CM(2003)109 Addendum 2 27 August 2003
853 Meeting, 24 September 2003
10 Legal questions
10.1 European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) -
c. Draft Recommendation Rec(2003)… of the Committee of Ministers to member states
concerning partnership in crime prevention and two reports serving as explanatory memorandum to the Recommendation
The Committee of Experts on partnership in crime prevention (PC-PA) was set up by the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) in 1999. The Committee held six meetings with Ms Birgit SOMMER (Denmark) in the chair. Experts from the following member States participated in the Committee's work: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. Canada and the European Forum for Urban Safety took part in the work of the Committee as observers. The Committee was assisted by four scientific experts.
The tasks of the Committee in accordance with its terms of reference were to carry out an analysis and in particular:
a. identify the key agencies and partners likely to deliver the most effective results in preventing crime and the fear of crime;
b. in this connection, pay particular attention to the role local authorities and local communities should play in crime prevention;
c. determine the most efficient forms of co-operation among the agencies concerned (central management versus less formal separate arrangements between the police and the other partners concerned);
d. assess the level of acceptance of the partnership approach by the relevant agencies, the general public and the media and ways and means for enhancing acceptance, if necessary;
e. specify the best ways of raising money locally to fund partnership work;
f. take stock of crime prevention programmes which have worked best with particular partners and/or in relation to specific types of problems/offences (e.g. repeat victimisation; racial harassment; self-protection of businesses from theft) and specify the measures used to assess their effectiveness;
g. in this connection, to pay attention to new technologies (e.g. closed circuit television) which have been found to be effective in preventing crime.
The Committee prepared a draft Recommendation on partnership in crime prevention containing guidelines for making the most of the partnership approach which individual member States should use to inform and develop their own crime prevention policies. It also prepared a report on some generic aspects of the partnership approach in crime prevention, produced by Mr Paul EKBLOM (scientific expert), as well as a consolidated report on the Committee's terms of reference based on the country reports1 and the work of the Committee, produced by Mr André LEMAÎTRE, Mr Patrice VILLETTAZ and Ms Anne WYVEKENS 2 (scientific experts). Both these reports serve as explanatory memorandum to the Recommendation.
of the Committee of Ministers to member states
concerning partnership in crime prevention
(adopted by the Committee of Ministers on …,
at the … meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is the achievement of greater unity among its members, for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the ideals and principles which are their common heritage;
Recognising that the use solely of traditional criminal justice and law-enforcement measures has not proved sufficiently effective in reducing the scale and impact of contemporary crime problems and the emergence of new forms of crime in Europe in general;
Considering that this crime situation and the increasing concern about crime problems contribute to the feelings of insecurity experienced by many people in Europe, which in extreme cases may be associated with a loss of confidence in political authorities, the law and the institutions responsible for enforcing it, and which, furthermore, may give rise to intolerance, exclusion and xenophobia;
Also considering that research has shown that, alongside traditional approaches, the development and implementation of crime prevention strategies involving the community and local authorities are potentially efficient and cost-effective;
Recalling the Final Declaration of the 2nd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg on 10 and 11 October 1997, in which “full support [is given] to the Council of Europe with a view to intensifying its contribution to cohesion, stability and security in Europe”;
Taking into consideration Recommendation No. R (83) 7 on participation of the public in crime policy, Recommendation No. R (87) 19 on the organisation of crime prevention, Recommendation No. R (96) 8 on crime policy in Europe in a time of change and Recommendation Rec(2000)20 on the role of early psychosocial intervention in the prevention of criminality;
Bearing in mind the CLRAE's Recommendation 36 (1997) on crime and urban insecurity in Europe, as well as Recommendation 80 (2000) on crime and urban insecurity in Europe: the role of local authorities;
Bearing in mind the Parliamentary Assembly's Recommendation 1531 (2001) on security and crime prevention in cities: setting up a European observatory;
Recalling the Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice of the Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (April 2000);
Bearing in mind the results of the work of the European Forum for Urban Safety and more specifically the Naples Manifesto on Safety and Democracy of December 2000;
Recalling the conclusions of the European Council meeting in Tampere relating to the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice (1999), as well as the setting-up of the European Crime Prevention Network (2001);
Bearing in mind the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Crime (2002) and the central role of partnerships recognised therein;
Taking into consideration the experience gathered in a growing number of countries, which during the last decade have developed and implemented small- or large-scale crime prevention programmes and projects;
Believing therefore that an effective preventive approach to reducing crime and associated harm should involve the establishment of partnerships among the relevant key actors at all levels – national, regional and local – in order to tackle in the short, medium and long term the causes and opportunities for crime, to reduce the risks for potential victims and, consequently, to contribute to quality of life through increased community safety,
Recommends that the governments of member states:
1. recognise that responsibility for crime prevention should be widely shared in society, and that partnership approaches are a practical means to sharing this responsibility and pooling diverse resources;
2. ensure that the legal context is appropriate and enables but does not constrain partnerships, and review proposed new legislation and regulations for impact on partnerships in crime prevention;
3. establish a wider understanding among politicians, administrators, practitioners, private business, the public and the media of the diversity of causes and effects of crime; of the range of crime prevention activities based on the sharing of responsibilities and interests among different people and agencies; and of the partnership approach as a means of bringing those responsibilities together to implement or support these actions;
4. while taking into consideration the separation of powers and responsibilities in society, ensure that partnership arrangements are appropriately supported by consultation, citizen participation and democratic and professional accountability as checks and balances against misuse; and that the exchange of information between members of different partnerships is consistent with the protection of human rights, including personal data protection;
5. identify the areas of public policy and practice which are typically appropriate for partnership work in crime prevention and the agencies and institutions responsible for them (for example law enforcement and the criminal justice system, social welfare, employment, health, education, culture and town planning);
6. in particular explore the scope, and clarify the constitutional and practical limits, for the involvement in crime prevention partnerships of the formal justice system (criminal and other);
7. explore the scope, and the limits, for the involvement of the private sector in local and national partnerships, whether as umbrella organisations or individual companies;
8. clarify the boundary between what is appropriate and inappropriate for collective initiatives involving citizens establishing a form of “social control”, in order to avoid vigilantism and social exclusion;
9. take action to set up and stimulate partnerships at different levels (international, national, regional and local), ensure they are well-designed, constitutionally sound, kept up to date and add value to efficient and acceptable crime prevention;
