Evidence of what works in reducing crime may change how you police
An online tool that gives easy access to the evidence of what does and doesn’t work in reducing crime has been launched. More than 300 reviews have been identified and around 60 different crime reduction interventions will be added, over time, to the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction toolkit, hosted by us. The online portal has launched with 14 topic areas and we will continue to add to it as new evidence and research is made available around what works in crime reduction. The effectiveness of street lighting, CCTV, electronic monitoring and prison visits to deter young offenders are among those topic areas included in the initial launch. The What Works Centre in the College of Policing was set up in September 2013 to map the crime reduction research evidence and get this evidence used in practice.
Example from the toolkit: CCTV There is evidence that CCTV modestly reduces crime overall. There is also strong evidence that it is particularly effective in reducing crime in car parks. In looking at crime type specifically, the most significant reductions were for vehicle crime and there was no evidence of an effect on violent crime. Implementing CCTV with wider coverage, and in combination with other interventions, such as street lighting, can increase effectiveness. This overview does not consider the effect of CCTV on detection, public order or other uses. The Crime Reduction Toolkit is all available online.
College of Policing Director of Knowledge Research and Education Rachel Tuffin said: “Summarising the evidence on how and in which circumstances crime reduction interventions work is especially important for understanding programmes like the “Scared Straight” initiative. The evidence shows that young people at risk of future offending are not put off by visiting a prison and in fact may be more likely to offend afterwards. “When we present evidence like this we’ve found several people thinking about implementing “Scared Straight” are keen to learn more. In times of austerity it’s important that decision-makers can weigh up all the available evidence before deciding to invest in such interventions.”