Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention, Crime Reduction and Community Safety

Crime prevention and reduction knowledge and services have rapidly grown over the past 25 years.
The development of local authority and police voluntary partnerships in the early 1990's began a process which led to over 400 locally based partnerships across the UK working together to reduce crime and disorder.

figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for the year ending June 2012 show a 6 per cent decrease in overall crime against adults compared with the previous year’s survey. However it is too early (end of 2012) to conclude that the latest decrease, following the fairly flat trend seen in recent years, is evidence of an emerging downward trend. Latest CSEW estimates show statistically significant decreases for incidents of vandalism, vehicle-related theft and burglary with entry, compared with the previous year.

Crimes recorded by the police also fell by 6 per cent for the year ending June 2012 compared with the previous year. This continues the downward trend in recorded crime seen since 2004/05. All of the main categories of police recorded crime fell in the year ending June 2012 compared with the previous year. However, the sub-category theft from the person showed a 6 per cent increase.

Social and Situational Crime Prevention

It is generally considered to divide into two areas of work (social and situational).

  • 'Social' interventions can range from youth crime prevention work to community development/community capacity building.

  • 'Situational' interventions can include the standard 'locks and bolts' work associated with target hardening and burglary reduction to comprehensive 'designing out crime' programmes.

A comprehensive crime prevention or crime reduction programme will use all the appropriate 'tools in the box' to tackle a community safety problem.

The following pages offer a rough guide to key crime problems - set out as topics - that may be encountered by Community Safety Partnerships. The guide is not exhaustive.

Crime Prevention Toolkits

The former Crime Reduction Unit of the Home Office provided a series of 'toolkit' guides to support local communities and their Community Safety Partnerships, in tackling and reducing crime and disorder. These toolkits have now been archived but they continue to be of us; even though the rlevant statistical information contained within the toolkits is becoming dated.

Below we provide the links to the toolkits and these links also appear (from end of March 2011) on each relevant page on our site.

 Domestic Burglary
Safer Schools and Hospitals
Persistent Young Offenders
Information SharingAlcohol Related Crime
Vehicle Crime

Repeat Victimisation
Racial Crime and Harassment

Robbery and Street Crime>>
Public TransportRetail and Business Crime Rural Crime
  Anti Social Behaviour 

'Green' Community Safety and Crime Prevention

Community Safety has an important part to play in the sustainability of communities1. It can be linked, through the statutory strategic commitments of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act - see Law (UK) - to enviro-crime reduction and to urban crime prevention. 

The combination of these activities can be effectively achieved by linking targeted crime prevention work to a more comprehensive environmental and social regeneration programme - such as Home Zones-  and through multi agency enforcement work (jointly tasking the police, neighbourhood wardens, local authority staff etc.).

Crime Prevention - General

Urban Crime Prevention and Youth at Risk
A compendium of strategies prepared for the United Nations UN Habitat.

European Crime Prevention Network (ECPN)

Links to useful sites provided by this NGO

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)    

Series of problem oriented guides for police. Useful format for step by step analysis produced by the US Department of Justice.

Crime Prevention - Design

Design Against Crime

Home page of the UK national Design Against Crime partnership featuring research and advice.

Home Zones

This site describes the concept of Home Zones - a way of "reclaiming" local streets from a traditional domination by cars seeking to 'restore the safety and peace in neighbourhoods..'

Women's Design Service

An NGO working to ensure that the design and  use of the built environment 'reflects the needs and aspirations of women'. WDS is now offering accredited training for architects, engineers, planners etc.


1. “The increasing pressure of human settlements across the world is now a key issue in the management and planning, design and governance of our towns and cities. We need to ensure that local communities everywhere, especially those that suffer disproportionately from poverty and social exclusion, are able to participate fully in, and benefit from, an increasing global economy. Well planned and managed human settlements are also fundamental to achieving sustainable development…..” Habitat UK National Report Summary 2001.