10. recognise, in particular, the need to involve local authorities and local communities in crime prevention activities, as constitutionally appropriate, both as initiators and participants;
11. support the allocation of sufficient resources, so as to create and maintain partnerships, as well as to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency; develop appropriate financial frameworks and regulations to allow for pooling of resources, with suitable checks and balances;
12. forecast the effects of new technology and social and economic change on the development of crime and at the same time recognise the potential positive or negative impact they may have on crime prevention and partnerships, and respond appropriately;
13. recognise that the vision, philosophy and rhetoric on the notion of partnership must be matched by practical arrangements if real crime prevention gains are to be achieved and sustained;
14. foster motivation, education and training of staff, and the mobilisation and empowerment of social responsibility in private and public institutions, volunteers and ordinary citizen participants;
15. gather and make available reliable and valid knowledge and data and facilitate the exchange of practical expertise and experience among actors across crime prevention partnerships while respecting professional confidences and data protection;
16. promote scientific research and evaluation of the partnership approach in crime prevention in terms of its operation, results and legitimacy;
17. encourage the development of a systematic and rigorous knowledge base on partnerships; share, disseminate, and apply that knowledge nationally and internationally; and support an evidence-based, innovative, evolutionary and improvement-oriented approach which is capable of adapting to changing crime problems, social conditions and legislation;
Considers that, for the purposes of this recommendation, the following definitions should be used:
– “partnership” shall mean a way of enhancing performance in the delivery of a common goal, by the taking of joint responsibility and the pooling of resources by different agents, whether these are public or private, collective or individual. The partners seek to act together without loss of their separate professional identities, without unacceptable or illegal blurring of powers and interests, and without loss of accountability;
– “crime prevention” shall mean an intervention in the causes of criminal acts and related problems, to reduce the risk of their occurrence, their evolution and the seriousness of their potential consequences;
– “community safety” shall mean a situation in which people, individually and collectively, are sufficiently free from a range of real and perceived risks centring on crime and related misbehaviour; are sufficiently able to cope with those risks which they nevertheless experience; or where they cannot cope unaided, are sufficiently well-protected from the consequences of these risks that they can still lead a normal cultural, social and economic life, apply their skills and enjoy well-being and the receipt of adequate services;
– “partners” are those agents, whether individual or collective, that may jointly intervene, directly or indirectly, in the causes of criminal acts and related problems, or who may facilitate those interventions;
And encourages the governments of member states to make use of the following guidelines for the implementation of the above recommendations:
I. Creation of an auspicious partnership environment
1. Nationally, governments should commit themselves and co-ordinate their initiatives to develop and implement policies and strategies for crime prevention and community safety (for example, by way of creating national crime prevention councils, adopting national crime prevention programmes etc.).
2. Governments should also facilitate the equivalent co-ordination by political authorities at regional and local levels.
3. The creation and maintenance of partnerships should be promoted as an important means of achieving this co-ordination, through the pooling of competences and a clear definition of responsibilities.
4. The need for political support for partnerships should therefore be acknowledged, and this should be reflected in efforts to create and maintain conditions in the political, legal and/or structural environment to aid their smooth operation.
5. Co-ordination of the political efforts and initiatives, as well as strategic planning, is a requirement that is not confined to the start of a partnership; it must be done on an ongoing basis in order to provide the adaptability to develop solutions to emerging problems and even in some cases to anticipated problems.
6. The need should be recognised to balance institutional, legal and financial change with the consistency and medium-term stability that partnerships require in their working environment to establish themselves and maintain good performance; this is especially important where partnerships' tasks are long-term in nature.
7. It should be widely recognised that partnership arrangements involve innovation, creative tension and some risk-taking, and that any legislative framework should be enabling rather than too tightly prescriptive, to allow for adaptation to local circumstances and changing conditions, and for improvement.
8. The establishment of partnerships can be aided at a practical level by methods including the development of model codes of practice, protocols of agreement or contracts for execution of specific initiatives, and where appropriate, appointment of paid co-ordinators.
9. It is necessary to develop wider networks of institutions and individuals interested in crime prevention, from which useful partnership arrangements might grow.
10. An environment conducive to the success of the partnership presumes a close connection between these and the decision-making bodies. The best practices so far point to the creation of a legal and/or structural framework, (for example, crime prevention councils, contracts for co-operation and joint action, creation of joint working groups etc.).
11. Authorities at appropriate (normally national or regional) levels should develop good support schemes, including funding of activities, establishing expert bodies or information centres on good practice, training facilities and programmes, and evaluation of projects and partnerships and their work.
12. It is essential to take into consideration the diversity of the concept of “community” and the variety of ways in which it relates to crime and its prevention.
13. In order to maintain the viability and usefulness of partnerships it is essential to look out for future national and international developments which might affect the partnership approach as a whole as well as individual partnerships.
II. Initiation of partnerships
14. The life-cycle of partnerships, from initiation to possible termination, should be considered.
15. Partnerships can come together in different ways, and begin at different stages of the cycle of Identifying and tackling crime problems.
16. When initiating a partnership it is necessary to clearly identify the nature of the crime and disorder problem(s) to be tackled and to determine whether suitable methods of prevention exist or can be developed; and then to consider whether:
- an existing single agency or partnership (with adjustment if necessary) can take responsibility for tackling the problem(s);
- a new agency is needed; or
- a new partnership is needed.
17. Proliferation of overlapping partnerships may be wasteful and sometimes even damaging. Where overlaps between partnerships are found to exist, action should be taken to resolve these in constructive ways.
18. The criteria for choosing the set of potential partners should relate to the goals of the partnership and should include:
– their competence and wider resources, including, where appropriate, the capacity for leadership;
– their access to information;
– the coverage they provide on the ground (that is, whether they cover the right type and size of territory);
– their acceptability/legitimacy for carrying out the role, including a certain detachment;
– their readiness to collaborate on the basis of an appropriate balance of economic or organisational power and expertise between partners;
– an appropriate balance between independence and involvement, whether in the political world or the private sector;
– the closeness of the partnership goals to their existing responsibilities;
– their possession of sufficient corporate, professional or personal motivation to assume responsibility;
– their potential for flexibility to explore new ways of working both initially and throughout the life of the partnership.
