Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

CRM 407 Crime Prevention Week 11 The Role of by uoy21072

VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 23

									               CRM 407: Crime Prevention
             Week 11: The Role of Government
                       Case Studies

Federal and State/Provincial Levels
      Canada
National Crime Prevention Centre / National Strategy on Community Safety
and Crime Prevention

The contemporary foray of the Canadian Government into crime prevention can
be traced to a 1993 report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice
and the Solicitor General, which recommended that national policies support the
principles of crime prevention, recognizing that “crime occurs in communities and
priorities concerning crime prevention are best determined at the local level.”

This report eventually led to the National Strategy on Community Safety and
Crime Prevention, a federal government program that primarily works as a
funding agency for community-based intervention efforts that deal with the root
causes of crime and victimization. The objectives of the National Strategy are as
follows:

   To promote partnerships between governments, businesses, community
   groups, and individuals to reduce crime and victimization,

   To assist communities in developing and implementing community-based
   solutions to local problems that contribute to crime and victimization,

   To increase public awareness of, and support for, crime prevention, and

   To conduct research on crime prevention and establish best practices.

The National Strategy is aimed at developing community-based responses to
crime, with a particular emphasis on children and youth, Aboriginal people, as
well as women and girls, and is based on the principle that the surest way to
reduce crime is to focus on the factors that put individuals at risk of criminal
behaviour (e.g. family violence, school problems, drug abuse, etc.). Using this
proactive social development approach, the purpose of the National Strategy is
to help communities address the root causes of crime by providing appropriate
resources, knowledge, and support for use at the local level.




                                                                                   1
There are three components of the National Crime Prevention Strategy:

   1) The Safer Communities Initiative
   2) The Promotion and Public Education Program
   3) The National Crime Prevention Centre

Safer Communities Initiative

The Safer Communities Initiative provides funding to help communities undertake
local crime prevention activities, with particular focus on social development
approaches. This initiative can be broken down further into four funding
programs:

Community Mobilization Program (CMP) - The CMP is a funding program to
which communities can apply to develop and implement grassroots strategies
that address the root causes of crime at the local level. Examples of problems
that are meant to be targeted by the program funding include poor or inadequate
parenting, substance abuse, inappropriate peer association, poor academic
achievement, and lack of training or employment. The objectives of the CMP are
to increase: the development of broad, community-based partnerships focused
on dealing with local crime prevention issues; public awareness of and support
for crime prevention at the local level; and the capacity of communities to deal
with crime and victimization.

Crime Prevention Investment Fund (CPIF) - The CPIF provides funds to support
promising and innovative crime prevention through social development
demonstration projects in high-need areas. Emphasis is placed on funding the
implementation and evaluation of “demonstration projects” in order to determine
the key components of successful programs and the potential for these new
approaches to be replicated in other settings across the country. To this end, the
CPIF supports research and evaluation into the costs, benefits, and overall
effectiveness of innovative efforts to prevent crime. Detailed project proposals
must demonstrate the innovative nature of the proposed crime prevention
through social development demonstration projects and their potential to build on
the existing knowledge about what works to improve community safety and
prevent crime and victimization, particularly in high-need communities and
population groups.

Crime Prevention Partnership Program (CPPP) - The CPPP supports the
involvement of non-governmental organizations that can contribute to community
crime prevention through the development of information, tools, and resources.
An important objective of this fund is to encourage organizations to enhance
networks at the national, regional, and local levels in order to develop, share, and
build on tools and resources available to communities. The projects funded
through this program are also intended to facilitate community participation in all
phases of crime prevention.



                                                                                  2
Business Action Program on Crime Prevention (BAPCP) – This program funds
crime prevention initiatives undertaken by the private sector, to encourage their
role as active partners, leaders, and resources on crime prevention within
communities. The Business Action program is guided by the Business Network
on Crime Prevention (BNCP), a group of professional associations working
together to build safer communities in which people can live and in which
businesses can prosper. The Business Network meets as needed to review
project proposals and recommend them for approval to the Department of
Justice. Using the Business Action Program, the BNCP works through business
and professional associations to raise awareness about the advantages of early
intervention with children and youth; strengthen business-community
partnerships to develop sustainable approaches to reducing crime and
victimization; stimulate coordinated efforts to address crime prevention issues of
particular concern to the private sector; and develop tools and resources to help
the private sector better understand what works best to reduce crime and
victimization.

Promotion and Public Education Program

The Promotion and Public Education Program has been created to increase
public awareness about the National Crime Prevention Strategy. It has the
following goals:

•   To promote an understanding of crime prevention through social
    development,
•   To provide a better understanding of crime and victimization issues in
    Canada,
•   To foster partnerships with organizations to create and disseminate
    innovative approaches to preventing crime,
•   To share crime prevention success stories, tools, knowledge, and information
    with Canadians, and
•   To empower Canadians to seek and develop solutions to problems in their
    own communities.


The National Crime Prevention Centre

The National Strategy is administered by the National Crime Prevention Centre
(NCPC), a federal agency that oversees the planning, development, and
implementation of federal policies and programs related to crime prevention and
victimization. The NCPC also collects, analyzes, and disseminates research
findings related to crime prevention. In addition to its primary funding role, the
NCPC also has a Policy and Strategic Planning Unit, which is responsible for
providing policy advice that supports the national crime prevention strategy.




