A range of urban fashion accessories with built-in crime resistance features has been released by UK company Karrysafe. The range of bags and fashion accessories have been specifically designed to protect their owners from street crime, concealing objects like mobile phones and other valuables and incorporating anti-slash materials and personal alarms.
Karrysafe's unique enhanced security products have been created through a collaborative research and development project between Central Saint Martins (CSM) and Vexed Generation, a team of London fashion designers who describe themselves as 'socially responsive'. Gizmag has previously reported on similar devices like the electro-shock jacket.
Karrysafe sought funding from the Design Council's Design Against Crime project, which promotes the idea that good design is a potentially powerful anti-crime strategy. "Most crime is opportunistic. If products are developed with crime-resistance in mind many of the opportunities they present for criminals can be 'designed out' or at least significantly reduced," said Ruth Hasnip, the Design Council Director.
Dr Lorraine Gamman, project director of the Design Against Crime research unit at CSM, brought in police, self-defence experts and personal safety organizations to develop the collection, which was also developed in conjunction with two of the UK's leading personal safety organizations, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science.
The collection includes the Bodysafe, a lingerie-style stealth belt, and the Phonesafe, a wrist band for concealing mobiles and other valuables. A high-security 'screaming' document bag is also available - this product incorporates an alarm that is tripped if someone tries to steal the bag.
The Karrysafe products are designed to deter the four most common techniques employed by street criminals: dipping, grabbing, lifting and slashing. Although they incorporate security features such as anti-slash materials, cut resistant straps, combination lock clips and personal alarms, the designers have aimed not to compromise on aesthetics.
"We have a track record of producing designs which tackle social issues head on. By reducing the risk that users will be targeted by criminals, our new products should make them feel more secure when they're out and about. At the same time they're extremely fashionable and desirable. They won't make users look like riot police. Secure design doesn't have to look criminal," said Adam Thorpe of Vexed Generation.