19. Partnerships should also consider limited or ad hoc involvement of other individuals and organisations who might support their activities, for example through sponsorship of specific events or sharing experience and advice.
20. It should be recognised that effective partnerships require the prior existence of trust between partners, or its development, which may take time and special effort. (This is one reason why a policy of establishing a series of shorter-term partnerships may be less efficient than a single, longer-term one, although perhaps more flexible.) A compromise could involve long-term partnerships combined with short-term flexible “satellite” partnerships.
21. It should be acknowledged that a range of alternative partnership arrangements are possible at local, regional and national levels, and that different arrangements may suit different crime problems and different circumstances. One size or type does not fit all.
22. The organisational basis of the partnership should be determined as follows (the list, however, is not intended to suggest a fixed sequence, or a particular order of importance):
– an initial analysis of the crime problem(s) should be conducted as rigorously as possible;
– based on this analysis, both immediate and more strategic action should be considered;
– common goals for reducing the crime problem should be agreed, and appropriate success criteria defined (both for monitoring of partnership performance and evaluation of results);
– in appropriate circumstances, there should be some consideration of the kinds of preventive intervention which fall within the remit of the partnership; however, in other cases, partners may decide on suitable preventive approaches only once they are in operation;
– the issue of fund-raising for running costs (for both overheads such as premises, and for implementing the preventive action) should be carefully considered because experience has shown that too much time can be spent by partnerships in seeking financial support;
– funding of any independent evaluation should be considered;
– the lifespan of the partnership should be considered – short, medium or long term;
– initial goals could include some that are achievable quickly or easily in order to demonstrate action and success, both to inspire and motivate the partners and to generate support externally;
– a framework of working procedures should be set up, including those covering the exchange of information and knowledge within and outside the partnership, as well as the process of decision-making and handling possible conflicts between partners. However, as a general principle, an appropriate position should be adopted on whether the partnership should seek to identify internal problems in advance and prepare procedures accordingly, or whether it should merely aim to tackle problems as they arise:
- clear definition and delimitation of partners' individual competencies should be achieved (and any role confusion avoided), and initial training needs assessed;
- ethical standards should be drawn up/adopted;
- common working terminology should be defined;
- reciprocal expectations among the partners should be discussed;
- commitment from partner organisations should be obtained.
– fair and appropriate distribution of partners' inputs (funding, staff numbers and time, use of premises etc.) should be agreed and, if appropriate, procedures should be established for resolving any grievances;
– the structure of the partnership should be designed, including consideration of the benefits of a two-level arrangement such as operational and planning groups, the appointment of paid co-ordinators, and the more general balance between salaried and voluntary members, and between member agencies funded in different ways;
- the number of partners should relate to the scope of the partnership's goals and the practical considerations of collaboration (too many partners may be unworkable without special arrangements to facilitate co-operation);
– ground rules for dealing with the media should be developed, and a media launch strategy devised and implemented.
III. Operation and maintenance of partnerships
23. Efforts should be made to maintain, and thus monitor, all the beneficial conditions established under ”initiation” above.
24. Good management practices should be adopted concerning review, monitoring and adjustment of goals, methods, action plans, etc.
25. Steps should be taken to ensure minimal (or optimal) turnover of individual people in partnership roles, in order to maximise efficiency (by preserving a common pool of knowledge) and maintain trust.
26. Training of partnership staff should be maintained to ensure continuity of competence and facilitate adaptation to wider changes in partnership activities and organisation.
27. There is a growing need to respect and foster both political and professional dimensions of the partnership approach to crime prevention whilst attempting to define a clear boundary between them, for example by establishing ethical rules and frameworks.
28. There should be broad agreement upon the principles for priority-setting by partnerships, and the administrative and democratic mechanisms behind it.
29. The proper exchange of information between members of particular partnerships should be facilitated through development of protocols consistent with data protection, privacy and human rights legislation, and the particular professional obligations of individual partners, namely as regards the observance of professional confidence.
30. There is a need for regular scrutiny of the added value of partnership arrangements, especially under changing conditions. Mechanisms should also be developed for undertaking these reviews and acting on their findings in consultation with all stakeholders, that is, partners and others affected by the activities of the partnership.
IV. Communications between partnerships and wider society
31. Communication between partnerships and their member organisations should be actively managed, both to maintain the support of colleagues and to transmit new perspectives and ideas to the wider member organisations and the relevant professional groups.
32. The partners need to work with the media and the general public to ensure the continued acceptance of the partnership and its specific activities, in particular reporting progress on implementation, the delivery of results and the outcome of external evaluations.
33. Partners should consider using both traditional and new communications media to communicate internally, with the wider set of stakeholders and with the general public.
34. National organisations should take the lead in establishing clear quality assurance standards for the content of their websites, particularly in the provision of reliable information on partnership experiences.
35. The administrative and political authorities should be kept informed of the work of the partnership to ensure their continued support.
36. Each partnership should establish horizontal communications with other partnerships in order to exchange information and ideas.
V. Termination of partnerships
37. Partnerships could be terminated for several reasons, for example:
- the goal for which they were created has been achieved;
- the crime situation and crime problems have changed beyond the scope of the existing partnerships to organise or deliver solutions;
- the partnership's cost-effectiveness or efficiency is very low and cannot be improved.
38. At or before termination an exit strategy needs to be decided, covering:
- assumption or transfer of remaining legal and moral responsibilities, liabilities and commitments, including to clients and staff;
- liquidation or transfer of ownership of other assets including material resources and data;
- preservation and/or transfer of knowledge and experience;
- media handling.
VI. Methodology, assessment and evaluation
39. Regular scientific research on partnerships and partnership projects should be supported and funded both nationally and internationally.
40. It is recommended that national and international crime prevention networks be created or encouraged to collaborate with partnerships in order to enhance communication and exchange of information, to train and brief staff and to promote research.
41. Techniques should be developed for partners to collaborate on crime impact assessment and crime risk assessment, on forecasting of new crime problems and opportunities for their prevention, as well as relevant trends of a wider nature.
42. An appropriate methodological and conceptual framework should be developed for evaluating partnerships and their performance, and, in particular, for distinguishing between the performance of the partnership itself and the performance of any specific projects run by other organisations, that the partnership supports or initiates.