                                                                                     3
      United States
There is no government in the world that has provided more funding, has
enacted more policies, and pursued more crime prevention programs than the
Federal Government in the United States. For over three decades, the U.S.
government has enacted a number of crime prevention programs and policies
(including legislation) and has provided billions of dollars in funding to
government, law enforcement, and community-based organizations for crime
prevention and community policing initiatives (as well as a broad range of crime
control initiatives). The most active and sustained role of the U.S. government in
the area of crime prevention has been through the funding of local projects and
programs, much of which is administered through the Office of Justice Programs
of the Department of Justice.

Some examples of current Department of Justice funding programs that include a
strong crime prevention/community policing focus are summarized below.

Community Oriented Police Services Office - The COPS Office was created as a
result of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. As an
agency within the Justice Department, the mission of the COPS Office is to
advance community policing primarily by providing grants to state and local law
enforcement agencies to hire and train “community policing professionals,”
acquire and deploy cutting-edge crime-fighting technologies, and develop and
test innovative policing strategies. Because community policing is by definition
inclusive, COPS training also targets state and local government leaders and
their constituents. According to its web site, the COPS program has helped
nearly 12,950 jurisdictions through 27 different grant programs since 1994. In
Fiscal year 2002, the COPS Office awarded $720 million in grant funding. In
September 2002, the COPS Office had provided funding for 116,573 community
policing professionals across the country. For funding purposes, the COPS
program defines “community policing” very broadly.

Local Law Enforcement Block Grants - The Local Law Enforcement Block Grants
(LLEBG) Program provides funds to local government to underwrite projects that
reduce crime and improve public safety. The LLEBG Program emphasizes local
decision-making and encourages communities to craft their own responses to
local crime and drug problems. LEBG program funds must be spent in
accordance with one or more of the following priority areas: supporting law
enforcement (hiring, training, and employing additional law enforcement, paying
overtime, procuring law enforcement equipment and technology); enhancing
security measures in and around schools and/or other facilities or locations that
are at heightened crime risk; establishing or supporting drug courts; enhancing
the adjudication of cases involving violent offenders; establishing a multi-
jurisdictional law enforcement task force; and establishing crime prevention
programs that promote cooperation between community residents and law


                                                                                 4
enforcement personnel.

The Office on Violence Against Women - Under various violence against women
grant programs, the Office on Violence Against Women has awarded more than
$1 billion in grant funds, including 350 STOP (Services, Training, Officers,
Prosecutors) grants, primarily to state governments. These grant programs are to
help state, tribal, and local governments and community-based agencies train
personnel, establish specialized domestic violence and sexual assault units,
assist victims of violence, and hold perpetrators accountable.

Project Safe Neighborhoods – Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a nation-
wide program that aims to reduce gun crime in America by encouraging local,
state, and federal agencies to cooperate in a unified manner. The five principles
of this program are: (1) partnerships (among government agencies - federal and
local law enforcement and prosecution - and with local communities); (2)
strategic planning (which includes local research and measures that are
appropriate to individual communities); (3) training (specialized training specific
to gun crimes and their enforcement); (4) community outreach and education;
and (5) accountability (ongoing program evaluations). To effectively deploy the
resources dedicated to this effort, each United States Attorney's Office has a
designated Project Safe Neighbourhoods point of contact to serve as the project
coordinator in that particular district. Each U.S. Attorney is also encouraged to
create a specialized unit within the office to target the most significant gun crime
problems in that district. To complement the efforts of these specialized units, the
Department of Justice created a Firearms Enforcement Assistance Team
network comprised of persons with expertise in the core elements of the program
and assists the districts with their implementation efforts. Funding provided by
the Department of Justice for PSN projects have been used to hire new federal
and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, target illegal
firearms trafficking, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime, and
develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun
violence reduction strategies.

Comprehensive Communities Programs – The Comprehensive Communities
Program (CCP) provides funding and other federal support that promotes
comprehensive approaches to crime prevention in local communities. Rather that
addressing a single issue (e.g., drugs, gun violence, property crimes) or pursuing
a single approach (e.g., social developmental, neighbourhood revitalization), the
CCP program funds projects that target a wide range of problems that plague
local neighbourhoods, targeting key situational, social, and economic factors
associated with crime, through multidisciplinary approaches. Launched in 1994
by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), CCP promotes efforts to integrate
(community) policing with community crime prevention in a strategic fashion.
CCP’s main goals are to suppress violence and restore community well-being;
initiate comprehensive planning and enhance intergovernmental and community
relationships to focus on the problems and concerns of local residents; develop a



                                                                                   5
comprehensive, multi-agency strategy within communities to identify the causes
and origins of violence and to control and prevent violent and drug-related crime;
and encourage citizens to take an active role in local problem-solving. The two
underlying crime prevention strategies of CCP – community policing and
community mobilization – are meant to emphasize the importance of
partnerships, collaboration, and shared problem-solving at the local level.
Communities are required to take the initiative to develop partnerships, to have
an existing local coordinating structure, and to develop community policing and
crime prevention strategies. Some examples of crime control and prevention
initiatives adopted in CCP sites include community prosecution, drug courts,
crime prevention through environmental design, anti-gang initiatives, and
community corrections (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2001).

