Definition of final crime risk assessment mechanism to measure the risk of theft of electronic products and proof them against theft

This report presents research conducted as part of a two-year European project (Project Marc) which aims to develop a mechanism to assess the risk of theft of electronic products and to take steps to make that mechanism operational. The view of the authors, reflected throughout this report, is that the task of developing such a tool is vital yet daunting. It is vital because of the need to build upon the gains made within other sectors and the need to seize the opportunity presented by the realisation that crime trends can be explained in terms of the supply of opportunities, that reducing the supply of opportunities will reduce crime and that these tasks are not the sole responsibility of the police. It is daunting because in spite of extensive evidence for the efficacy of well-designed and implemented opportunity reduction measures, the problem comes when the crime to be prevented (theft of electronic products) is widespread but not generally devastating to its victims and when opportunity reduction finds itself in tension with commercial interests. The report sets out the process of developing a crime risk assessment mechanism and the justification for pursuing the options taken. Initial consultation with a variety of stakeholders yielded the common view that the crime risk assessment mechanism presented must a) measure both risk and protection (ensuring that the two are commensurate), b) reflect the perspectives of those who would be tasked with implementing it and c) reflect the language of stakeholders from a variety of European states. Taking these views on board, the authors conducted an extensive consultation with stakeholders from four sectors (insurance, consumers’ organisations, law enforcement and manufacturers of electronic products) from ten European member states. Participants were asked to rate a variety of electronic products in terms of both vulnerability and security and to explain the ratings they gave. Their responses were used to develop two checklists which incorporate a variety of factors, weighted according to the frequency with which they were expressed. The authors suggest that the crime vulnerability checklist developed measurement. The security measurement by checklist was concluded to be inappropriate, since it would lead to limited and unimaginative security, and a case-by-case assessment by domain experts is advocated, in the light of measured vulnerability. A two-pronged approach to rating of electronic products (and possibly services) is outlined based upon approaches already deployed in relation to food standards.