43. Methods should be developed for cost/benefit assessment of projects and partnerships, and standard approaches adopted to enable comparative assessments to be made between different types of activity.
44. An appropriate balance should be struck between internal self-evaluation and administrative monitoring by partnerships, and external, independent evaluation.
45. Any evaluation should be fit for purpose: therefore an appropriate level of sophistication, cost, effort and timescale should be determined for the particular context.
46. The cost and effort put into an evaluation should be determined by the risk, and cost, of acting on the wrong conclusion. Funders of evaluations should, however, consider raising the standard of their evaluation beyond immediate local requirements in circumstances where the results are deemed to contribute to collective knowledge of good practice.
47. The various kinds of knowledge which derive from evaluations should be systematically gathered, assessed for scientific quality, synthesised and fed into education, training and on-the-job guidance of partnership members.
Such knowledge should be made more widely available on a non-profit basis or free of charge. Where management of partnerships or specific crime prevention schemes is done on a contractual or commercial basis, specific conditions may be required to uphold this availability and to promote information sharing between the contractors themselves.
Report on some generic aspects of partnership in crime prevention
prepared for the Committee by Mr Paul EKBLOM (scientific expert)
What is partnership?
Partnership is an institutional arrangement that shades into a philosophy. It is a way of enhancing performance in the delivery of a common goal, by the taking of joint responsibility and the pooling of resources by different agents, whether these are public or private, collective or individual. The added value from such a collaborative approach usually stems from an enhanced ability to tackle problems whose solutions span the division of labour, and/or centre on a particular locality. The agents in partnership may bring with them conflicting or competing interests, and different perspectives, ideologies and cultures – so in democratic and legally-regulated contexts they seek to act together without loss of their separate professional identities, without unacceptable or illegal blurring of powers and interests, and without loss of accountability.
· The goal in question may be an ultimate one (usually crime prevention, or perhaps tackling the consequences of crime for quality of social and economic life); an intermediate objective on the direct route to that goal (eg strategically identifying a specific crime problem to tackle, or delivering a service which will reduce the risk of crime); or a supporting task (eg removing some constraining influence such as excessively rigid fire regulations which inhibit security measures in buildings).
· Responsibilities in the sense used here are, of course, those for preventing it or for dealing with its consequences. The responsibilities are usually formally acknowledged. They may be derived from statute or custom; negotiated; or self-imposed, stemming from altruism or mutual self-interest. Responsibility has three aspects for which the partnership may be held to account – achievement of the goal; non-interference with other goals (such as privacy or wealth creation); and handling failure or disaster. Responsibility for these risks, too, is shared by partnerships. In this there is usually a degree of solidarity and mutual support among partners.
· Resources are what are used to achieve a goal. They comprise inputs such as basic funds and personnel time, and raw materials such as information on crime; and capacity to transform inputs into outputs to achieve the desired goals. Capacity in turn comprises assets such as legal powers and wider moral legitimacy; organisational structures and processes including trust within and between partner organisations; physical equipment, ICT systems; and knowledge. Knowledge (and competence) itself can be identified as:
· Know-about crime problems – knowledge about crime problems, patterns and trends in the propensity to commit crime, empirical risk factors and theories of causation.
· Know-what works – knowledge of what works in prevention, by what causal mechanisms, in what context, at what cost effectiveness.
· Know-how to put into practice – knowledge and skills of practical processes, extent and limits of legal powers and duties to intervene, research and evaluation methodologies; knowledge of partnership processes.
· Know-who to involve – knowledge of contacts and networks for ideas, advice, potential partnership collaboration, services, funds and other resources.
· Know-why – knowledge of symbolic, moral, judicial, equity and emotional aspects of prevention (covering for example, fair distribution of preventive resources, and a careful balance between condemnation/punishment and understanding of causes of criminal behaviour); particular issues and values relevant to partnership such as privacy and legitimacy.
Such knowledge underpins both replication of existing methods of prevention, and innovation. Given the limited supply of reliable evaluations, and the importance of context where evaluation results are indeed available, even the 'purest' example of replication actually involves a great deal of innovation, feedback and adjustment.
· Pooling of resources may be done for several reasons which are quantitative (eg strength in numbers, economy of scale), qualitative (eg complementary knowledge and skills) or both. Pooling may serve to enhance performance in pursuit of the partnership's goal, and legitimacy or acceptability of that performance to society as a whole. In this last respect, the symbolic involvement of a particular institution or individuals may be more important than the material resources they can bring. Pooling may be done in diverse ways, described here for convenience as polar opposites: short- or long-term; strategic or tactical; shallow (eg systematic cross-referral of cases between otherwise independent agencies) or deep (eg joint strategy, or joint organisation); covering a single goal or a broad set of related goals; internal (eg between the departments of a local authority) or external (eg between the local authority and the police); horizontal (eg all agents within a locality) or vertical (eg between national and local government)
· Performance is achieved through the quality of judgements, decisions and actions, both at the partnership level and at the lower level of individual preventive projects operating within the context determined by the partnership. It involves responsiveness to crime problems and the needs of victims and those more widely affected by crime, efficient targeting and prioritisation of prevention; cost-effectiveness; coverage on the ground (that is, the proportion of crimes that need tackling, which actually receive the appropriate action); and scope (the range of crime problems that can be tackled). (Cost) effectiveness and legitimacy are quite intimately connected because people will more readily and efficiently collaborate with those they trust.
· Partners may include such agents as institutions, communities and/or individuals. Professional expertise is usually involved but often in conjunction with lay individuals or organisations. The distinctive contribution of the last two rests on intimate local knowledge, influential relationships and grassroots legitimacy; and on simply supplying wide territorial coverage (local people and institutions are in the right place for much of the right time). Co-operation between agents with diverse identities and natures is taken here as a defining feature of partnership relations. These relations can involve conflicting, or at least competing, main goals and mandates; and perhaps also differing ideologies, cultures and perspectives. Some tension must therefore be overcome before a worthwhile partnership relation begins.
