Crime Prevention Policies in Comparative Perspective

Crime Prevention Policies in Comparative Perspective

Crime Prevention Policies in Comparative Perspective

Crime Prevention Policies in Comparative Perspective


This book brings together a collection of leading international experts to explore the lessons learnt through implementation and the future directions of crime prevention policies. Through a comparative analysis of developments in crime prevention policies across a number of European countries, contributors address questions such as: How has 'the preventive turn' in crime control policies been implemented in various different countries and what have its implications been? What lessons have been learnt over the ensuing years and what are the major trends influencing the direction of development? What does the future hold for crime prevention and community safety?

Contributors explore and assess the different models adopted and the shifting emphasis accorded to differing strategies over time. The book also seeks to compare and contrast different approaches as well as the nature and extent of policy transfer between jurisdictions and the internationalisation of key ideas, strategies and theories of crime prevention and community safety.


Adam Crawford

For the past quarter of a century or so the growth of public policies and implementation strategies advanced across diverse jurisdictions in the name of crime prevention and community safety has constituted one of the major innovations in crime control, with significant implications for the manner in which crime and safety are governed. The ensuing ‘preventive turn’ has been variously described as representing a ‘major shift in paradigm’ (Tuck 1988), an ‘epistemological break’ with the past (Garland 2000: 1) and ‘a long-overdue recognition that the levers and causes of crime lie far from the traditional reach of the criminal justice system … afford[ing] the potential to encourage a stronger and more participatory civil society and challenge many of the modernist assumptions about professional expertise, specialisation, state paternalism and monopoly’ (Crawford 1998: 4). Others have proclaimed it as confirming the rise of ‘risk’ as an overarching governmental narrative (O’Malley 1992) or as ushering, and evidencing, a new era of ‘networked governance’ (Johnston and Shearing 2003). Despite these claims, conceptions of preventive governance are by no means new. In Britain, Patrick Colquhoun (1797) and Edwin Chadwick (1829), among others, advocated forms of crime prevention through policing aimed at reducing opportunities and temptations that resonate strikingly with contemporary trends. More broadly, classical liberal thought in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries promoted the governance of future life choices on the basis of rational calculations of the relative balance between risk and reward that closely echoes the logic of modern crime prevention thinking, most notably its situational variant (Clarke 1995, 2000).

Nevertheless, ‘preventive partnerships’ have become a defining attribute of contemporary crime control and its interface with wider social and urban policies in a way that is both novel and demands critical . . .

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