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BUILDING SAFER COMMUNITIES: LESSONS LEARNED FROM CANADA’S NATIONAL STRATEGY
Lucie Léonard, Giselle Rosario, Carolyn Scott, and Jessica Bressan
National Crime Prevention Strategy
Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The purpose of this article is to discuss emerging trends in the development and implementation of locally based action directed at crime prevention and community safety in Canada. The discussion centres on the results gleaned from the research and evaluation of specific community-based projects that have been supported under the National Crime Prevention Strategy. Results from some of the projects indicate reductions in offending, improved school attendance and academic achievement, decreased levels of violence and aggression, increased pro-social behaviours, and improved community safety. Despite the considerable progress, many challenges remain in the development of individual and community-based safety initiatives.
THE NEED FOR COMPREHENSIVE CRIME PREVENTION PLANNING: THE CASE OF MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
Rick Linden and Renuka Chaturvedi
Department of Sociology
University of Manitoba
Most crime prevention programs are poorly planned and implemented, and therefore do little or nothing to prevent crime. Programs are typically fragmented, with little communication among the groups who share a common interest in reducing crime. Most programs operate in isolation rather than being linked to a broader community-wide prevention strategy. Communities that have been able to make meaningful reductions in crime rates have done so by taking a comprehensive approach to crime prevention in which they implement an integrated series of programs that coordinate the efforts of a broad range of partners and participants. To be comprehensive and effective, crime prevention programs must analyse the crime problems in their community context, involve a broad group of people and organizations, consider a diverse range of prevention strategies, carefully implement the programs most suited to a particular community, and assess the results. This article illustrates how this process can be applied to the prevention of motor vehicle theft.
SITUATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION AS A KEY COMPONENT IN EMBEDDED CRIME PREVENTION
Patricia L. Brantingham and Paul J. Brantingham
School of Criminology
Simon Fraser University
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia
This article provides information about the evolving field of situational crime prevention and proposes that the situational perspective be used to understand recent crime prevention approaches in Canada. The article also explores how the articulated description of situational crime prevention can be used to develop ways of measuring the impact of specific crime prevention programs and to find ways to embed the crime prevention process into general governance.
ENGENDERING CRIME PREVENTION: INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS AND THE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE
International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, Montreal
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Ottawa
This article discusses the absence of gender in crime prevention in Canada and internationally. It outlines the development of parallel streams of work on violence against women and women’s safety and argues that there is a need to integrate them in a concerted gendered approach, particularly at the level of municipalities. It draws on developing work on women’s safety, gender, and the role of women in decision making in local government. The first part of the article is based on a review of international policy and practice on women’s safety; it discusses recent trends and developments, as well as some of the problems and questions raised. These relate to the apparently separate worlds of expertise and activity that have grown up around violence against women and women’s safety, the emergence of the concept of gender, and the isolation of these areas of work from mainstream crime prevention. The second part of the article evaluates Canadian performance in engendering crime prevention and makes some recommendations for embedding and sustaining engendered practice, particularly at the local level.
LE PARTENARIAT DANS LA PRÉVENTION DU CRIME EN MILIEU URBAIN : LES DÉFIS D’UNE CULTURE À CONSOLIDER
Département d’études urbaines et touristiques
Université du Québec à Montréal
Crime prevention partnerships are an increasingly popular approach in the co-production of community safety. However, there is some confusion about and improper use of the term "partnership". To clarify this concept, this study defines partnership and what distinguishes it from other collaborative approaches. Quebec’s leading crime prevention experts were surveyed to get feedback on their perceptions and experiences of the partnership approach. The analysis of the survey results indicates that multidisciplinary partnerships provide greater access to resources and clients, promote networking among partners, improve the results of actions, and provide a more complete safety diagnosis. Certain conditions also facilitate the development and function of partnerships. However, the small amount of time usually allotted to consolidating the partnership approach, changing structures, organizational cultures that are difficult to reconcile, and the precarious financial position of organizations are factors that may harm partnerships. In the current socio-political context, the number of crime prevention partnerships will increase even though important basic conditions must first be met. Major issues remain and will influence debates on new partnerships, especially the lack of accountability of partnership associations and the exhaustion of organizations that, in a climate of insecurity, continue to be solicited for new partnerships. Thus, the partnership brings a series of challenges for the players in crime prevention.
