Irvin Waller calls for governments to meet international standards of victim assistance and invest in preventing victimization.

Where is the evidence that prevention reduces crime? (post 20)

This ¨post¨ identifies sources that provide evidence that prevention reduces crime.  A guide on the action agenda for legislators who want to reduce violence is now available. Three sources are identified for each of the following topics:

1. The many programs that have been proven to reduce crime and prevent victimization

World Health Organization, 2009. Violence Prevention: The Evidence. Geneva and Implementing the World Report on Violence and Health.

United States, U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Website on Solutions to Crime:  what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

Canada, National Crime Prevention Centre. 2011. Promising and Model Crime Prevention Programs;  Promising Prevention Programs  2008 and Public Health Agency of Canada.  Preventing Violence Best Practice Portal.

2. Illustrate that jurisdictions have shifted their action to combine and braid  policing, rehabilitation and prevention to reduce crime

Alberta, Justice and Attorney General, Safe Communities and Sound Solutions, Crime Prevention Framework See alsoSaskatchewan framework

Scotland Violence Reduction Unit,

Youth Justice Board, London

3. Confirm that we can prevent violence against women

World Health Organization.  Preventing intimate partner and sexual violence against women: taking action and generating evidence. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2010

Lessons from the 4th R (Crooks, Claire, D. Wolfe, et al. Development, Evaluation and National Implementation of a School Based Program to Reduce Violence and Related Risk Behaviours:  Lessons from the 4th R, IPC Review, Ottawa, Institute for the Prevention of Crime, Volume 2, 109-136) see also http://www.youthrelationships.org/ See also Johnson, Holly and Myrna Dawson in their book on Violence Against Women in Canada: Research and Policy Perspectives. Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Vice President Joe Biden leads the 1 is 2 many campaign.

4. The evidence that targeting investments to tackle risk factors in early childhood and youth prevent violence

Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Safe Youth.  Safe Schools. (Saving lives, protecting people, saving money through prevention)

Farrington, David P. and Welsh, B. C. (2007)  Saving Children from a Life of Crime: Early Risk Factors and Effective Interventions.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Loeber, Rolf. and Farrington, D. P. (2011) Young Homicide Offenders and Victims: Risk Factors, Prediction, and Prevention from Childhood.  New York: Springer.

5. Show local programs which sustainably combine policing, rehabilitation and prevention to reduce harm to victims

Chicago Cease Fire, (Gang Suppression Strategy)

Linden, Rick, and Trefor Munn-Venn, Making Communities Safer: Lessons Learned Combating Auto Theft in Winnipeg,  Ottawa, Conference Board of Canada, 2008.

Waterloo Region, 40 Year Violence Prevention Plan,

6. Overview the case for investing in prevention and how governments can shift their actions

Institute for the Prevention of Crime, Making Cities Safer:  Action Briefs for Municipal Stakeholders, Number 3, March 2009, University of Ottawa – See Making Cities Safer

Waller, Irvin. Less Law, More Order: The Truth about Reducing Crime. Ancaster, Manor House, 2008.  See update ¨Stopping Crime:  Victimization Prevention as Return on Investment¨, chap. 7 in Waller, Irvin,  Rights for Victims of Crime, Rowman, 2010.

Hoffman, Joan Serra, Lyndee Knox, and Robert Cohen, Beyond Suppression, , ABC-CLIO and Praeger, 2011

7. Provide understanding of the costs to victims and governments together with analysis of benefits

Aos, Steve, Stephanie Lee, Elizabeth Drake et al:   Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes – July 2011 Update Washington Institute for Public Policy, 2011

Lockhart, Gavin (ed.), Max Chambers, Ben Ullmann & Irvin Waller, Less Crime, Less Costs, Policy Exchange, 2009.  See UK at

Waller, Irvin, 2010, Rights for Victims of Crime:  Rebalancing Justice, Rowman and Littlefield.  For Canada also see Zhang, Ting. Costs of Crime in Canada, 2008. Department of Justice Canada.

8.  Problem Oriented Policing and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design

What is the best thing that the police can do to reduce crime provides police executives, police service boards, police commissioners and so on with a review of the research that should be essential reading.

Center for Problem Oriented Policing, www.popcenter.org which includes numerous illustrations of successful crime reduction, including categorised around the 25 techniques of situational crime prevention

The bibliography of Crime prevention through environmental design shows positive impacts from both 1st Generation CPTED (physical opportunity reduction) and also 2nd Generation CPTED (social motive reduction).  See also Greg Saville´s safe growth blog.

General comments on selection

I had to make some difficult selections but I am always interested in reliable sources that can help achieve significant reductions in harm to victims.  The current list includes many reliable sources that have overviewed many original sources.  The US government Crime Solutions website retains over 150 programs for instance.

A good way to build on these sources and keep up to date with developments in knowledge and praxis is to follow me on Twitter @IrvinWaller, where I follow a number of hashtags including #prevention and follow many of the leading sources of knowledge on crime prevention, including  the Prevention Institute, CDC, WHO Violence Prevention, NCVLI, CRCVC, MADD and so on.

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  1. David Wolfe
    Posted 2012/01/06 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    thanks for the terrific information you’ve been circulating, and including the fourth R in your resources.
    Hope we have a chance to meet again soon,

  2. Arthur Lepp
    Posted 2012/01/07 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    Cost of crime in our circumstance has escalated to excess of $500000.00 in out of pocket expenses and loss of wages since my Daughter was murdered in 2000 and we took our traumatized Grandson into our home to care for him. My career path was at an all time high just before my Daughter’s death. I was 48 at the time and am now approaching 60. I am wondering how this will affect my Pension benefits. They should be indexed from my 1999 wages. Something I’ll have to check into in the next little while. Inevitably I will have to file a civil suite against the province of Manitoba, to attempt to recover some of these out of pocket expenses. The Fed’s transfer payments to the Provinces to support crime victims, but that money gets put into general revenues and there is zero accountability. We have a completely broken system. We need to take action to try and fix it. The Conservatives were elected on a victim friendly platform and they better start showing their cards. If nothing is done prior to the next election, they won’t get my vote and I’ve always voted Conservative.

  3. Posted 2012/03/21 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Irvin – don’t forget also about reams of data and studies showing positive impacts from both 1st Generation CPTED (physical opportunity reduction) and also 2nd Generation CPTED (social motive reduction). That is yet more evidence prevention works.

    Prof Sean Michael and myself just posted the latest version of our 25-year CPTED bibliography with over 1,000 studies and articles. Free downloads are here:


  4. irvin
    Posted 2012/06/25 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    Hi Greg

    I have added a heading on POP and CPTED. Thank you for the suggestion.

    Hope all is well.