Re-framing street crime to enhance cultural interactions

 in conjunction with
University of Technology, Sydney

In 2012 a study showed that the Canterbury area was ranked in the top eight out of 140 areas in the state of New South Wales (NSW, Australia) for its rate of street robbery, with the suburbs of Lakemba and Campsie representing some of the highest levels of these crimes. Typical crime prevention across the council and police was at a cross-roads.


Through workshops with the community leaders, police, council and research, we uncovered insights relating to issues between various cultures (and sub-cultures) within the community and hotspots of crime relating to commuters needs.

Solution Design


A multi-faceted solution design included:

  • Public facing campaign called ‘The Spice Trails’ that sought to celebrate cultural diversity through food. That linked businesses with cultural groups and sought to bring interest from outside the community. Interventions trialed include:

    • Discount vouchers to school children, to keep children off streets after school

    • Cross-school food challenges

    • Promotion of the Spice Trail as a food walk through the suburbs via local restaurants

Outcomes – Project has been implemented in 2016/17 and is in measurement phase.


  • Project presented at the Australian & New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference 2014

  • Exhibited at Hong Kong Social Innovation Festival 2014

  • Exhibited at Social Innovation Showcase, South Korea 2014

We asked: 

How could we improve communication and trust between cultural groups that could target street-crime rates?


Can we change behaviours in the way people interact in their urban environment in  relation to their commute that positively effects crime rates?


Using a re-frame of the problem from one of crime enforcement to community inclusion, we approached the issues of a dangerous streets, to ‘the journey home’.

Victim Services & Organisational Transformation:

Transformation Office of the NSW Department of Justice and Victim Services NSW.

Being a victim of crime can be a deeply traumatic and

life altering experience. Unfortunately, the justice system can further traumatise, victimise which is seemingly focused more on the needs of bureaucracy rather than justice for the people it serves.


Incremental change was not addressing issues. By radical re-design of services and organisational processes the Justice System: Victims of Crime strategy sets a clear path for the future and puts the victims at the centre.

The  outcome:  Was a suite of reform recommendations ranging from an anonymous report-advice line, to radical changes in how victims will experience the court process, including expanded restorative justice options.


The future: The recommendations in this report were considered by the NSW Cabinet and adopted.

Initial report can be viewed here

The 'Homelessness' System

Government & non-government 'homelessness' services

Millions of dollars of funding pour into our 'homelessness system' but to what effect? How can we move towards organisations that solve these issues? In bringing together over 20 government and non-government departments, Designing Out Crime used design to approach the complex issues and seek to understand how not only services can be redesigned but how organisational models can better address the issues.

Re-framing Counter Terrorism for stakeholder engagement

NSW Counter Terrorism & Special Tactics Command

Sydney with it's globally renowned landmarks is vulnerable to terrorist threats. Working with the NSW Police, DOC embarked on a research project that aimed to re-frame the issues of counter-terrorism to enable new approaches and take up by the vast array of stakeholders involved. Design outcomes and recommendations were included in the NSW Government Architects master strategy, specific design interventions taken up by stakeholders (including the NSW Police and the Sydney Opera House) and further visioning undertaken by the Design for Social Impact students in a student report


Student report can be seen here

MELANIE RAYMENT I  +44 (0)7494 936 787