Operation Weed and Seed - Operation Weed and Seed is another federal
program that is premised on a problem-oriented, comprehensive, multi-agency
approach to addressing crime at the local level. It is both a strategy and a funding
program that aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and
gang activity in high-crime neighbourhoods. The strategy involves a two-pronged
approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in "weeding out"
violent crime and drug abuse, which is joined by or followed by a "seeding"
component, which encompasses initiatives to address the local harm caused by
crime and drugs, such as neighbourhood revitalization, social development, and
drug treatment, among others. A community-oriented policing component bridges
the weed and seed strategies. Police officers obtain information from area
residents for enforcement efforts while helping communities obtain information
and support for local development initiatives. Weed and Seed sites range in size
from several neighbourhood blocks to a few square miles. In addition to funding,
the role of the Department of Justice in this program includes, but is not limited
to, convening and co-chairing a Steering Committee that is implemented in
project communities, which oversees the local enforcement strategies. At the
community level, the Department of Justice is often represented by officials from
the U.S. Attorney’s Office that is responsible for the community where the
specific Weed and Seed project is located. The Executive Office of Weed and
Seed, which is located in the Department of Justice, administers the federal
funding component of the program.




                                                                                  6
France
Since the beginning of the 1980s, the national government in France has been at
the forefront of developing and implementing progressive crime prevention
strategies, which are guided by such principles as inclusion (reaching out to and
involving at-risk youth and offenders), inter-governmental coordination
(partnerships with and coordination between federal, district, and municipal
governments), and social contracts (agreements between federal and local
governments to implement development-based approaches to crime prevention)
(Shaftoe, 2001).

In 1981, following a rash of riotous behaviour by young people in Paris and Lyon
(which included indiscriminate drag racing and the torching of cars), the central
government reached out to elected officials and others at the local level, such as
school principals, social service directors, youth and sport administrators, police
chiefs and judges, as well as the local population, to help address the causes of
these problems.

In the spring of 1982, French Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy established The
Mayors Commission on Security, a body composed of mayors from the four main
political parties, which was mandated to formulate recommendations on how best
to prevent crime. At the end of 1982, the commission submitted its report, which
criticized the traditional criminal justice approach as insufficient, and instead
recommended that emphasis be placed on initiatives that addressed the root
causes of these problems, stressing flexibility and adaptation to local
circumstances. Regardless of its content, these local strategies should bring
together all the key partners, including local government agencies, responsible
for policing, the judicial system, social services, public health, education, youth
and sports, culture and housing. It should include elected officials such as the
mayor and assistant mayor, as well as local representatives of the population
including trade unions and non-profit organizations (Shaftoe, 2001).

The committee’s recommendations laid the foundation for the National Council
for the Prevention of Crime, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, consists of
representatives from all relevant ministries, and is accountable to the Minister of
State for Cities. At the regional level, Departmental Councils for the Prevention of
Crime were formed, chaired by the chief administrator for the region, with the
chief judicial officer (Procurer de la Rupublique) as vice-chairperson. The
mandate of the regional councils is to coordinate the implementation of national
crime prevention policies at the regional and local levels, particularly by
coordinating policies and programs within and between national government
departments.

The Mayors Commission on Security also led to the creation, in 1982, of a
system of contracts between mayors and the central government (Contrat de


                                                                                   7
Ville) that were meant to both symbolize and solidify the partnerships between
various levels of government in addressing crime, while enabling the creation of
local crime prevention councils - the Communal Councils for the Prevention of
Crime – which are responsible for implementing crime prevention policies at the
local level. These contracts must often include an action plan that identifies the
scope, nature and causes of local crime problems, the urban, social, economic
weakness and strengths of a town, and a strategy to be implanted at the local
level (emphasizing a partnership approach). Signing a contract often leads to
funding from the French government as well as a commitment of resources from
relevant national ministries. Under the Contrat de Ville, crime prevention is to be
coordinated by the Communal Council in close cooperation with other key
partners, including elected officials, representatives of the justice system and the
police, officials responsible for schools, health care, housing and extracurricular
activities, social workers, prevention educations, sports, cultural and social
organizations, representatives of residents and neighbourhood associations, and
merchants (United Nations, 1993: 19).

The Communal Councils, which exist in approximately 80 percent of French
cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants (although some of these only exist on
paper), are chaired by the local mayor. Under this leadership, a council brings
together a range of local people and agencies to develop crime prevention
projects in local communities. Members consist of elected officials, local
administrators, members of the police and the judiciary and representatives of
voluntary organisations, trade unions and the private sector (Shaw, 2001: 12-13).

The city contract that was signed with Marseilles ran from 1994 to 1998 and was
drafted following the work of six task forces, made up on local and central
government officials, which established the major elements of what the city and
the national government agreed to collectively execute the contract. In
addressing the causes of problems among local youth, the contract set out five
crime prevention priorities: ensuring youth complete school, employment and job
training, fighting substance abuse, participation in recreation, culture and sports,
and urban renewal and improvement of housing for the disadvantaged (United
Nations, 2001: 18).

Underscoring the importance of local action and partnerships in crime prevention
are Local Security Contracts, which emphasizes common ownership of the crime
problem and the importance of civic responsibility. The local security contracts
are based on the notion that local security is achieved through prevention plus
sanctions and reintegration. While sanctions are mostly the responsibility of the
justice system, prevention and reintegration are seen as the responsibility of
everyone in the community. The local security contracts are embedded within the
larger city contracts and require local partnerships to foster access to justice and
victim assistance, as well as a range of youth-centered development initiatives,
such as job creation and training, parent support, and sports and cultural
programs that meet local needs (Graham, 1995: 9; Sansfaçon and Welsh, 1999).



