Crime prevention framing safer communities

By Paul Hemsley

Earlier in 2011, the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) released its crime prevention framework based upon plans and strategies already in place in Western Australia (WA).

Dubbed as a “model performance framework for community based crime prevention”, the AIC has collaborated with state agencies of crime prevention and local governments in evaluating their plans and projects.

AIC Senior Research Analyst, Anthony Morgan says it was part of a collaborative project that had been undertaken for a “number of years” with the WA Office of Crime Prevention.

“We’ve promoted our report to other jurisdictions but WA was leading the way in terms of supporting local governments,” Morgan says.

Western Australia and New South Wales (NSW) are the most active in terms of their local government support, he says.

The framework was designed to support local government to measure the effectiveness of what they are doing and assessing the impact of their activities, he explains.

“It was also about encouraging local government, police and other local stakeholders to draw on what we know is best practice in delivering crime prevention.

“That’s things like partnerships and engaging private sector and local communities in actual planning and implementation.

“We did a lot of stuff around reviewing their local crime prevention plan and providing ways in which that could be improved,” Morgan says.

In the case with crime prevention supported local governments, the AIC would support, measure and evaluate the work they were doing that was supposed to be supported by the model framework.

He says the AIC drew heavily on the views of local government and of what they could “realistically achieve”.

“It was designed as something that they wouldn’t necessarily just take as a whole and implement; they were picking up bits and pieces that were relevant.”

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