· To counter this tension partnership usually involves some kind of agreement between the partners – whether informal or formal and even contractual or legal. Legal formalities involve the local or national state. They may be required by wider governmental law or practice (as for example in Germany, where various Länder legally define public meetings etc). However, depending on context, they may not always be necessary from a practical view: it is usually in the interests of the partners to honour the agreement without any external pressure. In Denmark, local 'SSP committees'3 are not legal entities, but some legal provisions apply to their activities, eg professional secrecy regarding sensitive personal information, although these provisions are 'loosened' a little compared with the general rules.
· Typical partners (in a range of horizontal and vertical relationships) include:
· State and municipalities (central/local)
· Public sector/NGO and citizen organisations (state power/citizens) – but citizens are rarely involved as individuals, usually as members of organisations such as residents' associations
· Law enforcement, social welfare, employment, health, education, culture and town planning
· Authorities and private economy (state power/markets) – mostly with umbrella organisations representing particular industries such as insurance, or trade/labour/employers' unions; but sometimes with local groups such as retailers in a particular shopping centre, or even individual companies. In many countries, links with the last, including sponsorship, are not permitted.
The relationship between the criminal justice system and other agencies involved in crime prevention is a complex and challenging one with both problems and promise and is discussed below and in the consolidated report on the specific terms of reference.
Besides the immediately practical, goal-directed aspects focused on here, partnership can also be viewed as a philosophy of governance – a collective state of mind which contributes to a climate of support. Of course, philosophy without the practicality can lead to pseudo-partnerships – where one agency holds all the power beneath a show of mutuality – and fashion. Lip-service to partnership ideals can lead to collapse when tough commitments and decisions have to be made, and partners find they have to go in different directions; or when proceeding along the same path, they encounter diverse constraints.
What is crime prevention?
Conventional definitions and categories of crime prevention are tied to the institutions that usually deliver them (police, courts, prisons etc), and as such, they are embedded in individual countries' ways of working. To understand the rationale of partnerships in crime prevention, and from an international perspective in particular, we have to try to stand outside this institutional context. The best way of doing this is to adopt a fundamental understanding of what crime prevention is.
The recommendation defines crime prevention as intervention in the causes of criminal events and related problems, to reduce the risk of their occurrence, their evolution and the seriousness of their potential consequences. This definition is deliberately inclusive. It covers all causes, and hence all theories of causation and approaches to prevention of crime, irrespective of whether these are situational or offender-oriented ('social'); whether interventions act on remote or immediate causes of crime; and whether they act through law enforcement and the criminal justice system, through the wider work of enforcement agencies or through civil society.
Prevention is often contrasted with repression. That is simply confused – prevention of crime is one of the major functions of criminal justice and law enforcement. But there are some important distinctions to make between them.
Community safety focuses less on individual criminal events and more on consequences of crime as a whole; hence the goal is harm reduction and the delivery of a range of social benefits rather than merely lowering the numbers of crimes. Community safety is a state of existence in which people, individually and collectively, are sufficiently free from a range of real and perceived risks centring on crime and related misbehaviour; are sufficiently able to cope with those risks which they nevertheless experience; where they cannot cope unaided, are sufficiently-well protected from the consequences of these risks – all of these to a degree which allows them to: pursue the necessities of their cultural, social and economic life; exercise their skills; and enjoy well-being and the receipt of adequate services.
Crime prevention, and specific actions to reduce fear and support victims, thus serve to enhance community safety. The Dutch concept of liveability is closely related to community safety. Planning and housing approaches, eg in Copenhagen, also apply this kind of perspective in physical design. Management and usage also play a part in improving safety (for example the Danish Night Owls project which involves parents walking the streets during weekend nights in the parts of the town where young people are having fun; also the activities of fathers', tenants' or home owners' groups). Harm reduction approaches (eg the Boston Gun Control project, USA) are related too, in that the aim is to address the severity of the consequences of the events rather than focus on the events as crimes per se. Risk management approaches are also linked – they are discussed later.
These definitions go some way towards universal, 'context-free' depictions of crime prevention and related concepts. However, it is important to note that what behaviours in what contexts are defined as criminal, and the nature of crime in general, may still differ between countries and legal systems.
Why does Crime Prevention especially need partnership?
If we narrowly focus on the crime itself, its illegality and the 'evil intent' of the offender, the response to crime is traditional law enforcement and punishment. In that case the partnership approach has only a narrow role to play. But research has shown that enforcement-based solutions to crime are limited in scope, not always cost-effective, and can have serious side-effects. And as we all know, crime is a complex problem with equally complex causes and demanding of a range of solutions.
The immediate causes of criminal events range from situational to offender-oriented. In their turn, these can be linked to remoter influences and higher-level social causes involving community, subculture, economic structure etc. In many cases, as said already, crime seems to be an unwelcome by-product of other aspects of civil life, including everyday routine behaviour by victims, manufacturers and marketing strategists, and the policies and practices of official institutions pursuing quite different goals from crime prevention.
Likewise, the range of possible solutions to crime has been extended to match our understanding of the causes in which they aim to intervene. And, with the broader focus on community safety, we have extended our interest beyond reducing the risk of the immediate criminal event to mitigate the wider harmful consequences of crime in terms of its impact on the quality of life of individual victims and others, and collective interests such as wealth creation and economic and social regeneration.
From the perspective of local or central government, crime was formerly seen as a problem in isolation, with equally isolated causes and isolated solutions. As we have moved from perspectives focused purely on blame or psychopathology, we now view crime from a much wider angle, both causally and practically. This 'joining up' of understanding and response works in both directions. Crime can be the focal problem we wish to address – and may be exacerbated or diminished by the policy of some government department such as Finance or Environment; or crime can interfere with the policies of other departments (for example Health and Transport). Solutions to crime problems can be a by-product of solutions to other issues such as social exclusion or poor education of children; but sometimes, too, solutions to crime can potentially exacerbate other policy problems (eg hindering rapid transit of air passengers through national borders). The same interaction occurs within the commercial world and in that of private citizens. Thus crime and other policies interact and require co-ordination, by one institutional means or another, including partnership.
Taking this broadest view a little further, we realise that most crimes and related social problems are not simply matters for control or repression. They often also contain elements requiring the pursuit of care (welfare), civil conflict avoidance and resolution, and collaboration.4 This applies both on grounds of effectiveness of interventions against crime, and the achievement of wider harm reduction. The first three tasks have often been the province of different specialist organisations or sectors of the community which may act in isolation from one another and from the informal community, sometimes in opposition and always pursuing institutional autonomy. If a problem is taken to the police (as frequently happens when there is a crisis), it is likely to receive a 'law enforcement' response; if to social services, a 'welfare' one.