EVIDENCE-BASED CRIME PREVENTION: CONCLUSIONS AND DIRECTIONS FOR A SAFER SOCIETY
Brandon C. Welsh
Department of Criminal Justice
University of Massachusetts Lowell
David P. Farrington
Institute of Criminology
In an evidence-based society, government crime prevention policy and local practice would be based on interventions with demonstrated effectiveness in preventing crime – using what works best. Systematic reviews are the most comprehensive method of assessing the effectiveness of crime prevention measures and, in an evidence-based society, they would be the source that governments would turn to for help in the development of policy. This article summarizes the main findings of a project of the Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Group to advance knowledge on what works to prevent crime for a wide range of interventions, organized around four important domains: at-risk children, offenders, victims, and high-crime places. The full conclusions are published in the forthcoming book, Preventing Crime: What Works for Children, Offenders, Victims, and Places. The good news from this first wave of reviews is that most of the interventions are effective in preventing crime and, in many cases, produce sizeable effects. This includes social-skills training for children, cognitive-behavioural therapy and incarceration-based drug treatment for offenders, face-to-face restorative justice conferences involving victims and offenders, prevention of repeat residential burglary victimization, hot spots policing, closed-circuit television surveillance, and improved street lighting. Acting on the evidence from these systematic reviews could contribute to a safer society, both now and in the long run. Alongside the Campbell Collaboration effort to prepare and maintain systematic reviews for use by policy makers, practitioners, and the general public, a program of research into new crime prevention and intervention experiments needs to be initiated.
A SHORT HISTORY OF CRIME PREVENTION IN AUSTRALIA
Australian Institute of Criminology
Crime prevention work in Australia is notable for significant innovation and achievement in a number of important areas. However, the ability to consolidate these successes has been hampered by a number of structural factors, including continuing fragmentation between the state/territory level and the national bodies; a lack of strong national leadership and a shared vision for crime prevention goals; frequent changes in direction and strategic priorities across all levels of government; short-term arrangement that shift from "project" to "program" level; a lack of cohesion and coordination between key agencies (particularly police); and the absence of an adequate evidence base to support the dominant strategic approach – the community-based crime prevention model. This article discusses each of these issues from the perspective of managing crime prevention work at the various levels of Australian government and offers some thoughts on possible future directions and methods for overcoming existing shortcomings. Particular attention is paid to the impact of the increasing commitment to the use of "whole of government" models for developing and implementing crime prevention work, the emergence of the "urban renewal" model as a framework for broadening and strengthening the community-based crime prevention approach, the changing role of police in crime prevention, and the importance of building adequate evidence bases to support crime prevention practice.
THE NEW LOCAL GOVERNANCE OF COMMUNITY SAFETY IN ENGLAND AND WALES
Department of Criminology
This article provides an overview and assessment, since 1997, of the "New Labour" government’s reforms and policies of crime prevention and community safety in England and Wales. It reviews developments since the Crime and Disorder Act, 1998, and assesses the impact of the government’s Crime Reduction Strategy and its campaign against antisocial behavior. The argument is that, in its zeal to reduce crime through its "modernization" agenda, applied to public service delivery, and the consequent emphasis on performance in the reduction of crime, the government is neglecting the institution-building task of constituting a new security governance in the community. This neglect may have led to a rise in insecurity in society, fostered by a heightened anxiety about disorder. This trend seems set to continue with the government’s approach to police reform. And although an emergent agenda of "civil renewal" holds out some promise for policies that recognize the role of citizens in the co-production of community safety, there are also dangers of reinforcing the insecurity of the disadvantaged, who have limited access to the social capital required for participation.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN CRIME PREVENTION AND SAFETY POLICIES IN FINLAND
European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI)
National Council for Crime Prevention
Ministry of Justice, Finland
Finland’s National Council for Crime Prevention (NCCP) was established in 1989. A national crime prevention was adopted by the government in 1999. The program follows the "Nordic model" and includes a national coordinating and steering body that provides funding and advice to local crime prevention committees and projects. The Nordic model of crime prevention involves a strong affiliation to areas outside the justice system and strikes a balance between social and situational crime prevention. A member since 2001 of the European Crime Prevent Network (EUCPN), the NCCP selects projects to be presented to the EUCPN’s annual Good Practice Conferences as well as competing for the annual European Crime Prevention Awards. The overt politicization of crime policy issues may cause some rethinking. The Nordic model may need to be complemented by other approaches, such as early intervention, other methods of social crime prevention, and a growing emphasis on creating networks, cooperation, and partnerships with many different actors with a stake in preventing crime.
