The latest developments and news related
to the DACRC ATM Crime Project 


Autumn 2013


A partnership between the Design Against Crime Research Centre (DACRC), a number of banking groups and the Metropolitan Police and local government has been exploring how best to design against ATM crime in London. The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), who focus on customer care, is leading the way in testing whether ATM Art can contribute to customer security as well as customer experience. RBS have funded an evaluation of ATM Art at NatWest ATMs in City of Westminster and London Borough of Camden, coordinated by DACRC. The findings of the evaluation project, to be published in 2014, suggest that the ATM Art mats are liked by the public and are effective in defining defensible space that grants more privacy to ATM users.

Between 2008 and 2011, the most common ATM crime perpetrator techniques (modus operandi – MOs) recorded by City of Westminster Police were ‘distraction theft’ (a human centred MO) and ‘skimmer’ or ‘trapping’ oences (machine centred MOs).  The creation of ‘defensible spaces’ can facilitate behaviour change that empowers ATM users and helps reduce opportunities for ‘shoulder surfing’ and ‘distraction theft’.  Until now, this had been attempted using floor painted boxes, and messaging, defining ATM ‘security zones’ or ‘privacy areas’.  Whilst such measures reportedly have some eectiveness in reducing crime around ATMs, they have not proven popular with many businesses or members of public, who consider them to be indicative of crime problems and unattractive, acting as a deterrent to some users. This suggests the need for new ways of defining defensible space.


Summer/Autumn 2012

Getting Ahead of ATM Crime

Covent Garden 30th July 2012



The event was reported by Rob Thorne of Metropolitan Police to have facilitated crime awareness training with 12,800 people.

Please find more information here.

Spring 2012

CSM LINK Doctoral Bursary for-Practice-led Design PHD on Innovation Against ATM Crime is assigned

Central Saint Martins has awarded a fully funded bursary for Home and EU research degree students based in the UK. The bursary is supported by LINK, the UK’s cash machine network.
Link logo


The studentship of £20,200 per year for three years (with potential to extend to up to 4 years) will cover both tuition fees (currently £4,200 per year for Home/EU students) and a stipend. Additional resources may also be available to encourage/ maximise the dissemination of key outputs during this research programme.


The focus of the doctoral award is for project ideas to be researched in the following area:

  • ‘Innovation Against ATM Crime – Developing a practice-based and design led approach to enhancing customer experience, as well as, improving customer security’.