Crime prevention programs in the UK have significantly increased over the past two decades. In the early 1990s, the local authority and law enforcement partnerships were developed thus resulting to the establishment of more than 400 local partnerships based all over the UK, which collaborate to decrease crime and social disorder in the community (Kamerman, 1998). The research question that can be derived for this essay is what effective measures can be taken to prevent community crime in the UK and how can these measures be implemented for high efficiency?
Aims and Objectives
The main aims and objectives of crime prevention programs in the UK include:
- To establish public awareness of institutional crimes;
- To provide safety measures regarding individual and property safety (Barak & Bryjak, 2011);
- To identify and evaluate factors that cause increase in crime (Tonry, 2011);
- To develop new methods of reducing crime and eliminating fear of crime in the UK;
- To educate citizens on the public measures of eliminating the chances of falling victims of property and individual crime (Bhui, 2009). Such measures will allow the preservation of the quality of urban life in the UK;
- To regulate the number of commercial organizations to prevent attraction of lawbreakers (Burton, 2010);
- To provide the expertise of legal documents through election of an urban crime prevention administrator. The crime prevention officer will utilize innovative crime prevention techniques to follow up records on measures to reduce crime rates (Smartt, 2006).
Background and Context
In the year 2012, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) indicated a 6% reduction in adult crime rates in the sectors of vandalism, burglary with entry and vehicle theft in comparison to the previous year (Barak, 2007). Interventions for crime prevention can be divided into two work regions namely situational and social interventions. Situational intervention strategies include measures such as bolts and locks, security cameras and security systems to reduce burglary with entry. In addition, ‘designing out-crime’ programs can be comprehensively designed to decrease target hardening (Burton, 2010). Social interventions include measures such as community development, youth crime prevention workshops and community capability building to educate the public on how to deal with crime issues affecting the community (Purpura, 1996).
Community safety problems can be handled through comprehensive crime reduction and prevention programs such as the Green Community Safety Program which plays a key role in the sustainability of communities. Bhui (2009) argues that the Green Community Safety Program applies the Clean Neighborhoods and Environment Act to create an environment free of urban crime. The Home Zones Program combines social regeneration and comprehensive environmental programs to establish multiagency law enforcement bodies comprised of the local authority, police force and neighborhood warden groups who serve to prevent crime in the local communities (Kamerman, 1998).
Community crime prevention programs in the UK serve to implement positive changes in community culture, physical environment and infrastructure to prevent and eliminate crime (Bhui, 2009). According to Barak (2007), the numerous measures to reduce crime include multi-disciplinary actions, physical or urban restructuring community policing efforts and neighborhood watch programs. The intervention strategies seek to engage local law enforcement bodies, faith-based groups, residents and community members to address issues that cause increase in community crime, disorder and delinquency.
Examples of crime intervention strategies implemented in the UK include the following:
Alley Gating in Liverpool: the aim of this strategy is to reduce delinquency and property offenses. Lockable gates and hard-wears are used to limit outsiders’ access to home backyards and alleys where most crime incidences occur (Tonry, 2011).
Enhanced street lighting: the strategy helps to reduce multiple crimes, delinquency and property offenses. In accordance with Smartt (2006), improving lighting on the streets decreases crime by enhancing and modifying environmental measures.
The Biting Back strategy in Huddersfield: the aim of the program is to decrease victimization rates caused by car thefts and domestic burglary. The program was recorded to be effective in decreasing repeated and recorded crime and enhancing police service satisfaction (Purpura, 1996).
High-level Drug Market intervention: the strategy utilizes forensics and law enforcement technology to deal with issues of drugs and substance abuse. Its aim is to utilize deterrence-dependent pulling-levers framework to reduce and eliminate drug markets in the community and errors linked to them (Barkan & Bryjak, 2011). Additionally, the strategy has been marked effective in reducing violent crimes in drug-based communities.
Disorder Policy intervention: the strategy focusses on reducing delinquency, multiple crimes, and property, violence, drug and alcohol offenses. The aim of this strategy is to reduce minor crime offences and the conditions associated with disorderly neighborhoods (Bhui, 2009).
Emphasized Deterrence interventions: the problem-oriented strategy applies the main principles of the deterrence theory to reduce multiple crimes, delinquency and other offences (Burton, 2010).
Engine immobilizing systems: engine immobilizers are devices that apply forensics and law enforcement technology to prevent an automobile from starting until it acquires the right signal from the user (Barak, 2007). Thus, the aim of this strategy is to reduce car theft.
Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance: CCTV cameras record, transmit and monitor video images thus preventing and decreasing personal and property offenses such as vehicle theft, business and resident burglary (Kamerman, 1998).
Rationale for Research
I will conduct my research, first, by approaching the CID department to acquire relevant information such as full databases of the regions that are greatly affected by crimes such as delinquency and violent offenses. I will conduct interviews to acquire clarifications on the terms and conditions associated with measures taken to address offenses such as homicide.
Apart from the interview method, I will utilize questionnaires to obtain detailed information from UK citizens on the factors that contribute towards increase in homicide and measures than can be taken to address these issues. By doing so, I will be able to simplify the Agency’s task of dealing with criminal activities in various neighborhoods.
I will compare my research findings with the national and global analysis of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, which obtained data from 207 countries. According to these international bodies, the number of globally reported homicide cases in 2010 was approximately 468000 (Smith & Zahn, 1998). Africa is currently the leading continent in homicide cases with rates of approximately 36% followed by America with 31%, Asia with 27%, Europe with 5% and lastly Oceania with 1% (Roth, 2009). Since the year 1995, homicide rates have been significantly decreasing in Asia, North America, and Europe however; they have been increasing in Caribbean and Central America (Smith & Zahn, 1998). Roth (2009) argues that the major perpetrators of homicide are men who constitute 82% of criminals while women constitute 18%. Information obtained from this global data on crime will assist me in formulating a detailed report which can be used by the UK National Crime Agency.
Barak, G. (2007). Battleground: Criminal justice. Greenwood Press.
Barkan, S. E., & Bryjak, G. J. (2011). Fundamentals of criminal justice: A sociological view. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Bhui, H. S. (2009). Race and criminal justice. SAGE Publications.
Burton, M. O. S.-S. U. (2010). Criminal justice. Oxford University Press.
Kamerman, J. (1998). Negotiating responsibility in the criminal justice system. Illinois University Press.
Purpura, P. P. (1996). Criminal justice: An introduction. Butterworth-Heinemann.
Roth, R. (2009). American homicide. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Smartt, U. (2006). Criminal justice. SAGE Publications.
Smith, M. D., & Zahn, M. A. (1998). Homicide studies: A sourcebook of social interaction. SAGE Publications.
Tonry, M. H. (2011). The Oxford handbook of crime and criminal justice. Oxford University Press.