall into disuse even if it prevents crime. It is hoped that this conceptual contribution might inform discussions about the appropriate form and role of security.

Type: Article
Title: Elegant security: Concept, evidence and implications
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1477370820932107
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1477370820932107
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Elegant security, security, dapper, crime drop, security hypothesis, situational crime prevention
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104307
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