PREVENTION AND SECURITY: A NEW GOVERNANCE MODEL FOR FRANCE THOUGH A CONTRACT-BASED TERRITORIAL APPROACH
Université de Grenoble/CNRS
In the traditional organizational model for public security and crime prevention, the central government and its agents at the local level play a dominant role. As we analyse the current situation, it becomes clear that the state’s role is diminishing while approaches and stakeholders have become more numerous and diverse (citizens, municipalities, central government, Europe, business, insurance companies). This observation leads to the conclusion that the state is losing its monopoly in this field, that it can no longer impose its "top-down" approach, and that a new form of security governance using a contract-based territorial model has now become the norm.
CRIME AND CRIME PREVENTION IN SOUTH AFRICA: 10 YEARS AFTER
Anton du Plessis and Antoinette Louw
Crime and Justice Program
Institute for Security Studies (South Africa)
South Africa’s transition since 1994 has required an extensive overhaul of its institutions and laws. The last 10 years have been characterized by a flurry of new policies and legislation in the criminal justice sector. After 1994, one of the government’s priorities was the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS). The NCPS recognized the social and developmental causes of crime, as well as the need to involve a range of government departments and civil society partnerships. The strategy has, however, lost momentum as a result of public and political pressure to deliver decisive, short-term solutions. Since 1999, the government’s focus has been on tough law enforcement interventions and on passing new laws aimed at improving criminal justice functioning. This article argues that South Africa’s criminal justice system has performed well considering the challenges it has faced since 1994. The task now is to deal with increasingly negative public perceptions of safety and renew efforts to prevent crime by tackling the social and developmental factors that are beyond the scope of the police and courts.
AMERICAN CRIME PREVENTION: TRENDS AND NEW FRONTIERS
Amie M. Schuck
University of Illinois at Chicago
American crime prevention is at a crossroads. After decades of successful efforts, the concept of prevention has been embedded in the American lexicon and prevention strategies are becoming a part of public policy. Even so, there is great uncertainty about the form, function, and emphasis of prevention programs. Historically, prevention efforts have used techniques of surveillance and incapacitation and focused primarily on guns, gangs, and drugs. Over the past 10 years, more progressive forms of prevention have been incorporated into public policy. However, the current conservative climate, combined with the fear of terrorism and declining sources of revenue, has precipitated a renewed emphasis on surveillance and incapacitation. Because the United States does not have a specific agency responsible for crime prevention, or even a national crime prevention agenda, much American crime prevention is incident driven. At present, the themes of information integration systems and prevention technology, law enforcement partnerships, and targeted interventions dominate the discourse on American crime prevention. However, it is unlikely that current crime trends will continue. Despite the impressive body of evidence accumulated over the last several decades on the importance of evidence-based crime prevention efforts, there is still enormous pressure to go back to the old-fashioned logic of deterrence and punishment.
DE LA PRÉVENTION ET DE LA SÉCURITÉ : RÉFLEXIONS SUR LA GOUVERNANCE DURABLE DE LA SÉCURITÉ DES COLLECTIVITÉS
Centre international pour la prévention de la criminalité
Crime prevention policies and practices have changed significantly over the last 20 years. They have diversified, become specialized, and above all have spread in numerous countries and cities, and the United Nations (UN) has adopted guidelines for their implementation. At the same time, and in addition to the global geopolitical context in which governments focus on security and control measures more than on preventive measures, these policies have frequently been challenged. The incantation of stock phrases and a desire to come up with "formulas" are likely contributing factors. Nevertheless, through partnership mechanisms, local security diagnostic tools, the use of knowledge, and evaluation procedures, prevention policies have contributed significantly to the establishment of a different conception of security, which takes us from the governance of internal security to the governance of citizen security. Through successive approximations and trial and error, another relationship to normativeness has been created, one that is no longer under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state but, rather, is decentralized and fragmented, allowing greater involvement from civil society in the development of social links.