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Object Security

Safety is a basic human requirement. Official formal bodies of social control, especially police and justice, are traditionally responsible for ensuring safety and order. However, in recent years there has been a change in security architecture; the individual being is given more responsibility to safeguard and maintain his own security. Depending on the individually perceived level of insecurity strategies which can ward off intruders by using technical security systems are gaining more importance. The idea is that the more complex a protective mechanism is designed, the more difficult it is to commit an offence. The probability to be detected increases at the same time. Thus technological progress enhances constant competition between innovative technologies and the ways of overcoming them.

Impact research

The evaluation of security systems is no ongoing process which is limited to the assessment of functional reliability and allocation to resistance categories determined under lab conditions. The system's robustness must also prove suitability for the user's everyday life. As far as crimes against property are concerned, two main factors determine the effectiveness of a security measure taken: first, the development of the registered number of cases within a given period; secondly, changes in the sense of security of those who are affected by the measures taken.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of a security system both indicators have to be considered more closely. If criminal activities shall be prevented effectively, it seems useful to adopt the offender's perspective. Besides the disclosure of decision-making processes which only allow the offence according to the situation, the offender's knowledge of the modus operandi may provide new findings with relevance for the future prevention of such offences. The survey of affected victims may also give hints on offence-specific structures that may be of importance for the development of innovative security systems.

Acceptance research

But which societal acceptance do innovations receive in the market of security systems? How is the perception of security technologies in the public and how may these settings change in the course of time? Experience shows that the individual is particularly sensitive as far as the protection of his property as well as the preservation of his individual personal rights are concerned. An essential prerequisite to satisfy the need for security is the high level of confidence that is placed with producers of security technologies. What is the relationship between confidence in technological innovations on the one hand und feelings of insecurity on the other hand? And: what are security needs of the general public? Partially, there exist significant mismatches between the acutal state and the target expectations towards technology. It is an open question how the effectiveness of existing security technologies is generally estimated and to which extent these evaluation differs from a realistic performance of each indivdual technology applied.


The department "object security" focuses on research fields just as effectivity and legitimacy within the scope of criminologic and socio-scientific studies with relation to security systems and tort fields. General acceptance issues may not only be put into question as far as the preservation of security is concerned but also with respect to requirements and needs for comfort and usability on the user's side.

The effectiveness of security systems should be proved by means of property offences, current knowledge of possible perpetrators should be collected and analyzed with respect to improving possibilities of prevention. The installation of so-called panic locks in public schools should be scientifically supervised. In the field of corporate security industrial as well as insider espionage are put in the focus of research activities. The benefit of access regulations as well as questions concerning confidence and mistrust towards employees play an important role.


Institute for security systems

University of Wuppertal
Institute for security systems (ISS)
Talstr. 71
42551 Velbert

T: +49 (0)2051/93322-0
Q: +49 (0)2051/93322-29