UTILISING PLACE MANAGERS is about extending, or creating, a role whereby someone takes responsibility for the security of a particular location.


What they then do could involve both taking direct action (for example in securing doors to improve access and exit control) or mobilising others – employees, customers or passers-through – to assume responsibilities in their turn and act against crime in that environment. The action thus mobilised could include general surveillance (watching out for suspicious behaviour) or specific guardianship of people’s own or others’ property.


Doing Mobilisation involves alerting people to a crime risk, informing them about it, empowering them to do something to reduce the risk and perhaps directing them with objectives, rules or standards (see Mobilisation under crime frameworks on DAC website).


Empowerment could be through installing security aids such as the Grippa clips described under Guardianship above. Alerting, informing and motivating crime preventers could be achieved through simple verbal communication, such as when the staff whilst clearing glasses remind customers to hang bags on the clips, or to take care of their property more generally. However, Mobilisation is perhaps more commonly employed through visual awareness posters or leaflets: these are commissioned to alert and inform potential victims of risky behaviour (‘beware – pickpockets’), and to empower them to make the right responses.




Grippa Communication Graphics
Design Against Crime Research Centre


However good the functional and aesthetic design of Grippa clips, if they are not noticed or used by customers they will have no impact on crime. Clean and simple graphic communications were created in conjunction with the installation of the Grippa clips, to alert, inform, motivate and empower customers (with the incidental benefit of reminding staff, in a setting where there is rapid turnover).


Posters were hung in the venue’s bathrooms to inform the customers that clips are supplied for their security. Table-top graphics inform customers of the techniques a thief will use in trying to steal their belongings. Bag–shaped hang tags are placed on the clips to advise customers to take care of their valuables.


Finally, the Grippa clips themselves were designed to advertise their own presence (by projecting slightly beyond the edge of the table) and to make their purpose and functioning self-evident, backed up by an embossed image of a bag.