Community Safety - an introduction

Community Safety in practice

Community Safety services bring together crime prevention and reduction work. These services are guided by local Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs), made up of statutory responsible authorities and non statutory partners. At a local level, these CSPs develop strategic assessments and work with key local stakeholders (communities and their services) and regional stakeholders, such as Police and Crime Commissioners in (England and Wales) and various regional and national authorities

Community Safety duties and responsibilities have a statutory foundation (see below and here)

The practical work - which is introduced below - has been established as good practice in the delivery of community safety over the past couple of decades. However, a question that has often arisen is 'how are such services best delivered'? In many countries 'community safety services' do not exist and the responsibility for ensuring such activities are undertaken either rests with the mainstream municipal authorities or the police. In England and Wales, since the implementation of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, it has been generally understood that community safety needs to be strategically commissioned and managed by a local partnership of the community, the police, municipal authorities and others and provided by specialist teams. In 2014 this may no longer be the case.

In England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) develop regional Police and Crime Plans and commission both police services and the local delivery of community safety crime reduction and prevention projects. More information here.

Statutory Functions and Duties & Community Safety Strategic Assessments

Community Safety governance and the local delivery of Community Safety Strategic Assessments are statutory duties set out in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The strategic governance and local delivery of crime and disorder reduction work belongs with area based Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) and this is explained in some detail here.

Operation Practice

Crime Prevention and Community Safety Services are undertaken at local, regional and national level. The lead authority on such services in England and Wales is the the Home Office, with many powers now delegated, along with resources, to regional Police and Crime Commissioners. Priorities are developed at local, regional and national levels and these encourage a focussed delivery odf services at a local level which:

  1. Use the knowledge of the causes of crime and disorder - which we review in more depth in the crime prevention section of this site.
  2. The techniques and services required to identify a crime problem and prevent or reduce it - which we review in the community safety practice section of this site.

At the heart of the process are the Problem-Oriented Policing techniques - mentioned and linked above. Best practice examples of the type of schemes developed in the UK cn be found at the Home Office Tilley Award page.

Hallmarks of Effective Partnership

Guidance for effective partnership work -  published by the Home Office in 200

Weblinks

Northern Ireland - Community Safety Web pages of the Northern Irish Community Safety Unit incldes information research, training and funding.

Wales Community Safety Web page from the Welsh Local Government Association.