                                                                                   8
Some 378 city contracts have been signed with mayors, and 720 local security
contracts will be completed covering most large urban areas in the country. Job
creation activities include the appointment of 20,000 social agents to work on
prevention and security issues at the local level, and 15,000 local security
assistants attached to police departments (Shaw, 2001: 12-13). Many of the new
jobs, such as social mediation agents and local security assistants, will be filled
by youth from disadvantaged areas with high levels of unemployment.

In sum, a fundamental principle that underlies crime prevention in France is
partnerships between the various levels of governments to coordinate policy both
horizontally (across ministries and agencies within on government level) and
vertically (between local governments and the central government) (United
Nations, 1993). Since 1989, the contracts between cities and the central French
government have been administered through a national inter-ministerial agency -
Delegation Interministerial de la Ville (DIV). This agency coordinates the interests
of national ministries when working with municipal governments to support a
range of city projects. The DIV also actively works to support the city contracts
through research, program development and priority setting. In 1993, five
priorities laid out by the DIV which should be addressed in city contracts were
parental responsibilities, prevention of re-offending, prevention of drug addiction,
help and support to victims, and safety in high-crime, disadvantaged
neighbourhoods (Shaftoe, 2001).



Netherlands
The first evidence of a crime prevention policy in the Netherlands was the
creation of the National Prevention Bureau in 1979, a government agency staffed
primarily by police. The most important development, however, was the
recommendations of the Roethof Report (1984), which establish the basis for
Dutch prevention policy. The report advocated a strengthened commitment of the
central government to crime prevention, a greater involvement of private citizens
and businesses, and the formation of inter-agency co-operation at local level.
The Roethof Report led to the influential 1985 Dutch Government plan entitled
Society and Crime, which recommended that parties, other than the police and
criminal justice authorities, should play a greater role in safety and security
policy, and emphasized both opportunity reduction and social development
approaches to prevent crime (Crime Prevention in the Netherlands: A Focus on
National Initiatives; Shaftoe, 2001).

As a result of these recommendations, an Inter-departmental Committee for
Social Crime Prevention was set up in 1985, which fostered the ideology that
crime prevention cannot be regarded as the sole property of one particular
government ministry. The Committee was responsible for administering funds
that would subsidize local crime prevention projects targeting at-risk youth. The


                                                                                    9
Interdepartmental Committee provided -funding for approximately 200 projects in
conjunction with local agencies or other ministries. In 1989, after five years of
testing, the results were deemed satisfactory enough for efforts to continue and
the focus was widened from social development to include opportunity-reduction
initiatives. In addition, a new emphasis was given to local informal social control,
through, for example, the introduction of Neighbourhood Watch schemes and
surveillance by private security companies. A crime prevention directorate was
also set up in the Ministry of Justice, whose purpose was to collaborate with
other ministries to promote crime prevention in cities and businesses; support
police efforts in this area; co-ordinate policies towards victims; and regulate the
private security industry. Some of these responsibilities are shared with other
Departments. For example, the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Culture promotes
programs for marginalized youth aimed at reducing vandalism, alcohol and drug
abuse. This Ministry also launched a number of local projects aimed at the social
integration of high-risk groups such as young people. Many of these projects
were aimed at getting youngsters into meaningful recreational activities,
education and work. Other projects were orientated to young people from ethnic
minority groups and those chronically unemployed. Forty percent of the projects
targeted vandalism while others concentrated on shoplifting or bicycle theft.
Other local projects were orientated towards urban renewal and the
implementation of community services. The Ministry of Economic Affairs
implemented a program for reducing shoplifting and the Ministry of the Interior
has develop "New Social Policies" directed against unemployment, particularly
amongst young people, lack of education and inadequate housing (Shaftoe,
2001; United Nations, 1994: 16).

At the local Level, primary responsibility for crime prevention was placed in the
hands of the Mayor, the head of the local police, and the public prosecutor. Many
local authorities set up crime prevention committees that incorporated those
departments responsible for youth, town planning, education, and transport. In
1996, The Netherlands Government developed the Major Cities Policy to
respond to growing problems in many of its larger cities, such as unemployment,
family breakdown, decaying neighbourhoods and public spaces, drug addiction,
and crime. Agreements were drawn up to strengthen the social and economic
bases of cities in partnership with the national government in three major areas:
employment and education, public safety, and quality of life and care. The
contracts ensured funding from the national and local governments for the
development of strategies and programs targeting priority concerns. Based on
the French Contrat de Ville, a guiding principle of the policy is that solutions to
crime problems must be shared between government and citizens and within
government there must be coordination between different levels of government
and different departments. Any community safety plan developed under the
auspices of the contract must emphasize a community-based, strategic, problem-
oriented, multi-agency approach that targets the causes of crime and insecurity
through a number of complementary measures. The contract must spell out
specific achievement targets as well as the measures to be undertaken to



                                                                                  10
achieve these targets (Shaftoe, 2001).

