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Course Outcomes
Upon completion of this criminology course, participants will have a working knowledge of key
crime prevention concepts and be familiar with strategies to effectively prevent crime. The
practical nature of the training means that the skills and knowledge gained through this training
will be directly transferable to the workplace.
All countries experience crime, violence and victimization. This may lead to some of the
following situations: countries with high proportions of young men who are killed before they
become adults; societies with families who lose a parent or have members in prison, who are
living in poverty and without access to support or legitimate sources of income; neighbourhoods
experiencing gang wars or where there seems to be little public protection and security; women
who are subjected to violence in their homes, or who are at risk of sexual assault in public
spaces; neighbourhoods where levels of crime and insecurity have led businesses and families to
cut themselves off from other citizens and public life behind gates and using private security; and
migrants and minority groups living in dilapidated and isolated areas or informal settlements and
subject to racial harassment and victimization.
All countries strive to ensure safety and security for their citizens and to increase the quality of
their lives. Experience has shown that countries can build safer communities using practical,
concrete approaches that are very different from, and less costly than repressive and deterrent
reactions and responses.
The idea of crime prevention involves the notion that it is better to stop crime occurring in the
first place than simply punishing it after it has happened. The role of the criminal justice system
is of course oriented to detecting and punishing crimes that have already taken place. But this
fact itself has always been considered to have a preventative dimension. The high likelihood of
detection by the police, and the deterrent effects of punishment have been seen as forms of crime
But the traditional criminal justice agencies have prevention as a sort of side effect or unintended
consequence of their main aim of detection and punishment. And they are, as we have seen in
previous lectures, not that efficient. Specific measures aimed at preventing crime have always
been around in an everyday sense. Families, schools and communities disapprove of crime and
this acts as a form of informal social control People lock their doors and windows against
burglars, and perhaps avoids badly lit areas, or certain parts of town, with the intention of
reducing the likelihood of victimisation. All this is fairly straightforward.
There is clear evidence that well-planned crime prevention strategies not only prevent crime and
victimization, but also promote community safety and contribute to the sustainable development
of countries. Effective, responsible crime prevention enhances the quality of life of all citizens. It
has long-term benefits in terms of reducing the costs associated with the formal criminal justice
system, as well as other social costs that result from crime. Crime prevention offers opportunities
for a humane and more cost-effective approach to the problems of crime.
Crime prevention has become an increasingly important component of many national strategies
on public safety and security. The concept of prevention is grounded in the notion that crime and
victimization are driven by many causal or underlying factors. These are the result of a wide

range of factors and circumstances that influence the lives of individuals and families as they
grow up, and of local environments, and the situations and opportunities that facilitate
victimization and offending.
Determining what factors are associated with different types of crime can lead to the
development of a set of strategies and programmes to change those factors, and prevent or reduce
the incidence of those crimes.
These underlying or causal factors are often termed risk factors. They include global changes and
trends that affect the social and economic conditions of regions and countries; factors affecting
individual countries and local environments and communities; those relating to the family and
close relationships; and those that affect individuals. Figure I illustrate the multifaceted nature of
the factors influencing crime and violence:
Figure I: Factors Influencing the Risks of Crime and Violence

Definition of Terms and Concepts in Crime Prevention

Crime prevention is an attempt to reduce and deter crime and criminals activities from among
possible offenders. It is applied specifically to efforts made by governments to reduce crime,
enforce the law, and maintain criminal justice.
Crime prevention is defined not by intentions or methods, but by results. There is scientific
evidence, for example, that both schools and prisons can help prevent crime. Crime prevention
programs are neither "hard" nor "soft" by definition; the central question is whether any program
or institutional practice results in fewer criminal events than would otherwise occur.
Situational Crime Prevention (SCP) is a relatively new concept that employs a preventative
approach by focusing on methods to reduce the opportunities for crime. SCP focuses on the
criminal setting and is different from most criminology as it begins with an examination of the
circumstances that allow particular types of crime. By gaining an understanding of these
circumstances, mechanisms are then introduced to change the relevant environments with the

aim of reducing the opportunities for particular crimes. Thus, SCP focuses on crime prevention
rather than the punishment or detection of criminals and its intention is to make criminal
activities less appealing to offenders.
Another aspect of SCP that is more applicable to the cyber environment is the principle of
safeguarding. The introduction of these safeguards is designed to influence the potential
offender's view of the risks and benefits of committing the crime. A criminal act is usually
performed if the offender decides that there is little or no risk attached to the act. One of the
goals of SCP is to implement safeguards to the point where the potential offender views the act
unfavourably. For example, if a driver approaches a traffic junction where there are speed
cameras, he/she evaluates that there is a nearly 100% chance of being caught trying to run a red
light, and hence slows down. The use of crime "scripts" has been touted as a method of
administering safeguards. Scripts were originally developed in the field of cognitive science and
focus on the behavioural processes involved in rational goal-oriented behaviour. Hence scripts
have been proposed as tool for examining criminal behaviour. In particular the use of what is
termed a "universal script" has been advanced for correctly identifying all the stages in the
commission process of a crime.
Situational Crime Prevention and Fraud
In computer systems that have been developed to design out crime from the environment, one of
the tactics used is risk assessment, where business transactions, clients and situations are
monitored for any features that indicate a risk of criminal activity. Credit card fraud has been
one of the most complex crimes worldwide in recent times and despite numerous prevention
initiatives, it is clear that more needs to be done if the problem is to be solved. Fraud
management comprises a whole range of activities, including early warning systems, signs and
patterns of different types of fraud, profiles of users and their activities, security of computers
and avoiding customer dissatisfaction. There are a number of issues that make the development
of fraud management systems an extremely difficult and challenging task, including the huge
volume of data involved; the requirement for fast and accurate fraud detection without
inconveniencing business operations; the ongoing development of new fraud to evade existing
techniques; and the risk of false alarms
Community Safety
Community safety is realized through an integrated consideration of diverse harms to the public,
and refers to the likely absence of harms from all sources, not just from human acts classifiable
as crimes. Community safety also provides a strategic viewpoint on community harms by
focusing attention towards the development of programmes that set targets to manage risks and
aims to maiximise public safety.
Crime Prevention
Crime prevention involves any activity by an individual or group, public or private, which
attempts to eliminate crime prior to it occurring or before any additional activity results. By
drawing on the public health model, some theorists have distinguished between primary crime
prevention (universal), secondary crime prevention (at-risk) and tertiary crime prevention
(known offenders).

