IN A ‘first of its kind’ initiative, Concept Smoke Screen is partnering with criminologists from the University of Lincoln to assess the impact of the company’s security systems on retail loss prevention and, indeed, on crime levels in surrounding communities.
The new partnership stems from Concept Smoke Screen’s ‘Connected’ campaign featured on Episode 22 of the Security Matters Podcast, at the heart of which is the desire for a radical rethink of the private security industry’s approach towards crime prevention.
A significant element of the ‘Connected’ project focuses on collaboration between academia and industry to address structural-level causes of crime and approaches for tackling them.
This initial study, to be conducted with members of the criminology team from the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln, will also act as a pilot for further investigation into the way in which security systems manufacturers and end users can work co-operatively with researchers to share data, providing insights into criminal trends and patterns which have not traditionally been available to either group.
“We’re hugely excited about this new partnership and the insights it will provide for ourselves and our clients,” stated Concept Smoke Screen’s managing director Matt Gilmartin. “We see it as both extremely valuable in itself, and as the first step in an ongoing collaboration with the University of Lincoln team.”
Gilmartin continued: “Data is absolutely critical to intelligent crime prevention planning. Being able to assess that data in a wider and more holistic context will allow us to make smarter choices about how and where our systems are deployed. We’ll also be better able to advise Concept Smoke Screen system users about the broader social impact of these sorts of loss prevention measures.”
Dr Sue Bond-Taylor, senior lecturer and criminology programme leader in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln, observed: “The University of Lincoln’s Criminology team welcomes this opportunity to support Concept Smoke Screen’s ambition to become pioneers within the security industry. The company’s aim is to promote a more ethical and sustainable industry in which private security businesses can make a positive contribution to the communities in which they operate. We’re extremely excited to help them achieve this vision.”
Dr Nick Cowen will be leading the quantitative data team on the project. He explained: “By pooling data from across multiple sites and multiple retailers, we expect to be able to produce precise and up-to-date estimates about the impact of loss prevention strategies, as well as detail on where, when and how the application of these strategies is likely to be most effective.”
Further, Cowen highlighted: “Given that we will be establishing the broader social impact of effective loss prevention on the public’s experience of crime and disorder, we anticipate that this will help Concept Smoke Screen’s clients substantiate and document their own contributions to wider public values according to environmental, social and corporate governance criteria.”
This initial research project has been made possible thanks to a productivity voucher from The Productivity Programme for Greater Lincolnshire, delivered by the University of Lincoln and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Productivity vouchers provide micro, small and medium-sized businesses with the academic capacity and technical expertise of a given university to address a specific business need in order to drive forward a new idea, product, process or service.
Based in Lincolnshire, Concept Smoke Screen is an award-winning electronic security systems manufacturer specialising in security fogging technology. The Smoke Screen range of products provides direct, but harmless confrontation to criminal intrusion, while simultaneously defending high-risk property.