As part of the Major Cities Policy, the Ministry of Justice spearheaded the
opening of neighbourhood justice offices in five Dutch cities to work in problem-
oriented ways with local residents. The offices provide accessible, quick, and
direct action to deal with local street crime, nuisances, and conflicts. They offer
information, legal advice, and conflict mediation to help prevent local disputes
from getting out of control (Shaw, 2001: 43). In 1999, the Integral Program on
Safety and Security (IPSS) was launched to target youth crime and safety, drug-
related problems, street violence, robberies, vehicle-related crime, and traffic
safety. This program does not have its own budget; instead, different government
departments allocate part of their existing budget towards safety and security
problems. The IPSS incorporates a participatory and interactive policy making
process, involving government bodies (central, provincial and municipal), trade
and industry, and private organizations aimed at improving safety and security.
Priority areas for the IPSS are: youth and safety, drug-related nuisance, street
violence, safe and secure living environment, robberies and muggings, vehicle
related crime, and traffic safety (Shaw, 2001: 14; Crime Prevention in the
Netherlands: A Focus on National Initiatives).




                                                                                11
Municipal Government
Canada

Toronto

The Toronto Municipal Government has long had a committee of one form or
another dedicated to crime prevention and community safety. In 1999, the
current Task Force on Community Safety produced a comprehensive community
safety plan. Carolyn Whitzman (1998), a city staff member of the Task Force,
writes that the process behind the latest plan can be divided into four phases,
which stretches back more than 10 years before the plan was finalized.

Phase 1: 1988-1991 – A Safe City Committee began with a report by city
councillors about a group of neighbourhood women that had been terrorised by a
serial rapist. Due to its origins, the Committee concentrated its focus on public
violence against women. The first three years included initiatives such as:
planning for a Safe City workshop, guideline development and developing bylaws
for underground parking garages that set out minimum standards of lighting and
maintenance.

Phase 2: 1991-1994 – A report was developed by the Safe City Committee after
surveying about 120 community groups and asking: "What are you doing to make
the city safer and how can the city help?" The Committee extended its mandate
to focus on all vulnerable groups. The most important recommendation of this
report was a $500,000 program called Breaking the Cycle of Violence. Small
amounts of money were used to support initiatives such as drop-in centres,
workshops and self-defence classes. A conference called Success Stories:
Making communities Safer was also held to bring together successful community
safety initiatives in 1994. A video and training package on workplace assault and
harassment was developed.

Phase 3: 1994-1997 - During this phase, a number of related initiatives were
brought together in the Healthy City Office. This included the areas of drug
abuse, community and race relations and senior citizens. The strategies
developed under this Healthy City model included bringing together government
and citizens to co-operate; looking at the root causes of crime; integrating related
issues such as drug abuse, hate crime, and youth employment; and looking at
economic, environmental, and equity issues aspects of community safety.

Phase 4: 1997-2000 - As a result of the amalgamation of the City of Toronto with
five neighbouring suburban municipalities, the Task Force on Community Safety
was formed to develop a comprehensive safety plan for the (much larger) city.
Co-chaired by two councillors, the Task Force was made up representatives from
numerous sectors of the city: the police, school boards, neighbourhood crime
prevention groups, businesses, ethno-cultural groups, and agencies representing


                                                                                 12
children, youth, women, people with disabilities, and others (Whitzman, 1998: 31-
33).

In putting together its plan, the Task Force placed particular emphasis on public
consultations using a community survey, interviews with city councillors, public
meetings, and presentations.

The final 1999 report, Toronto, My City, A Safe City: A Community Strategy for
the City of Toronto, outlines the extent of the city’s crime problems. It discusses
their root causes and how they can be overcome, describes existing community
services and programs, sets out its vision for a safe city within a healthy
communities’ framework, and outlines 35 recommendations for implementation.
Each recommendation identifies the major city services that should take the lead.
A new task force was established in 2000 to develop a work plan to implement
the recommendations. Among other preparations, a social atlas, based on
analysis of city wards, is being constructed and implementation of the plan is
expected to take three years (Shaw, 2001: 37-38).

Toronto Community Safety Strategy Recommendations:

Strengthen neighbourhoods
   • Increase the awareness and use of neighbourhood safety audits.
   • Ensure the city is consistent and rapid in responding to recommendations
      arising from safety audits.
   • Making public buildings and spaces safer.
   • Improve pedestrian safety.
   • Encourage property owners and landlords to manage and maintain their
      buildings in a manner that promotes community safety.
   • Decrease the number of identified "problem properties,” faster response to
      complaints by citizens and police, decrease in crimes related to these
      properties.
   • Continue City staff support for business safety initiatives, such as
      TaxiWatch, Transit Community Watch, and Business Watch.
   • Expand the Drug Abuse Prevention Community Grants Program.
   • Ensure that community safety is a major focus in the City's new official
      plan by making public safety a criterion for development proposals.

Invest in Children and Youth

   •   Coordinate child and youth violence prevention across the city.
   •   Coordinate substance abuse policies in schools.
   •   Improve parenting supports; promote the expansion of parenting skills
       education to libraries, schools, and workplaces, with an emphasis on high-
       risk families.
   •   Expand the City’s "One on One" school-based mentoring program.
   •   Increase quality recreation for children, youth and families at risk.


                                                                                13
   •   Maintain and expand the number and range of self-defence classes
       provided in community recreation centres.
   •   Continue to support and expand youth employment initiatives that
       combine job readiness/ employment creation with community safety
       enhancement, such as the Graffiti Transformation, Drug Ambassador and
       Job Corps Programs.