Crime Reduction
Crime reduction is concerned with diminishing the number of criminal events and the
consequences of crime. Crime reduction is applied within the bandwidth of an available resource
input (e.g. financial input) and needs to be considered as an action that brings net benefits, fear of
crime and the impact of other programmes that may have contributed to any specific crime
reduction activity. Crime reduction promotes a spirit of optimism that actions towards a problem
will reduce crime or reduce the seriousness of criminal events it aims to intervene directly in
the events and their causes.
Crime Control
Crime control considers that crime has already happened and that some management of these
criminal activities is required to ensure that it does not spiral out of control. It points to the need
for maintenance of a problem, one where crime is keep to a tolerable level, and not to a situation
where crime can be prevented
Strategies Approaches to Crime Prevention
Crime Prevention programs or strategies target changes in community infrastructure, culture, or
the physical environment in order to reduce crime. The diversity of approaches
includes neighbourhood watch, community policing, urban or physical design, and
comprehensive or multi-disciplinary efforts. These strategies may seek to engage residents,
community and faith-based organizations, and local government agencies in addressing the
factors that contribute to the communitys crime, delinquency, and disorder.
Often known as early intervention, developmental crime prevention seeks to address the early
causes of criminality. Reducing community and individual risk factors and increasing protective
factors, help to prevent crime later in life. The most celebrated examples of developmental crime
prevention include parenting programs, school enrichment initiatives, pre-school regimes and
improvements in transition to school arrangements.
Strengthening neighbourhoods helps prevent crime. Local communities that have strong bonds
and where people know each other are less prone to experience crime. Enhancing social capital
or the relationships between people can be beneficial in protecting people from crime.
Community building activities, provision of welfare services and increasing community support
groups all help to enhance the sense of community and prevent crime. More broadly, access to
education, employment readiness programs and provision of social housing are linked to this
Community, or locally-based crime prevention, instead of targeting individuals, targets areas
where the risks of becoming involved in crime or being victimized are high. This includes areas
with high levels of deprivation, both in terms of infrastructure, services and wealth, or lack of
community cohesion. This can include slums and informal settlements, or inner-city or suburban
housing projects, often areas with a concentration of economic and social problems.
Community crime prevention often involves the active participation of local residents and
organizations in those communities and neighbourhoods. They may be involved in identifying
local priorities as well as implementing responses. The term community can refer to small

neighbourhoods, areas within a city, or small villages or towns, or in some cases groups of
citizens with particular concerns.
Situational Prevention
Stopping the opportunities for crime is an effective way of preventing crime. Increasing the risks
of detection, reducing the rewards for offending and increasing the difficulty of offending are all
ways to prevent crime. Situational crime prevention can be as simple as installing locks and
alarms, increasing surveillance through lighting and making buildings harder to enter damage or
hide near.
Situational crime prevention covers approaches that aim to reduce the opportunities for people to
commit crimes, to increase the risks and costs of being caught and to minimize the benefits.
It aims to prevent the occurrence of crimes by reducing opportunities, increasing risks of being
apprehended and minimizing benefits, including through environmental design, and by providing
assistance and information to potential and actual victims. There are five specific categories of
situational prevention strategies have been identified:
Those that increase the effort of offenders
Those that increase the risks for offenders
Those that reduce the rewards for offenders
Those that reduce the provocation to offend
Those that remove the excuses for offending
Situational techniques are designed to be directed at highly specific forms of crime, and assume
that would-be offenders make rational decisions about the potential risks and rewards of breaking
the law. They involve the management, design or manipulation of the immediate environment in
a systematic and permanent way. Such techniques include designing public spaces or housing to
make it more difficult for people to break equipment or enter buildings without permission, or
marking products so that they can be identified if they are stolen.
Other examples include the use of closed-circuit television to protect car parks or the
development of pedestrian pavements, gardens and seats in a public area to encourage greater
public use, with increased surveillance of that public space. Situational crime prevention is
closely associated with environmental crime prevention and crime prevention through
environmental design, which is more specifically concerned with changes to the built
environment or landscape.
Physical Prevention
Physical prevention was oriented to removing the physical opportunities to commit crime. The
police started giving out free crime prevention advice relating to locks and bolts while local
authorities with substantial public housing stock obtained funding under the government's Safer
Cities programme for investment in such things as improved street lighting, removing badly lit
areas, video phone entry systems in housing estates, and, during the 1990s, CCTV became
increasingly popular. There were some bold architectural experiments such as removing the
walkways between blocks of high-rise apartments (seen as eliminating the escape routes for
burglars) and discussions about the design of housing estates to maximise the level of 'natural
surveillance' (e.g. apartment blocks grouped into little courtyards so that anyone looking out of a
window could survey the entire area)