Partnership, it can be argued, is an institutional arrangement which is fundamentally about correcting the shortcomings of this division of labour in tackling a range of social problems and solutions which cut across it. Partnership seeks to re-arrange or re-connect the distribution of competence in tackling a particular social problem, coverage of the extent of that problem on the ground, responsibility for dealing with the problem, and acceptability of information assembled and actions taken. (Another institutional tool which attempts to span this divide is planning (control of physical and commercial development and other land use) where settings for behaviour are created – including, inadvertently, criminal behaviour). In England & Wales for example, substantially revised government guidance on Planning Out Crime is shortly to be released. Many kinds of local service provision, such as health and social work, are now adopting a partnership approach to solve these same problems. But crime is an extreme case and poses an especial challenge. A practical manifestation of this has been the development of a tactical, problem-oriented approach to policing, or to crime prevention and community safety more widely. This seeks to renounce the traditional, method-based approach ('if you are equipped with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail'), or the single agency-based approach ('if it's a crime problem, it belongs to the police'). Instead, the aim is to give primacy to identifying the problems that come to the attention of the police and other agencies, and then to selecting the most appropriate solutions or developing customised ones. Rather than solutions being institutionally compartmentalised, the philosophy is to draw on the resources of whichever agencies and individuals are most competent and acceptable in providing them. The agencies may then act alone, co-ordinated, or in partnership.
Enacting the problem-oriented approach involves following a sequence of steps sometimes referred to as the preventive process. A recent version of this process is the '5Is' framework5:
· Intelligence: gathering and analysing information on crime problems and their consequences, and diagnosing their causes, and (as an alternative to focusing on immediate crime patterns) identifying 'risk and protective factors' in earlier childhood (Farrington 2002) associated with later criminality.
· Intervention: considering the range of possible interventions that could be applied to block, disrupt or weaken those causes and manipulate the risk and protective factors.
· Implementation: converting the in-principle interventions into practical methods, putting them into effect in ways which are appropriate for the local context.
· Involvement: covering both partnership itself and the more asymmetrical mobilisation of other agencies, companies and individuals in the community to play their part in implementing the intervention. This stage is necessary because the professionals, like the police, often have to work with or through others rather than directly blocking crimes or catching criminals.
· Impact, cost-effectiveness and process evaluation: assessment, feedback and adjustment.
But the preventive process is just one of a wider family of approaches to crime risk. Crime impact assessment or crime proofing approaches also look upstream of crime. Specific forecasts of risk can be produced on the basis of 'leading indicators' – for example, if a country receives a wave of young refugees this is likely to have implications for crime. In some countries: (eg Canada, Australia and Finland) there seems to be a broader shift towards an explicit risk management approach, where crime is just one of a range of risks including accidents and natural disasters to be predicted, assessed and provided for in terms of prevention, damage limitation and recovery. In Finland, for example, every municipality has to have a security monitor, responsible for managing a wide range of hazards. In Denmark and Sweden, similarly, there are risk-co-ordinators in the communities. Schools, too, are adopting this approach. In UK local government, risk-management approaches are now being advocated and some community safety staff are acquiring the label of 'public protection'. However, experience with an all-embracing public protection
organisation in the Australian state of Victoria ('Vicsafe') apparently took this too far: a lack of sharp focus on the particular problems of fire, road and crime safety meant a return to more specific protective bodies, albeit maintaining some degree of coordination.
Risk management is intimately connected with insurance and actuarial prediction, and this may (sometimes forcibly) lead to collaboration, if not partnership, with such institutions. Partners may collaborate in various ways and at various points in exercise of the preventive process and wider approaches to risk – supplying information of different kinds, directly contributing to implementation or evaluation, and mobilising others, as will be seen below.
Mobilisation – extending responsibility
'Official' or formal crime preventers such as governments and their agencies, services such as the police, and existing crime prevention partnerships cannot always operate alone but must often act at a distance – through other public and private institutions and ordinary citizens better-placed to play particular roles in crime prevention (whether for example, they act as individual customers of architects, as architects themselves, or as those who train architects), or to stop those who are inadvertently promoting crime by their everyday private, public or commercial activities. In some circumstances partnership is about a mutual coming-together of stakeholders to take joint responsibility and pool resources for addressing crime. But in the circumstances just described, it involves one agency or partnership deliberately extending responsibility to other institutions or individuals – mobilisation.
Mobilisation, part of the Involvement stage of the preventive process, can be set out as a systematic sequence of steps (CLAMED):
· Clarify the specific crime prevention tasks that need to be achieved externally rather than delivered in-house; and the wider crime prevention roles that need to be carried out.
· Locate the preventive agents – identify institutions and individuals with the potential to carry out the crime prevention tasks and roles effectively and acceptably – in terms of an inventory of their current expertise, manpower, presence at the right places on the ground or involvement at key stages of the relevant processes, and alignment of their own responsibilities and interests with the crime prevention tasks and roles in question. (It is better to find an institution that just needs a gentle nudge to take on responsibility, rather than one that needs massive external incentives, sanctions and support.) In some cases, it may be necessary actually to create the preventive agents by developing community structures such as residents' groups, and building communal trust.
Once located, secure the agents' co-operation, and enhance their performance in pursuit of the designated goals, by:
· Alerting them to the crime problem, that they or others might be affected by it, that they might be contributing to its cause, and/or that they might be capable of contributing to its cure;
· Motivating them to take on the crime prevention task/role – through inherent acceptance of, and belief in, its worth; self-interest in its achievement; or compliance with external incentives and sanctions linked to exercise of responsibilities and duties, adherence to standards, avoidance of litigation etc.;
· Empowering them – building enabling capacity by supplying competence (know-how and technical aids), operational resources such as funds, staff and information, and appropriate legal powers; alleviating constraints, but at the same time ensuring checks and balances are in place to limit over-zealous action;
· Directing them (if appropriate) to follow particular guidelines, select particular targets or implement particular activities.