Policing and Justice

   •   Expand, intensity, and ensure the success of Community Police Liaison
       Committees as the primary way to involve citizens in problem-oriented
       policing; ensure they reflect the demographic diversity of their area,
       provide outreach to marginalized groups such as linguistic and cultural
       minorities.
   •   Expand pre-charge diversion programs for young offenders.
   •   Where needed, offenders in alternative justice programs should be linked
       to drug abuse prevention and other supports.

Information and Coordination

   •   Develop a comprehensive database on city-wide crime prevention and
       community safety resources.
   •   Promote research and evaluation in crime prevention.
   •   Promote and award excellence in community crime prevention.
   •   Expand the Breaking the Cycle of Violence Grants program.
   •   Ensure City staff who work with citizens on safety concerns are
       adequately supported.
   •   Establish a "City Watch Program" program to assist front line staff in
       parks, streets, and driving vehicles in observing and reporting suspicious
       activities to police or to the appropriate authorities.
   •   Ensure that community and personal safety is integrated into the proposed
       social development plan, with an emphasis on vulnerable communities
       and neighbourhoods.
   •   Make community safety a corporate policy with a council accountability
       structure.

(City of Toronto, 1999)




                                                                              14
United Kingdom

Borough of Brent (London)

Brent is one of 33 London boroughs, with a population of 240,000 and the
highest proportion of black and ethnic minority citizens in London. The borough’s
average unemployment rate is 13 percent but runs as high as 30 percent in some
wards. Crime rates in the borough are higher than the national average and are
concentrated in deprived housing estates, some of which present serious policing
problems. The major concerns are street robbery, theft and burglary, drug- and
alcohol-related crime, and violence.

Brent has five inter-agency community safety strategies. Projects developed with
partners have included burglary reduction programs, a mentoring scheme for
young people, Neighbourhood Watch, and a targeted policing initiative for high-
crime areas using crime mapping and analysis. The latter has been funded by a
£1.3 million national government grant. Brent has also set up accredited
community safety training courses for local citizens and a web site to facilitate
community access to vital information.

Its safety strategy for 1999–2002, which was based on a safety audit and
community consultation, was produced through a partnership between the local
council and the police, the probation service, and health authorities serving the
borough. The safety audit compared Brent’s crime levels with neighbouring
boroughs, highlighted crime hotspots, and examined trends in burglary, robbery,
violence, sexual offences, young offenders, domestic violence, racial incidents,
victimization of the elderly, disorder, road injuries, drug and alcohol problems,
and fear of crime. The audit listed some of the options for reducing the problems
identified. Some 10,000 copies of a summary of the crime and disorder audit
were sent to the public and to ethnic minority, faith, Neighbourhood Watch, and
business groups. The full audit was available in police stations, libraries, and
medical clinics. Forums were held to discuss the audit with resident and tenant
organizations, police community consultation groups, and the Brent Youth
Council.

The resulting document, A Crime and Disorder Reduction and Community Safety
Strategy for Brent 1999–2002, identifies the borough’s 15 priority crime reduction
targets, a detailed list of action plans for each target, and performance measures
to assess their effectiveness. The top priority is burglary reduction and the target
is reduction by a minimum of six percent in 12 months, or 12 percent in 36
months, compared with 1998 figures. Other priorities include reducing youth
victimization, domestic violence, road injuries, and drug and alcohol abuse.

     In Brent’s experience, the three key principles necessary for effective
     local government crime prevention work can be classified as the three


                                                                                 15
     C’s:

     Councillors: to secure political support for crime prevention.
     Corporate: to secure a council corporate approach to crime
     prevention.
     Coalitions: to ensure that local authorities take the lead in developing
     crime prevention strategies.

     - John Blackmore, Head of Community Safety and Community
     Empowerment, Borough of Brent


France

Aix en Provence

The city of Aix en Provence agreed to a Contrat de Ville with the national
government in 1994 to develop delinquency and drug prevention strategies and
improve housing, transport, education, and health services. A community council
partnership for the prevention of delinquency was formed and a comprehensive
security diagnosis was undertaken, looking at direct and indirect cases and
facilitators of delinquency. Using this knowledge as a foundation, the city
established 10 priorities relating to the quality of life: social, cultural, and sports
facilities and policies; citizen access to the law; prevention of child abuse and
neglect; prevention of substance abuse; parental support; victim support and aid;
improving court and reintegration policy and practices; and safety and security.

The action plan outlines 42 separate strategies to address these 10 priorities.
Each strategy identifies the specific problem, the objectives set, the agreed
action, the partners responsible for implementation, methods of finance,
evaluation, and target dates. The prevention of school violence, for example,
involves measures to reduce absenteeism and school exclusion, early
identification of behaviour problems, use of alternative disciplinary measures,
and educational support.

Among other initiatives, community policing has been promoted, and new
security assistants have been recruited. Better links and coordination between
the national and municipal police have also been established. Social mediation
agents have been recruited and trained to work on public transport, around
schools, and in public spaces. Their role includes mediating situations and
intervening between groups such as local shop owners and young people to try
to develop creative solutions to problems (Shaw, 2001: 45-46).