Social Prevention
Social prevention was oriented to strengthening communities and restoring informal surveillance
and social control of crime. This involved neighbourhoods taking a measure of responsibility for
their security. The conservative government, from its standpoint of stressing individual
responsibilities, tended to think of communities only as groups of individuals, such as residents
and house owners concerned with the upkeep of their property. The notion of community groups
debating and participating in the implementation of crime prevention policy was certainly not a
priority. The government therefore naturally favoured such schemes which reinforced the role of
the police as the leading agency.
Often, it is discovered that police and local residents might have quite different ideas about crime
priorities in the area. Police might think they 'know' what the most important crimes in an area
are. They would base their data on public requests for police assistance and reported crimes. But
certain crimes might be exaggerated. For example car and vehicle crime might constitute a high
proportion of reported crime for reasons of insurance.
Community groups were able to point out that things such as domestic violence, racial attacks,
fear of the streets late at night by elderly residents and workers such as nurses coming home
from late shifts, were actually considered more important but were less reported to the police
because people just didn't think the police would do much about these issues anyway.
Reintegration Programmes
Crime prevention through reintegration refers to all programmes that work with children, young
people or adults already involved in the criminal justice system, including those in custody and
returning to the community. Those convicted of offences run the greatest risk of re-offending,
given that they have already broken the law, have few opportunities and skills to pursue
legitimate non-criminal lifestyles, and may have strong links with other offenders and offending
lifestyles. Providing them with life and job skills, training, education, alternative lifestyles and
role models and good support and housing in the community are all ways to assist with their
reintegration. Programmes in prison may help to prepare them for release by providing them
with new work skills, for example, or increasing their educational levels and social skills,
including the ability to mediate conflict situations, and through the use of other restorative
Programmes may take place in the community, or in halfway houses or sheltered homes that
provide safe accommodation and in-house support and advice, and may include apprenticeship
programmes, job-creation schemes, life-skills training, microcredit facilities and long-term
support. Programmes that teach conflict resolution skills or use restorative justice approaches,
such as victim-offender mediation or family or community group conferencing, are other
examples of ways in which offenders can be assisted in returning to civil society. These are all
examples of crime prevention focusing on re-integration, with the overall aim of preventing reoffending.
Law Enforcement/Criminal
The form of crime prevention most commonly understood is associated with the criminal justice
system: police, courts and prisons. Research tends to suggest that these measures are only
partially successful. These measures work best when accompanied by the other models. More

police, improved arrest rates, harsher penalties and rehabilitation in and upon release from prison
are some of the common strategies associated with the criminal justice system.
Combining Crime Prevention Approaches
No one approach (or underlying theory of intervention) is inherently better than the others. All of
them have advantages and disadvantages. Some social development approaches can be long-term
and require commitment and investment continuing over a number of years. Community or
locally based approaches can require considerable patience with the difficulties of engaging
citizens in positive ways, or maintaining the momentum of projects. They are more difficult to
evaluate, so clear and rapid results from interventions may be hard to identify.
Situational prevention has often been criticized for focusing too much on opportunistic crime and
target-hardening techniques or surveillance, (because it can displace crime and disorder to other
areas); for encouraging unequal access to security (for example, with the development of private
space and gated communities); and for failing to tackle the social or economic causes of crime
problems. Some of the recent developments in situational prevention have focused on better use
of regulations, such as municipal and local by-laws and their enforcement, and this is seen as a
valuable tool that encourages businesses or local residents to change and regulate their own
No specific crime prevention approach should be considered superior to the others. Rather, any
approach selected should form part of a strategic and balanced plan, and the advantages and
disadvantages of each approach in a particular context should be considered.
Thus, a project in a city neighbourhood, for example, may combine a range of initiatives such as
changes to traffic layout, better lighting, employing and training young people to act as guardians
and local mediators, providing support to low income families and providing better recreation
facilities and opportunities in disadvantaged residential apartments.
Overall, as figure II illustrates, these four broad categories are all aspects of the overall practice
of crime prevention, and provide a menu of approaches from which to select when developing an
overall strategy. They offer a range of short- and longer term responses to crime problems. All of
them offer valuable options, and have different advantages and disadvantages.
Figure II: Different Approaches to Crime Prevention