Given the many interdependencies within society, it will usually be necessary to do more than apply the CLAMED approach to individual people or institutions in isolation, in relation to specific crime problems. More often an integrated set of local actions may be needed to bring together and coordinate a range of agents perhaps working in concert on a range of problems. We may for example need to motivate agency A to alert institution B, in its turn to empower and motivate individuals C. Or we may need to act upon one agency to alleviate the constraints it is placing on another, closer to the implementation of the desired crime prevention intervention. And we need to establish an overall local climate receptive to crime prevention, to boost and nurture the specific CLAMED activities.
Of course, this view is a 'top-down' one with professional or official crime preventers seeking to engage other individuals and institutions. Bottom-up engagement can also occur. Local residents, for example, may find ways of organising themselves to act collectively (such as establishing neighbourhood watch associations, or local shopkeepers initiating anti-shoplifting campaigns) which then draw down support from professional institutions such as the police or local government. And to zoom out further, local bodies, whether individuals/ NGOs or professional institutions, can take the initiative and then get support from central institutions.
Some dimensions of partnerships for crime prevention
Targeting of prevention
A public-health distinction widely-used in crime prevention gives three approaches to the targeting of intervention methods. Different partners, and different partnership arrangements, are best-placed to deliver each approach.
Primary – focusing on the general population of potential offenders, or of potential crime situations or human and material targets of crime.
Secondary – focusing on people at particular risk of offending, on targets at risk of victimisation or on places at risk of setting the scene for victimisation.
Tertiary – focusing on those people already convicted or victimised, or on targets and scenes of existing crime (linking to the concepts of repeat victimisation, repeat offending, and hot-spots – which are generally shown to be a very efficient approach to targeting scarce resources).
Social levels of action
The methods employed in Involvement, Implementation and Intervention in crimes and their causes act on or through a diverse set of 'entities' in the real world. These range from the individual offender or target, to family, community, or institutions such as schools. Policymakers, practitioners or partnerships can be severely disoriented if there is insufficient clarity over which of these entities a crime prevention method is supposed to act on, in which setting to operate and at which level to deliver results. A rough and ready 'natural history' of these entities describes them in terms of a range of social levels:
· individual places/people;
· family and intimates;
· peer groups;
· institutions – school culture etc.;
· areas (purely geographical) and communities (common-interest – whether or not geographical, or whether or not having the meaning of a formal unit of local government, or of organisations and associations such as local discotheque owners' initiatives to stop drug use and violence, as in Denmark).
Partnerships have to be capable of effectively and acceptably addressing crime problems at appropriate social levels – indeed, particular partnerships may actually coalesce around the need to act at a particular level. If partnerships have to deal with more than one level there may be special issues to resolve, and special solutions to adopt. This situation may quite often arise, because a particular crime problem (or a wider social need consequent upon that crime) may appear at one level (eg individual casualties of drunken assaults arriving in hospital); its causes may operate at another (eg the geographical layout of the streets); and the solutions at yet another (eg the policies for public entertainment licences – at institutional or community levels).
Aspects of Community
Community is a particularly problematic concept. It is important to unpack the term because it connects with partnership in many ways (and people's use of the term is extremely varied and loose, even within a single country). There are traditional, geographical communities, of course, and wider communities of interest and/or identity (eg members of an ethnic or economic group, spread out in space) which are not localised, but 'virtual'. They comprise a mix of individual and collective interests, whether these relate to individual private residents and users, or corporate institutions. Most so-called 'community crime prevention initiatives' are community-based rather than acting through community mechanisms. It is possible to make further useful distinctions. Community can feature as:
· a physical and social environment or setting for crime;
· a target of crime (eg if a mosque is attacked);
· a source of preventive interventions (acts of collective self-protection, informal social control, conflict mediation);
· a context for prevention which can help or hinder it (for example, by hostile attitudes to the police);
· a source of awareness, motivation and empowerment for the involvement of crime preventers (eg a neighbourhood watch group);
· a means of implementing crime prevention methods (eg helping elderly neighbours to mark property, or alerting them to risks of burglary);
· a means of supporting victims of crime and providing wider reassurance;
· a source of offenders (eg many high-risk individuals live there) and crime promoters (handling stolen goods, passing on criminal resources such as information or weapons);
· the cause of crime in its own right (eg a lawless subculture, or a community in internal conflict).
In the partnership context, much emphasis is given to crime prevention based at the levels of community, and individual citizens and families. This is self-evidently sensible – in terms of motivation, individuals and communities may be greatly concerned to protect themselves or their members; they will have some unique resources in terms of local knowledge; they will in many cases have the sole right of intervention (eg in their own homes); and they will exist in large numbers in the right places (if not always the right times) to intervene in crime. But communities and individuals mobilised for crime prevention may also have limits to effectiveness and acceptability – as indicated by the last 2 bullets above. There may be insufficient community structure to which co-responsibility for crime prevention may be assigned (and initial partnership work may be needed to establish such structure as a foundation for specific action to tackle crime). In areas
where community cohesion or more specific 'social capital' is most needed to implement crime prevention, it is often lacking – the absence of trust between neighbours may inhibit collaboration through neighbourhood watch schemes for example. This may particularly apply to the informal supervision and control of children. (An interesting example of deliberate building of collaborative relationships among parents for this purpose was the father-groups and mother-groups approaches in Denmark.) There may be deep-seated conflicts – ethnic, religious, or even family feuds – which serve both to cause some crimes and hinder the response to others.
Acts of prevention may sometimes merely be over-intrusive; but at other times may exceed legitimate rights and powers – vigilantism6 – and lead to undesirable effects such as social exclusion. Mobilisation of individuals and communities therefore requires checks and balances. But this requirement is not confined to these social levels: the same injunction applies with institutions and agencies, a theme developed in the next section.
Problems and costs of partnership
As argued above, partnership appears, fundamentally, to be a means of bridging the division of labour to tackle crime and related social problems whose nature, causes and effective cures respect no such institutional boundaries. But it is important to note that the difficulties imposed by excessive division of labour are matched by those that stem from excessive integration7:
· Dividing responsibilities may result in an over-narrow treatment of problems, in frameworks whose relevance is made hostage to social and institutional change, and it may give the public an illusion that the responsibilities are being met without their help. But broadening responsibilities brings a range of difficulties. It can variously mean that a problem becomes nobody's job; that excessive concern with the crime consequences of other areas of policy distorts broader priorities; and that self-policing or social control lead to an unacceptable loss of privacy and independence in what becomes a highly conformist society. Community does not always lead naturally to pluralism.