                                                                                    16
Australia

Brisbane

In Australia, cities and towns across the provinces of Victoria, South Australia,
and Queensland have developed safer city strategies since the mid-1990s.
In recent years, Brisbane has experienced a number of problems relating to
crime, vandalism, incivilities in public places, the presence of street kids and
youth gangs, and the increasing exclusion of minority youth are major concerns.
High numbers of indigenous young people have migrated from rural areas and
the city suffers from a lack of transport, social services, and facilities designed to
meet the needs of young people.

Brisbane began a project to develop safer public spaces that were more inclusive
and relevant to the needs and interests of young people. It focused on the major
public sites where young people gathered, such as city and regional shopping
malls, beaches, and parks. The project took as its starting point the importance of
recognizing the inherent right of young people to have access to public spaces
and to be consulted and involved in the development of facilities. The city held
extensive discussions with young people and other users of commercial and
community spaces and compiled information on the city council strategic
planning system, corporate and local area plans, and urban design. It examined
good practice models and principles and the current use of major centers in the
city, suburbs, and regions. It set out principles, recommended policies, detailed
strategy outlines, and targeted indicators to reach each of the policy objectives in
three areas: youth and community development policy, urban management
through strategic and local planning and design, and operational management
and community relations in major centers. A related project, Girls in Space
Consortia, looked at the needs of girls and young women in public spaces.


United States
San Antonio, Texas

The Greater San Antonio Crime Prevention Commission, which was created by a
municipal by-law, is chaired by an elected councillor appointed by the mayor. The
commission had 29 members representing elected city officials, the clergy, the
business sector, health care, education, the police, the justice system, the media,
community service groups and neighbourhood associations. The members of the
commission were divided into working committees to deal with the following
issues: violent crime; neighbourhood life; childhood and education; business; and
public information. Media presence on the commission as well as intensive
outreach by the public information committee of the commission did a great deal
to promote the commission's work to the public and encourage public


                                                                                    17
participation in the process. The commission met once a month and also held 12
public consultations throughout the city. The working committees held on
average one working session a week. After a year of work, the commission
issued 18 recommendations with four priority objectives: greater community
awareness and community involvement in prevention activities, establishment of
social, educational, and recreational services for youth, young offender
responsibility, reduction in street violence through the prevention of domestic
violence and greater cooperation between the various levels of law enforcement
(United Nations, 1993: 19-20).


Gainsville, Florida

In 1986, after a spate of armed robberies of convenience stores, and based on
research into situational crime prevention, the city of Gainsville passed a by-law
requiring convenience stores to limit the amount of cash in the till, acquire a
controlled-access safe-deposit box, provide better lighting in their parking lots,
remove posters from windows that caused visually obstructions from the street,
install closed-circuit cameras, and provide emergency training to cashiers. When
these measures did not succeed in halting the rise in robberies, the city adopted
a second by-law in 1987: the stores were to have two employees on duty
between 8:00 pm and 4:00 am, or else they would have to close during this
period. This series of measures had a major impact on the number of robberies
in these Gainsville stores, which dropped from 97 in 1986 to 39 in 1987, 29 in
1989 and 18 in 1990. Over this same period, this type of offence remained
relatively stable throughout Florida (United Nations, 1994: 27).


Freeport, Illinois

In the early 1990s, 25 percent of Freeport’s 27,000 citizens lived at or below the
poverty line, with 54 percent of children living in poverty. African American
residents made up 20 percent of the population and there were racial flare-ups
over disparities in educational provision to white and black students. In 1993, the
municipal government set up Project 2009 with local businesses and developed
a strategic plan, which strived to ensure that 90 percent of young people stayed
in school and the graduated well equipped to work in local businesses. The
project coalition included city leaders, school administrators, business and
community representatives, and local clergy.

Beginning in 1994, the mayor met with residents over the course of 18 months to
discuss and debate concerns about increasing violence. In 1996, the city
established the Coalition for a Safe Community, whose mission was to build a
safe and healthy community for children and families. Four task forces developed
plans leading to the creation of family mentoring, parenting education, media
awareness programs, and a job bank.



                                                                                 18
The results of these initiatives have been significant. Rates of child abuse and
neglect have fallen. The local newspaper has developed a guide to local family
and social services. New lighting has been installed and a new neighbourhood
park and play area was planned. School buildings are now available as
community centers, and 50 new mentors for local youth are being recruited by
local organizations and businesses.


Salt Lake City, Utah

In recent years, Salt Lake City has not only grown in population but has become
increasingly diverse ethnically and racially. Unfortunately, the city also began to
experience an increase in youth violence, including drive-by shootings, and
gang-related crime in the early 1990s.

In each of the city’s seven districts, the municipal government set up Community
Action Teams (CATs), neighbourhood-based problem-solving units, made up of
professionals representing government agencies. Bringing together a wide range
of government resources and expertise to focus on problems in that particular
district, the membership of a typical CAP includes police, probation officer, a
prosecutor, community mobilization specialists, a youth worker, a family
specialist, and a community relations coordinator. More recently, school
representatives have joined each team.

CATs meet weekly to deal with specific neighbourhood problems, with the aim of
providing services quickly to clients, cutting across agency boundaries and red
tape. They have successfully addressed issues ranging from quality-of-life
concerns, such as parking and code enforcement, to serious public safety
problems, such as drive-by shootings. CATs serve as an important conduit
between neighbourhood residents and government agencies (for example, youth
workers assigned to CAT help link at-risk youth to appropriate government
services).