Timing of crime prevention strategies

Specific terms are sometimes used to refer to the stages at which crime prevention programmes
can be applied, regardless of the approach used. The public health inspired typology, using the
terms primary, secondary and tertiary prevention to reflect the stages of (possible) entry into the
criminal justice system, is still commonly used, but does not fully reflect the range of issues
involved in preventing crime and developing safe communities:
Primary prevention refers to programmes or initiatives aimed at those who have never
been involved in the criminal justice system, such as programmes to educate or alert the
general public or young people about domestic violence or bullying in schools.
Secondary prevention refers to programmes specifically targeted to children and young
people who are identified by the social services, educational or justice systems as being at
risk of involvement in crime
Tertiary prevention refers to programmes for those who are in the criminal justice system
and/or returning to the community, with the aim of preventing re-offending.
Crime prevention and community safety
One of the most common assumptions about crime prevention is that it can be clearly separated
from other areas of activity, and that it is restricted to academia, or solely the province of the
police and justice system. In fact, as observers have often pointed out, many interventions that
help to prevent crime are called something else, whether early childhood intervention,
educational and employment support, drug treatment or urban renewal.
Crime prevention is not the only term commonly in use internationally. In different contexts and
countries, other terms such as safety and security, crime reduction and community safety are
often used. The term community safety is commonly used to refer to the broader range of issues
that must be tackled to promote safer cities or communities, and with outcomes that bring
benefits beyond an absence of crime:
Crime prevention has been deemed a police term, while community safety is preferred in local
authorities in Britain to signify a broader set of interests in crime consequences.
Thus, what is important, regardless of the terminology preferred, is the use of a strategic
approach that enables policymakers and practitioners to tailor interventions to the problems they
confront, selecting from a wide range of interventions, finding a balance between the need for
short-term and longer-term outcomes, as well as protecting human rights.
Sustainable crime prevention
Crime prevention can also be linked to the notions of sustainable development and sustainable
livelihoods, in the sense that it should meet the needs of the present, without compromising those
of future generations. This is especially relevant in middle-and low-income countries. Efforts
should be aimed at increasing the capacities and resources of populations, providing
opportunities for the next generation and helping to increase intergenerational capital. Sustaining
crime prevention strategies beyond the life of a Government is an important part of this process.
The costs of crime and the benefits of crime prevention
As indicated above, investing in prevention programmes saves money. For example, the costs of
prevention programmes have been shown to be lower in the long run than those of criminal
justice interventions.

The criminal justice system is very costly to maintain in all countries, so any reductions in rates
of crime and in the numbers of people processed through the courts and prisons are likely to save
on policing, prosecution, defense and court costs, and the considerable expenses of running
prison and parole systems. Apart from the criminal justice costs of crime, there are many longterm social and economic costs associated with lost productivity, and the social and welfare
services incurred by offenders and their families, for example, when breadwinners are
imprisoned or children taken into care. The costs of crime also include the costs for victims, in
terms of their health and their ability to work or go to school or to care for their own families.
Estimates of the costs of crime for victims and society in terms of health, lost earnings and
productivity suggest that these can be even higher than the criminal justice costs.
Finally, all expenditure on protective security such as technological systems, private policing or
fencing and barriers must be included in the costs of crime.
Government leadership
All levels of government should play a leadership role in developing effective and humane crime
prevention strategies and in creating and maintaining institutional frameworks for their
implementation and review.
Socio-economic development and inclusion
Crime prevention considerations should be integrated into all relevant social and economic
policies and programmes, including those addressing employment, education, health, housing
and urban planning, poverty, social marginalization and exclusion. Particular emphasis should be
placed on communities, families, children and youth at risk.
Cooperation/partnerships should be an integral part of effective crime prevention, given the
wide-ranging nature of the causes of crime and the skills and responsibilities required to address
them. This includes partnerships working across ministries and between authorities, community
organizations, non-governmental organizations, the business sector and private citizens.
Crime prevention requires adequate resources, including funding for structures and activities, in
order to be sustained. There should be clear accountability for funding, implementation and
evaluation and for the achievement of planned results.
Knowledge base
Crime prevention strategies, policies, programmes and actions should be based on a broad,
multidisciplinary foundation of knowledge about crime problems, their multiple causes and
promising and proven practices.
Human rights/rule of law/culture of lawfulness
The rule of law and those human rights which are recognized in international instruments to
which Member States are parties must be respected in all aspects of crime prevention. A culture
of lawfulness should be actively promoted in crime prevention.
National crime prevention diagnoses and strategies should, where appropriate, take account of
links between local criminal problems and international organized crime.

Crime prevention strategies should, when appropriate, pay due regard to the different needs of
men and women and consider the special needs of vulnerable members of society.
Importance of Crime Prevention
In Africa, for example, the impact of crime on development has been clearly outlined. Everyday
crime destroys confidence among citizens as well as businesses, affects quality of life, adversely
affects employment and productivity, destroys human and social capital, discourages investment
and undermines the relationship between citizens and their Governments.
Effects of Crime on Society
Crime is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as an act or the commission of an act that is
forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the
offender liable to punishment by that law.
Laws are designed to protect us and ensure our safety in all aspects of our lives: physical,
financial, psychological and social. Yet not a day does go by that we do not hear of crimes
taking place in our city, our province and our country. When a crime is committed, public safety
becomes endangered.
Activities such as but not limited to:
fraud, corruption, misappropriation of fund, committed by prominent members of
society such as but not limited Politicians, lawyers, Judges, and any and all persons who
partakes in such activities and or support such activities through their work, affects our
economy as a whole as well a the well-being of the people.
the myth is that Criminal activities derive from being poor, although true in part, it is not
true in whole.
In fact people who are behind crimes are usually smart and sophisticated, making use of
financial resources to build extensive connections with law enforcement officials.
Authorities have to fight interference from influential powers, and that is often more
difficult than the investigation itself or -- it pays more to join in the corruption than
attempt to stop it
Strong political will and government commitment is needed to fight crime.
If the perpetrators are members of the government, and or private corporations, decisive
and swift action is needed to restore society's confidence in our System of criminal
Justice as well as restore government policy and position on the issue of crimes. Without
it we invite tyranny.
It must be said that the consequences of such activities, goes well beyond financial loss
and the economic well-being of society.
The consequences of crime exist in a lawless society.
It is important that people feel they are living in a fair and just society and, if economic
and crimes are not checked, people would begin to feel increasingly resentful towards
those people in power, who we all want to believe are abiding by the laws of the land but
unfortunately many are committing egregious crimes.
In the book of judges in the Bible, it gives the readers a good indication of what happens
to a society when men refuse to take leadership.

