CLAIMED – Mobilisation of preventers



The CLAIMED process describes generic steps professional crime preventers can take to mobilise everyday people and organisations to act as crime preventers themselves, or demobilise those acting as crime promoters. 

 Crime prevention interventions – seeking to manipulate the causes or risk factors of criminal events – are rarely implemented by professional crime preventers. Instead, the role of the professional is often one of specifying one or more crime prevention interventions and then somehow getting people or institutions in the ‘civil’ world to implement or otherwise support them.  For example, a crime prevention sticker on a bike parking stand may have been designed by a professional preventer;  put in place by a council worker; and hopefully noticed by bike owners to alert and inform them of the risk of theft, and empower them to take appropriate preventive action in the form of parking their bike in a secure way (the intervention).  Likewise the developers and promoters of a teaching pack on ethics may negotiate with the local education authority to allow them to approach head teachers in individual schools to tell their staff to use the pack on their pupils (the intervention).

The CLAIMED framework sets out a generic procedure or algorithm for getting particular people or institutions to act as crime preventers, ie to take responsibility for effectively and acceptably reducing the risk of crime and/or improving community safety; and conversely, to cease acting as crime promoters (inadvertently, recklessly or deliberately increasing the risk of crime).   Acting as preventers can involve undertaking very specific tasks, as with the council worker above;  or taking on a wider role with greater scope for initiative (for example, getting architects to ‘think thief’ in all their work), or assuming an even more general responsibility. The preventer/promoter dimension has been incorporated implicitly in the Problem Analysis Triangle (see in that preventers take the form of managers of places, guardians of targets and handlers of offenders.

Again with the above examples, notice how the CLAIMED algorithm is recursive – that is, the procedure can be repeated on its own outputs, an indefinite number of times, in generating a hierarchical ‘implementation track’.  This fits with  the more recent ‘supercontrollers’ concept of people higher up the chain of decisionmaking and influence (Sampson et al. 2010).

In the process of tackling a specific crime problem, whenever a particular risk or cause of crime is identified and an intervention suggested, the logical next step is to ask who might be mobilised to cease contributing to that risk or cause, and/or to implement that intervention; and what tasks or roles should they undertake. Applying CLAIMED therefore links end-to-end with the generic crime risks and functional solutions identified through the Misdeeds and Security framework, or any of the causal interventions mapped in the Conjunction of Criminal Opportunity. In a developmental crime prevention context its application can also follow from identifying particular risk and protective factors for offending

In knowledge management terms CLAIMED can document the Mobilisation aspect of the ‘implementation track’ of complex preventive programmes. CLAIMED is therefore incorporated within the 5Is framework, where Mobilisation comes under the Involvement process, accompanied by Partnership and Climate-Setting.  CLAIMED also fits within the definition in depth of Partnership elsewhere on this site.

The CLAIMED procedure

This generic procedure for mobilising crime preventers to implement particular interventions comprises several steps:

  • Clarify the crime prevention tasks or roles that need doing, eg the intervention itself; alleviating constraints; and supplying enablers.
  • Locate the individuals or organisations best-placed to undertake them, including designers, manufacturers, marketers and consumers. Then
  • Alert them that their product could be causing crime, or that they could help stop unrelated crimes
  • Inform them of the nature of the problem/risk/causation.
  • Motivate them – by hard or soft incentives including an image of corporate social responsibility, naming and shaming, ‘polluter-pays’ taxes, awakening consumer expectations and pressures and imposing insurance costs, and legislation.
  • Empower them – by supplying preventers with education, guidance on intervention, tools (eg property-marking kit) and other resources; and by alleviating a range of constraints
  • and perhaps Direct them, in terms of standards (such as BSI or CEN),  and targets.

These actions must be done in step with public and commercial understandings and expectations – hence the importance of climate-setting activities such as setting the public tone for who are considered to be responsible for the diverse causes of crime, and for who should take action.

Nor can specific actions always be undertaken in isolation.  All the above enablers and their counterpart constraints interlock and may form a self-reinforcing system which is hard to shift from one state to another without a concerted approach.  In some cases this may require basic actions to develop social capital/social cohesion to make things work

To the extent that the relationships between the various institutions and individual people initiating this process is one-sided, mobilisation is the appropriate concept;  to the extent that there is a more symmetrical relationship of mutual decision-making, task/role specification and taking of responsibility, then partnership is the preferred term. Many crime prevention/ community safety actions combine elements of each, though there is a growing trend towards participation, engagement or co-design to use some of the many terms that apply.

Constraining crime promoters

Crime promoters are people or institutions who make criminal events more likely to happen or who otherwise jeopardise community safety.  This could be inadvertent, careless, reckless or deliberate. In some cases promoters will be committing criminal offences themselves (eg electronically unlocking stolen mobile phones for the thief or the buyer).  CLAIMED can be applied in reverse to constrain or demotivate particular promoters… and in some cases to get these people/institutions to go beyond mere desistance of promotion to become active crime preventers.

Origins of CLAIMED

The CLAIMED framework emerged from Paul Ekblom’s reading of the Design Council’s report on the state of designing against crime amongst designers, design education establishments and industry, funded as part of the UK Government’s Crime Reduction Programme (1998-2003) – see for example Design Council (2000), Learmont (2005) and Pease (2003:29).   Basically, while implementation arrangements for crime prevention through design were complex and diverse, a common algorithm appeared to underlie them all.  It was soon realised that this framework (which started with AME, then extended to include CL, then D, then most recently, I!) was applicable across the board in crime prevention and community safety and incorporated in the extension of the CCO framework that eventually became 5Is  (Ekblom 2001).



Design Council 2000) Design Against Crime.  A Report to the Design Council, The Home Office and the Department of Trade and Industry.  Cambridge, Salford and Sheffield Hallam Universities.

Learmont, S. (2005) ‘Design Against Crime’, in Clarke, R. and Newman, G. (Eds.) Designing out Crime from Products and Systems (provisional title). Crime Prevention Studies, Vol. [18]. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press and Cullompton: Willan Publishing.

Pease, K. (2003). Cracking Crime through Design. London: Design Council.

Sampson, R., Eck, J, and Dunham, J. (2010). ‘Super controllers and crime prevention: A routine activity explanation of crime prevention success and failure.’ Security Journal 23, 37–51 (1 February 2010) | doi:10.1057/sj.2009.17