Crime Reduction – What Works?

There are many ways to commit a crime. Crime against property, crime against a person, stealing, anti-social behaviour, burglary, bank robbery, fraud etc. The definition of crime is an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and punishable by the law.Research has shown that a small proportion of places can be associated with crime? Crime is highly concentrated: the evidence shows that most of it is associated with, as stated above a small proportion of places.Figures tend to show that crime rates are higher in city centre and other commercial and industrial areas, and, housing areas with levels of high social deprivation.Should we then, just have more police on the beat? Well the short answer to that, according to some research, tells us that just having more police on the beat does not necessarily reduce crime or reassure people. Police budget cuts over the years have led to reduced numbers of front line officers. It should be relatively easy therefore to assess the impact of the cuts on today’s crime rates.If you take New York as an example, a reduction in the number of officers had led to more rapes, murders and robberies. A nation with fewer policemen and women is surely more likely to result in a higher crime rate? A Police force in the UK who lost five hundred officers said there had been a significant rise in certain areas of crime including house burglary and violent crime, which was up on the year before. The recession has also lead to an increase in some crimes such as shoplifting for food.So if crime is on the up and we know that certain areas are more likely than others to suffer, what should we, as members of the public be doing to reduce it in our own community?If we take house burglary as an example, neighbourhood watch is a well-known organisation which has an organised number of civilians devoted to crime and vandalism prevention. Civilians, or to use a gentle phraseology, neighbours have a consensus that together they will keep an eye on one another’s property, patrol the streets and generally report suspicious incidents to the police. A great way to deter a would be burglar.Another way neighbourhood watch is creating awareness is to introduce crime and safety initiatives targeting primary schools, the age range of the children is between eight, and eleven. The intention is to give good citizen skills and crime prevention knowledge before they move on to a more vulnerable age, where low-level crime can sometimes be normalised.Security alarms are an effective deterrent against burglary. Obviously burglars want to remain invisible and anonymous a security alarm is going to create a lot of the wrong kind of attention to a would be burglar.CCTV are designed these days to provide a deterrent against theft and vandalism, making your property and in some cases your neighbour’s property depending on where the CCTV cameras are situated, less of a target for criminals.To that end is it possible to reduce crime by design? At the beginning of this article, the research found that crime is concentrated in a small proportion of places. By designing areas and houses to make it more difficult for crimes to be committed it could be possible.Cul-de-sacs make it easier to notice someone who would seem out-of-place. Open spaces in public areas and footpaths rather than underground areas.Simple things like fitting locks of windows, as mentioned alarms and CCTV’s, good fencing and warning signs around the neighbourhood, i.e. This is a neighbourhood watch area.All of that said, as a society we should be tackling the reasons for crime. Social deprivation in many cases. In some impoverished families, and for a variety of reasons there may not be opportunities for full-time employment. We have seen recently in the news how families struggle to pay the bills; some have to choose between being warm or being fed.To sum up, crime reduction is not all about policing. There are many ways to help ourselves as discussed in this article.

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