It shows for example that when men do not lead, the women will more than likely step in.
They will do a good job, but they will not be able to stem the tide of the decline and
eventually, society will go downhill so much that they become victims to all kinds of
Knowing the consequences of our actions and lack thereof, is the beginning of the light
and beginning of a new day on this earth.

The effects of crime on society include feelings of fear that disrupt the populations sense of
unity, the breakdown of social associations due to habitual avoidance of certain places, an
unwillingness to go out at night and damage to the image of the community. The perception of a
community as crime ridden can deter people from going there and induce residents to move
away. This causes damage to the economy.
Crime destroys Africas social and human capital: Crime degrades quality of life and can force
skilled workers overseas; victimization, as well as fear of crime, interferes with the development
of those who remain. Crime impedes access to possible employment and educational
opportunities, and it discourages the accumulation of assets.
Crime drives business away from Africa: Investors see crime in Africa as a sign of social
instability, driving up the cost of doing business. Corruption is even more damaging, perhaps the
single greatest obstacle to development. Further, tourism, of large and growing importance to
Africa, is an industry especially sensitive to crime.
Crime undermines the State: Crime and corruption destroy the trust relationship between
people and the State, undermining democracy. Aside from direct losses of national funds due to
corruption, crime can corrode the tax base as the rich bribe tax officials and the poor recede into
the shadow economy. Corruption diverts resources into graft-rich public works projects, at a cost
to education and health services.
The fear of crime in any society is as damaging as the act of crime itself. It is emotionally taxing
for the people who live in fear in high-crime communities. The fear of crime can negatively
affect the residents' behavior, reduce community organization and deter new businesses from
wanting to open in the area for fear of being robbed. This adds to the economic woes of an area
heavy with crime. The law enforcement organizations of high-crime areas generally utilize an
increased visibility, but this often backfires in low-income areas, causing the population to see
the police as the enemy.
Other problems include the fact that victims of crime must deal with increased fear and trauma
afterward. Even for those who have not been a victim of a crime, fear can vary depending upon
the demographics of the person. Age is a factor because the elderly are more vulnerable. Gender
is a factor because women express higher levels of fear of crime than men do. People living in
non-white neighborhoods are more fearful of crime that those living in predominantly white
areas, explains Flourish Itulua-Abumere. Crime can even change the appearance of
neighborhoods, since gates and window guards detract from the aesthetic look of the community.



Legislative Reforms
In order to realise the envisaged reforms, the following Acts of Parliament
have been enacted: The National Police Service Act 2011;
The National Police Service Commission Act 2011; and
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority Act 2011.
The Police Role
The Police Act provides for the functions, organization and discipline of the Kenya Police
service and the Kenya Police Reserve, and for matters incidental thereto. According to section 14
of the Act, the Police service is established in the Republic of Kenya to perform the following
Maintenance of law and order
The preservation of peace
The protection of life and property
The prevention and detection of crime
The apprehension of offenders
The enforcement of all laws and regulations with which it is charged
The Role of Prisons
Ideally a man is born free and the sojourn in life is a social drama in pursuit of enjoyment of that
freedom. The social norms from onset reinforce this being free status. This is so until the long
arm of the law of the land catches up with transgressors and the law breakers and for once the
freedom is taken away. The punishment as often is the case is automatic exclusion and separation
from the rest of society and being placed under charge of a correctional institution.
Within the institutions are well rehearsed and regimented roles, rules and regulations. The
offender of necessity has to adjust to the new status and fit into a new life -life inside the prison
walls. This process of fitting into a new life is gradual, thorough and ends up abolishing the
individualism and privacy - values that one has long been socialised into.
Prisons by design are places where offenders are sent down as punishment. They are meant to
epitomize both the retributive and deterrence principles of sentencing. The architecture and
social aloofness further reinforces this feeling of punishment. Also prisons are places where
hardships are inevitably occasioned whether by design, deliberate or otherwise. The deprivation
of personal liberties, the denials of the basic choices in life, the withholding and withdrawal of
basic privileges. All the basic issues that find expression in ordinary life are controlled and
sparingly provided.
Role of Judiciary
The duties of the judiciary include carrying out investigations, instituting prosecutions, so that
the judiciary and the courts apply the law correctly, and ensuring that judgments have been

