Preventing vehicle crime

Authored by: Barry Webb

Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety

Print publication date:  September  2005
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9781843921479
eBook ISBN: 9781843926146
Adobe ISBN: 9781134014637


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Sir Alec Issigonis, considered one of the great innovative car designers, decided, it is said, not to include a radio in his new mini because he thought it would be distracting to the driver and never catch on. Which just goes to show that designers can’t always get it right. It is important, therefore, that manufacturers and designers can respond rapidly to problems or unanticipated consequences of their new products as they emerge. The way in which the motor industry has responded to consumer demand for radios and cassette players in their cars is an example, with a whole separate industry developing to provide ever increasingly sophisticated in-car entertainment systems. Rapid recall of cars when a fault is discovered in a component is also testimony to the industry’s capacity to respond rapidly to safety issues. The history of vehicle crime in Britain is a tale of unanticipated consequences of the new product but, alas, not rapid response so that by the end of the twentieth century theft of and from vehicles had developed into a feature of everyday life. This chapter examines the growth of vehicle crime through the twentieth century in Britain, describing both the scale and nature of the problem, its evolution and the different approaches taken to its prevention.

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