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Crime & the Community - Criminology Diploma 5
5 Crime and the Community
***Before you continue to read this Hub may I mention that this is my work, written in my words for my Criminology Diploma. By all means read the Hub and absorb it's content but please don't plagiarize my work and present it as your own work towards your own diploma. This has been added as a request from a tutor/examiner of the Criminology Diploma program.***
5.1 Analyse the issue of Crime and the Community.
No two communities or neighbourhoods are identical neither are the problems encountered by residents of each community, however crime and community safety are key concerns of all residents in all communities though each community may employ different strategies in their personal fight against criminal activity.
There is no magic instant cure for crime and disorder nor is there any single agency, not even the police, that can control the issue alone; every agency, organisation or business that has a contribution to assist in reducing crime and disorder needs to work in partnership. Evidence based problem solving approaches appear to be an effective method in reducing crime and disorder.
Crime and community safety affects each and every one of us in some way; it may simply be a fear of crime, experience of nuisance or anti-social behaviour or being a victim of more serious crime. A safer community is essential to a good quality of life and will contribute to a community being a place where people want to live and work.
So how safe do residents feel?
· 93% feel safe or very safe in their home during the day.
· 80% feel safe or very safe in their home during the night.
· 68% feel safe using public transport during the day.
· 21% feel safe using public transport during the night.
· 88% feel safe walking/jogging during the day.
· 38% feel safe walking/jogging during the night.
Within each community there are various factors that may affect criminal behaviour, employment, education, health, welfare, the economic situation and government policies being general factors. How certain communities are designed and managed, how homes within certain communities are secured and how certain communities deal with offenders being more individual factors.
What specific crimes are occurring through our communities that generate our fears and therefore are issues that require action?
· Violent crime, including domestic violence and abuse
· Vehicle crime (theft of and theft from)
· Anti-social behaviour
· Criminal damage
· Hate crime and racial harassment
· Alcohol and drug abuse/misuse
Relating to these crimes, the goals of all communities should be to: -
· Reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and disorder to create a safer community for all
· Reduce the fear of crime in all sections of the community and increase trust and confidence towards the policing and management of the community
· Increase the number of offences for which offenders are caught and brought to justice, particularly targeting persistent offenders. (Catch more criminals)
5.2 Evaluate the role of the community in crime prevention.
Strategies to improve community safety must target both the potential offender and the situation in which the criminal activity occurs. Therefore, reducing the supply of motivated offenders and making crime more difficult to commit should produce good results. So to deal with these issues we need: -
· A crime prevention strategy
· A social policy strategy
· A partnership strategy
As previously mentioned it is not enough for the police alone to fight crime, to be effective in reducing the risk and fear of crime the police and the whole community need to work together. To achieve goals of making communities safe, the people who live in that community, work in that community or visit that community need to be involved, to make life as difficult as possible for the criminal.
Over recent years the government has provided a great deal of funding towards reducing crime, some to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and some to voluntary and community groups. With this funding many areas have now formed Community Safety Partnerships who’s missions are to reduce crime, disorder and drug misuse. As the word Partnership suggests, many agencies need to be involved together, often planning and delivering their particular service side by side. These partners may include the police force, the local council, the job centre, the fire service, various NHS groups, alcohol and drug services, the victim support and witness service, the prison service, the chamber of commerce, home watch and the local transport authorities to name but a few.
The mission of these partnerships is to plan, deliver and evaluate positive action that reduces crime, fear of crime, drug related harm and offending behaviour through multi-agency work acting alongside local residents, with the aim of creating safe, healthy and thriving communities.
Their aim is to: -
· Reduce recorded crime
· Increase public confidence on crime and in the police
· Increase the number of successful drug treatments
· Reduce the number of offenders who re-offend
· Reduce the number of young people who start to offend
· Narrow the gap between the most deprived communities and the average on rates of crime
· Increase the voluntary and community sectors participating in the partnership
· Produce cleaner streets and better green spaces
There are several options that any individual wishing to assist in the fight against crime in their own community can take.
· Form/join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. Agree to look out for one another, keep an eye out for anything suspicious and inform your neighbours and the police of any findings.
· Become a Special Constable. The Special constabulary is made up of volunteers from the public, when fully trained and on duty have full police powers.
· Become a Neighbourhood Warden or Street Warden. Many councils have set up a neighbourhood warden scheme, local people patrolling and monitoring their community noting anything suspicious, passing on information to residents and being a visible presence on the street.
· Join a Youth Action Group. These groups see young people as part of the solution in tackling crime in the community as opposed to being part of the problem. Help young people with issues that interest them and assist them in developing their own skills and activities.
· Other Volunteering. None of the above being suitable there are many other ways to help, see the National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service (NACVS), or visit your local library.
Effective crime prevention depends on assembling evidence of what works and what doesn’t work.
All comments appreciated!