carried out. In addition, many public prosecutors are assigned to key positions in the Ministry of
Justice, for example, as vice-minister of justice and director-general of the Criminal Affairs
Crime prevention approaches, theory and mechanisms
Crime prevention refers to the range of strategies that are implemented by individuals,
communities, businesses, non-government organisations and all levels of government to target
the various social and environmental factors that increase the risk of crime, disorder and
victimisation. There are a variety of different approaches to crime prevention that differ in terms
of the focus of the intervention, the types of activities that are delivered, the theory behind how
those activities are designed to bring about the desired results and the mechanisms that are
The environmental approach, which includes situational crime prevention techniques and
broader urban planning initiatives, aims to modify the physical environment to reduce the
opportunities for crime to occur. The social approach focuses on the underlying social and
economic causes of crime in the community (e.g. lack of social cohesion, limited access to
housing, employment, education and health services) and on limiting the supply of motivated
offenders, and includes developmental prevention and community development models. The
criminal justice approach refers to various programs delivered by police, the courts and
corrections that aim to prevent recidivism among those people who have already engaged in
offending behaviour and who have come into contact with the criminal justice system.
Environmental crime prevention
The environmental approach seeks to change the specific characteristics of the environment that
may cause criminal events to occur. This includes both situational approaches to crime
prevention and broader planning initiatives, and aims to reduce crime by designing and/or
modifying the physical environment to reduce the opportunities for crime to occur.
Situational crime prevention
Situational crime prevention is based upon the premise that crime is often opportunistic and aims
to modify contextual factors to limit the opportunities for offenders to engage in criminal
behaviour. Situational prevention comprises a range of measures that highlight the importance of
targeting very specific forms of crime in certain circumstances. This involves identifying,
manipulating and controlling the situational or environmental factors associated with certain
types of crime. It is also based upon assumptions regarding the nature of offending and of
offenders. Underlying the situational approach are four key elements, including:
three key opportunity theories routine activity, crime pattern and rational choice theory;
an action research methodology that involves analysing of specific crime problems and
contributing factors, identifying possible responses, selecting and implementing of the most
appropriate or promising response and evaluating and disseminating the results;
a classification of 25 situational prevention techniques; and
a growing body of evaluated projects and examples of different types of strategies
The focus of the three key opportunity theories is actually quite different. Under routine activity
theory, three critical elements must occur simultaneously for a criminal event to take place a
motivated offender, a suitable target and the absence of a capable guardian. The theory seeks to
explain how societal changes can impact upon opportunities for crime). Crime pattern theory
seeks to explain the influence of communities and neighbourhoods, and focuses on how

offenders may come across opportunities for crime in the course of their everyday lives. Rational
choice theory has a more individualistic focus and explores the decision-making processes that
lead to an offender choosing to become involved in crime or specific criminal events, including
weighing up the relative risks and rewards associated with offending.
Situational crime prevention interventions include activities such as improved security through
strengthening locks and improving surveillance. Cornish and Clarke have classified 25
situational crime prevention techniques into five broad categories that are based on the
mechanisms underlying the different methods:
increasing the effort involved in offending;
increasing the risk associated with offending;
reducing the rewards that come from committing a crime;
reducing situational factors that influence the propensity of an individual to offend; and
removing excuses for offending behaviour.
This relative simple classification scheme provides a useful framework for describing the
range and variety of situational techniques on offer to those working in crime prevention.
Important lessons for the implementation of situational crime prevention projects, include
that it:
works most effectively when it is targeted at a specific crime problem in a specific
involves a thorough and systematic analysis of current and emerging crime problems and
their causes and risk factors that is based on accurate and wide-ranging sources of
information and has analysts with the capacity to interpret the data;
requires appropriate consultation mechanisms to seek input from stakeholders and the
community into the development of strategies that are likely to require their action,
involvement or cooperation; and
requires strong project management skills, a comprehensive implementation plan that
describes the key stages in project delivery and the interrelationships between different
but complementary interventions, and a committee made up of representatives from key
stakeholder groups to oversee project development, implementation and review
Urban design and planning
Broader planning initiatives include Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
(CPTED) and urban renewal projects, and seek to reduce the opportunities for crime through the
design and management of the built and landscaped environment. Crime prevention is being
recognised as an increasingly important consideration in urban regeneration programs. This
includes strategies that involve modifying the built environment to create safer places that are
less crime prone or can make people feel safer (such as by designing public spaces that
encourage large numbers of users and provide greater natural surveillance, or by designing
pedestrian thoroughfares that are well lit and do not create places for potential offenders to hide).
CPTED has a major influence on crime prevention policy and practice in Australia and in other
parts of the world, and a number of state, territory and local governments now have specific
planning policies that incorporate CPTED principles or guidelines.
Experience has shown that CPTED:
needs to be integrated as part of a broader crime prevention strategy targeting other risk
factors and neighbourhood problems, which requires community involvement, partnerships
and the coordination of activities;

is underpinned by a number of important principles such as natural surveillance, territoriality,

sustainability and vulnerability of public spaces, and these principles should drive design
should be focused at both the macro (overall design of the built environment) and micro level
(finer details);
should be applied to both public initiatives and private developments, and involves careful
management of the relationship between public and private space;
requires a balance between competing interests, such as between privacy and security; and
requires the involvement of different design-related professional disciplines

