A summary of the effectiveness of situational crime prevention interventions

First published
Neighbourhood crime

There is evidence to suggest that some people are at greater risk of victimisation in relation to neighbourhood crimes.

In addition to this, victims or properties subject to neighbourhood crime are also at increased risk of being victimised again, and neighbourhood crimes tend to be concentrated in terms of time and space (College of Policing, n.d.).

It is also clear that, for neighbourhood crimes, a specific profile of offender can be identified from the available crime data, for example, risk factors for burglary show that males under the age of 40 predominantly commit offences.

Problem-solving approaches, such as the SARA model, have been shown to be effective in reducing crime, including neighbourhood crime, and should be used to ensure that any response is tailored to the identified problem.

Most of the research that supports the effectiveness of situational crime prevention initiatives to address neighbourhood crime focuses on burglary. This is likely to be because situational crime prevention addresses crime by altering the settings for crime, mainly through environmental changes, rather than the criminal acts themselves.

However, there is evidence to suggest that some burglary-focused interventions can be moderately effective at addressing other crime types, for example, road closures for robbery, although caution must be exercised when doing so.

In the majority of interventions described in this briefing, researchers have evaluated a combination of different approaches to understand whether crime is affected.

In order to implement a relevant response to a particular crime problem, it is important to fully understand the underlying factors of the criminal activity and to develop a tailored approach to address them.

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