Some of the other crime prevention initiatives undertaken by Salt Lake City
government are Community Peace Services, a diversion program that provides
education, mediation, and intervention to first-time offenders; a domestic violence
court; and increased youth and family specialists and services. The city has been
able to attract increased resources from federal, state, and local government and
from foundations. These have led to new programs and new staff. Gang activity
has diminished, property crime is down, and homicides have declined 33 percent
from 1995.




                                                                                   19
Italy

Turin

Since 1977, the city of Turin has been promoting a project specially designed for
young people and teenagers. This project combines the services of the city,
schools, businesses, community associations and young people's organizations.
Its objectives are to make government institutions and adults more aware of the
problems of young people, to create an effective partnership, and to establish
collaborative delinquency prevention initiatives.

The most successful activities include the training of adults, responsible for youth
sports programs, to detect at-risk youth for referral to competent services;
establishment of a crafts market in a city park where young people come to sell
their products (part of the revenue from which is used to fund reforestation of
urban parks by the young people themselves); rehabilitation and academic or
technical training of young people who are incarcerated; and the establishment
of a permanent youth research unit, comprising university officials and workers
from all youth-related sectors, which is responsible for the annual preparation of
a report on the status of the young people that is used to orient, plan and
evaluate activities (United Nations, n.d.: 22).


Africa
The Safer Cities Programme is a United Nations Habitat initiative that was
launched in 1996 at the behest of African mayors who wanted to address urban
violence by developing a prevention strategy at the city level. With support from
the United Nations, the Safer Cities Programme provides support to local
authorities by:

•   strengthening their capacity to address urban safety issues and reduce
    delinquency, violence and insecurity;
•   promoting crime prevention initiatives, implemented in collaboration with
    central and local authorities, the criminal justice system, the private sector
    and civil society;
•   encouraging city networks in order to facilitate the exchange of expertise and
    good practices, which will be replicable in other regions as well as encourage
    international exchange of knowledge and expertise on crime prevention;
•   preparing and implementing capacity building programmes, and
    disseminating lessons learnt in close collaboration with qualified partners from
    the North and the South; and
•   targeting three main areas of prevention: actions aimed at groups at risk,
    situational prevention, and reform of the criminal justice system.



                                                                                 20
The Safer Cities Programme follows a structured process designed to nurture
local crime prevention capacities:

•   identification and mobilization of key partners at the local level, who can
    contribute effectively to the reduction and prevention of crime;
•   creation of a local safety coalition led by a public figure and supported by a
    technical co-ordinator
•   a rigorous assessment of the crime situation through a local safety appraisal
    based on institutional, informal and social research data;
•   formulation and development of a local strategy that includes a detailed plan
    of action;
•   implementation of the local strategy (which includes a broad range of short
    and long-term prevention initiatives or projects).

Municipal governments are the primary recipient of the UN support and are
expected to play a primary role in co-ordinating the activities aimed at reducing
crime (United Nations, Habitat, Safer Cities web site).




                                                                                    21
References
BBC News. “Police recruit support officers.” May 5 2003. BBC News World
Edition web site,

Bureau of Justice Assistance. 2001. “Comprehensive Communities Program:
Program Account. BJA Bulletin. U.S. Department of Justice. Office of Justice
Programs.
Bureau of Justice Assistance.

City of Toronto. 1999. Toronto. My City. A Safe City. A Community Safety
Strategy for the City of Toronto. Toronto: Task Force on Community Safety.

Geason, Susan and Paul R Wilson. 1988. “Strategies for crime prevention.” In :
Crime Prevention: Theory and Practice. Canberra : Australian Institute of
Criminology, (Crime prevention series).

Graham, J. 1995. Crime Prevention Strategies in Europe and North America.
Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated
with the United Nations.

Meek, Sarah assisted by Kirsten Bowen-Willer (eds.). 1998. Report of the
International Conference for Crime Prevention Partnerships to Build Community
Safety. 26-30 October 1998, Johannesburg, South Africa

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 1998. Juvenile Mentoring
Program. 1998 Report to Congress. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of
Justice, Office of Justice Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 1998. 1998 Report to
Congress. Title V Incentive Grants for Local Delinquency Prevention Programs.
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Office
of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. 1999. OJJDP Annual
Report, 1998. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice
Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Sansfaçon, Daniel and Brandon Welsh. 1999. Crime Prevention Digest II:
Summary. Montreal: International Centre for the Prevention of Crime.

Secretary of State for the Home Department. 2001. Criminal Justice: The Way
Ahead. London: The Stationery Office.




                                                                                     22
Shaw, Margaret. 2001. The Role of Local Government in Community Safety.
Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Assistance, Department of Justice.

Shaw, Margaret n.d. Bulletin. The Role of Local Government In Community
Safety. International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC).

United Nations Congress for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of
Offenders. 1994. Urban Policies and Crime Prevention. Vienna: U.N.

Whitzman,Carolyn. 1998. “Toronto Task Force on Community Safety, Canada.”
in Sarah Meek assisted by Kirsten Bowen-Willer (eds.). Report of the
International Conference for Crime Prevention Partnerships to Build Community
Safety. 26-30 October 1998, Johannesburg, South Africa.




                                                                            23

								
To top