Social crime prevention

Rather than focusing on the physical environment, social crime prevention is most commonly
directed at trying to influence the underlying social and economic causes of crime, as well as
offender motivation. This approach tends to include crime prevention measures that take some
time to produce the intended results. This may include action to improve housing, health and
educational achievement, as well as improved community cohesion through community
development measures.
Developmental crime prevention
Developmental crime prevention initiatives are becoming increasingly popular in Australia.
There has been considerable investment in early intervention programs in Australia, many of
which do not have explicit crime prevention objectives. Developmental crime prevention is
based on the premise that intervening early in a young persons development can produce
significant long-term social and economic benefits. While there is evidence of the importance of
intervening early in life, the focus of developmental crime prevention is on intervening early at
any of a number of critical transition points in a persons development to lead them on a pathway
to prevent future offending. Transition points occur around birth, the preschool years, transition
from primary to high school and from high school to further education or the workforce.
Early intervention aims to address risk factors and enhance protective factors that impact upon
the likelihood that a young person will engage in future offending behaviour. Risk and protective
factors can be categorised into child factors, family factors, school context, life events and
community and cultural factors. Developmental programs aim to identify measure and
manipulate risk and protective factors that research has confirmed are important in predicting
future offending. In practical terms, developmental crime prevention involves providing basic
services or resources to individuals, families, schools or communities to minimise the impact of
risk factors on the development of offending behaviours. Most often these resources and services
are directed towards disadvantaged or vulnerable families with young children.
Several factors have been identified as contributing to the successful implementation of
developmental crime prevention initiatives, including:
the importance of timing and intervening at critical junctures, such as times of stress or when
people are open to external influences (which may not mean early in life);
the need to target multiple risk factors due to their cumulative impact, with bias towards
those factors regarded as having the greatest impact, and to target multiple offence types;
the need to be sensitive to the needs of the local area (including the need to be culturally
sensitive), involve and empower the community (in decision making, as volunteers and as
paid professionals) and identify local change agents;

the importance of detailed assessments of community readiness (the presence of existing

partnerships and management structures, leadership stability, community engagement and
support for and commitment to prevention), which is a key component of programs such as
Communities that Care;
the importance of strategies to make programs accessible, keep people involved and to avoid
stigmatising at-risk young people or families;
the value of partnerships and coordination between new and existing service providers,
whether they rely on formal interagency structures or more simple arrangements; and
the requirement for longer term investment, as the benefits of developmental crime
prevention are not immediate.

Community Development
Community development is premised on the notion that changing the physical or social
organisation of communities may influence the behaviour of individuals who live there. The risk
of becoming involved in crime, or being victimised, is greater in those communities that
experience high levels of social exclusion or a lack of social cohesion. Also underlying the
community development approach is the belief that crime in a particular community is not
primarily or solely the result of the actions of a small number of criminogenically disposed
individuals, but the result of the coincidence of a series of structural determinants present within
particular communities (e.g. differential rates of access to housing, employment, education and
health services, among other factors.
The underlying assumption is that if these crime-promoting structural stress factors can be
relieved, reconfigured or removed, then crime will be reduced. Community development
strategies can aim to build social cohesion and address factors leading to community
disorganisation, empower communities to participate in decision-making processes, increase
resources, services and economic opportunities in disadvantaged communities or address low
level physical or social disorder that may be a precursor to more serious problems. Community
development programs that focus on strengthening informal networks and enhancing community
structures have the potential to build community capacity, which can, in turn, provide
opportunities to mobilise communities to address local crime problems.
The implementation of community-wide programs has proven difficult due to the challenges of
rolling out these types of programs on a broader scale, including problems associated with
engaging the wider community (or even identifying who the community is) and maintaining
their involvement. For example, cooperation and participation can be lacking in highly
disorganised communities, who might benefit most from these types of programs. Community
development-type programs are more likely to be effective when they:
identify communities at need based on evidence and community consultation, and analyse
factors that may contribute to social disadvantage or exclusion;
take into consideration a communitys capacity to implement change and level of social
increase opportunities to participate and promote community involvement and consultation in
program design and decision making, as well as in the management of activities that impact
on, either directly or indirectly, those social conditions believed to sustain crime in residential
encourage representation from diverse groups, particularly those community members most
at risk of being marginalised;

coordinate efforts between agencies across government and non-government sectors to target
multiple areas of disadvantage, supported by neighbourhood regeneration;
are provided with ongoing support (including human, financial and physical resources); and
regularly review progress to ensure that initiatives remain on track.

When compared with situational or developmental approaches, there is limited evidence of the
effectiveness of efforts to modify community level factors to reduce crime.
Crime prevention mechanisms
To accurately identify and share information on the types of mechanisms used in the studies
reviewed as part of this project, a consistent and comprehensive framework was required for
classifying the mechanisms underpinning the various interventions that have been evaluated.
Without a clear framework for their classification, it would be difficult to describe an
intervention in a way that can be shared and potentially replicated in another crime prevention
For this reason, the Conjunction of Criminal Opportunity (CCO) was chosen as the conceptual
framework for this review. The CCO framework has been developed to provide a common point
of reference to facilitate the effective and efficient transfer of knowledge about the principles
underpinning the full range of prevention strategies, as well as to help inform the choice of
interventions by practitioners and policymakers. The CCO framework allows for interventions to
be classified in accordance with one or more identified precursors for crime and disorder events.
These classifications take into consideration both social and environmental causes (reflecting the
range of approaches to crime prevention described above). For each precursor, a corresponding
principle of prevention is also identified.
However, the CCO does not explicitly identify the specific causal mechanisms that explain how
an intervention aims to bring about the desired outcomes. The mechanism is the theory that
explains how the intervention is intended to prevent or reduce crime through targeting specific
precursors for criminal events. To overcome this limitation, the AIC has extrapolated the CCO to
identify eleven common mechanisms underpinning different prevention strategies (as shown in
Table 4).
Table 4: Conjunction of criminal opportunity
Principle for prevention
crime or disorder


Encourage individuals (potential

A crime promoter is someone or
targets or individuals who facilitate
something that makes crime easier to
access to targets) to consider the
occur. Interventions aim to discourage
implications of their actions and
or deter promoters and awaken their
Crime promoters
discourage behaviour that may
conscience. This can be through naming
create opportunities for crime to
and shaming, civil liability, tackling a
occur and/or encourage behaviour
criminal subculture, procedural controls
that minimises opportunities for
or market reduction
crime to occur
Crime preventers Sometimes the presence of people in an Introduce or improve formal or
area may deter offenders to from informal surveillance to increase the

committing a crime. This includes

perceived risk that committing an
formal control (surveillance, access
offence will result in identification
control), informal social control, selfor capture
protection or avoidance
The aim is to make the physical
environment safer, or to make the Manipulate
environment less likely to encourage environment (built or landscape) to
conflict through environmental design improve
and management, including aiding ownership of spaces and minimise
surveillance, resolving conflicts and conflict between users
setting rules
A target enclosure is the business,
room or space (such as a car, home or Make target enclosures harder to
Target enclosure shop) that contains the target of the penetrate to increase the perceived
crime. Interventions include perimeter effort associated with a crime
access and security
Projects in this category focus on
strengthening the actual target, not just Increase the perceived effort or
Target person or its surroundings. It could include what is rewards associated with a crime by
sometimes termed target hardening, or making targets harder to access,
the removal of the target from a remove or dispose
vulnerable area.
This is an activity that targets an
offenders presence in a situation,
Prevent potential offenders from
possibly by placing restrictions on their
being able to access locations where
Offender presence access to a certain area at a certain time
there are potential targets (property
in situation
or by providing alternative activities. It
or people) or where provocation may
is trying to remove or deter potential
offenders from situations that might
result in an offence occurring
People can be influenced to commit an
offence by weighing up what they will
benefit from it, how much they are
Increase the perceived risk of crime,
willing to risk to commit the offence and
the perceived effort of crime or
what would be involved in committing
risk, effort and
reduce the anticipated rewards of
it. Projects can be aimed specifically at
crime to discourage potential
deterring and/or discouraging potential
offenders by making the offence riskier,
requiring more effort, or have less
Prevent offenders from being able to
Restricting resources for crimecontrol
access the resources they need in
for of weapons, tools and information on
order to commit an offence, or that
targets and transfer of criminal
may be used as an excuse for
offending behaviour
to There could be some situations where a Alleviate (or minimise the impact
persons current life circumstance may of) stressors (relating to the

suddenly change. This category could be

seen as targeting (often unexpected)
short-term situations for potential individual or environment) that may
problems, influence the behaviour of potential
relationship problems, substance use), offenders or that might be used as an
life excuse for offending
circumstances and conflict resolution
Build a persons resilience to
Training potential offenders in areas
offending by providing them with
such as social and work skills to target
the resources, skills, knowledge and
factors that can make some people at a
avoid crime
ability to avoid situations in which
greater risk than others to commit
their risk of offending might be
Intervene early at key developmental
stages to alleviate risk factors and
Reduce known risk factors and enhance
enhance protective factors
known protective factors through family,
Address the underlying factors that
school and peer groups; also includes
supplying remedial treatment for those
behaviour in the first place and
who have been convicted
support their transition back into the
Source: Adapted from Ekblom 2002
Interventions and mechanisms
This review involved categorising crime prevention interventions so that conclusions could be
drawn about their effectiveness in different contexts. In practice, developing typologies for crime
prevention and categorising interventions is a notoriously difficult task. As illustrated above,
crime prevention is a broad area that encompasses such a wide range of activity that there are
inevitably going to be interventions that dont appear to fit within neat groupings. It also
frequently involves the delivery of multiple overlapping interventions delivered in combination.
There was a need to find a balance between specificity and flexibility. Specificity was important
from the point of view of trying to provide clear guidance to policymakers and practitioners (in
this case NSW CPD and local government). Yet flexibility was necessary to ensure that evidence
can be accumulated for certain interventions and lessons learned about their application to
specific contexts. The final list of intervention types developed for this project is provided in
Appendix A (see Table A1). These intervention types were used to categorise activities delivered
as part of the evaluated strategies examined as part of this review. It was common for crime
prevention strategies reviewed for this project to involve multiple intervention types.
Once these intervention types had been identified, it was necessary to determine the range of
mechanisms through which they aim to bring about the desired results. Understanding these
mechanisms is an important step in understanding why a particular intervention is or is not
successful, why it may have been effective in one study but not another, or why it works for one
type of crime or target group and not another. As has been argued here, it is also useful in adding
value to systematic reviews, as it provides clear guidance as to what needs to happen in order for
an intervention to work and therefore assists practitioners and policymakers to determine how
best to modify and adapt interventions to different contexts.

The range of mechanisms that can be activated by different intervention types are also described
in Appendix A. Notable in Table A1 is the potential for interventions to apply different
mechanismsultimately dependent upon the precise nature of the intervention(s) that are used
and the context in which they are applied. Further, multiple interventions may be combined to
activate a single mechanism and address the same problem.