· Splitting up crime prevention skills and concentrating them within particular agencies and institutions may make them over-sophisticated, over-sold, expensive and in short supply. This may also de-skill the public, who may often be best-placed to prevent or respond to crime. But diffusing the skills in the community may make them weak and under-developed, and perhaps unfairly applied.
· Dividing up power and authority may lead to an unworkable set of checks and balances which, moreover, may be circumvented so that responsibilities are met by illegitimate means (such as illicit access to confidential professional information from another institution). But concentrating power has been achieved, in the past, at the expense of equity and the provision of services responsive to the needs of consumers rather than the producers.
Two related issues add to this cluster of fundamental dilemmas:
· Heightened involvement in the community of agencies such as the police (through continuity of posting of individuals, and encouragement of officers to get involved in local community life) may allow for greater mutual understanding and more sensitivity of operations. But failure to preserve an element of 'distance' – the 'stranger' role – may destroy officers' image of impartiality between conflicting local interests. At the more formal level, clear segregation of the police and the judiciary from the local party-political machinery and private interests has brought freedom from political corruption and a reputation for impartiality from political pressures and disputes. But it has also meant a remoteness from the levers of local influence vital for the planning and execution of local crime prevention strategies. (The pursuit of professional autonomy as a feature of occupational cultures is a well-known barrier to partnership and wider involvement in the community – as described in the Norwegian report. But in fact, one might see it as a solution, evolved by those who work in a particular agency, to the individually and organisationally challenging problems of working beyond clear-cut traditional boundaries.)
· Attempts to respond to crime problems in a centralised manner may result in remote, isolated organisations, inadequate local coverage, clumsy standardised responses based on inadequate information about local conditions, and the neglect of problems minor to the wider community but significant to individuals or neighbourhoods. But inappropriate forms of decentralisation may lead to inconsistent, piecemeal or locally extreme approaches, and uneconomic duplication of responses to problems most efficiently tackled over a wider region.
In no way, therefore, does it make sense simply to try to turn the clock back to an earlier age – if ever it really existed – where there was little specialisation, all problem-solving was localised and functions such as policing were heavily-embedded in the local community. We need to find ways of getting the best of both division and integration (in terms of effectiveness and legitimacy), whilst filtering out the worst. (Failure to get to grips with this means slow, endless pendulum swings between division and integration.) This calls for sensitivity to the choices and trade-offs, and creativity in developing solutions that allow the best of both worlds, and fit the specific cultural and institutional context of each individual country. In other words, those people trying to set up, and improve or extend, partnership arrangements in their countries, and perhaps in their local regions and towns, are faced with a design problem – making the arrangements fit for purpose whilst reconciling a range of conflicting requirements and 'troublesome trade-offs'.
Designing partnership arrangements
Partnership does not resolve the contradictions and tensions between, say, welfare and enforcement approaches to crime problems – but it does force them to be considered together in a structured way.
One fundamental 'design dimension' of partnership which merits cautious exploration is the boundary between crime prevention based on the formal Criminal Justice System and law enforcement (collectively: repression), and the rest – which includes the wider preventive activities of law enforcement agencies (such as police patrolling) and civil prevention (ie the changes made in the everyday world of products, environments and communities to reduce the opportunity, motivation and predisposition for crime).
Other design dimensions of partnership are less fundamental than this, and less fundamental than those discussed in the previous section on the division of labour and centralisation, but they may nonetheless be of great practical, political or legal significance. They include the balance between the involvement of:
· expert-professional versus amateur;
· representative-democratic versus participative;
· elected versus official;
· formal versus informal,
· purely public versus public-private mix.
We therefore need to develop some tools and principles to help the process of designing partnership, which are adjustable to social, cultural, legal and political contexts. Some have been suggested already.
· The CLAMED approach to mobilisation of institutions, described above, is one such tool. It would be sensible to address the issue of division and integration of labour in particular when proceeding through the steps outlined. Understanding the motives of institutions and sectors of society to enter into crime prevention partnerships, and of individuals in those institutions who are moved to act in partnership roles, is important knowledge for the design of partnership arrangements. At the institutional level such motives include: individual and collective self-protection against crime; avoidance of liability for allowing victimisation of third-parties (for example people who buy the insecure cars they manufacture or live or work in the
insecure buildings they construct); sales of security products and services such as guardianship and insurance; and establishment of a responsible, 'good citizen' public image. At the individual level, motives
include self-advancement through gaining new experience, personal commitment to the aim of the partnership (such as benefit for children in need), and various kinds of social prominence, beneficial or otherwise.
· Another, more specific guide that we already have is the subsidiarity principle for the centralisation-decentralisation choice. The Slovakian Crime Prevention Strategy requires that regional commissions adjust the strategy to local conditions by setting up programmes and co-ordinating implementation. As in many Eastern European countries, this is taking place against a background of more general transfer of competence from state to local government. Such significant changes offer scope for avoiding or 'clearing out' problems for partnerships such as lack of 'co-terminosity' of boundaries between, say, police and local government areas, which in older-established democracies may have a long history and may be difficult to alter on purely rational grounds.
· It is helpful to explicitly analyse the differing occupational cultures, mindsets and value systems of the partners, identify likely conflicts which might inhibit joint working and focus on designing a modus vivendi. This can partly be achieved by attempting to establish a new, joint culture etc. But in most cases total merger of identity and function is not desired – a joint culture might in effect mean a new body, and a consequent risk of inflexibility or excessive compromise. Perhaps more desirable is a reciprocal understanding of the other participants' cultures.
· In the latter case, protocol or codes of practice can be designed for example to enable the exchange of information between partners yet limit this to what is acceptable (both to each partner organisation, and to society) and legal. The protocols act like lubricants in an engine – holding the working components slightly apart as they engage.
· Relations between partnership and its individual constituent organisations may need explicit attention. On the positive side, individual actors can feed views and perspectives from the partnership and from particular partners to the contributing organisations; on the negative side, individuals may experience various kinds of role conflict which need to be resolved. Such role conflicts may deter them from partnership activity or constrain their performance. The choice between permanent versus case-by-case arrangements for partnership must also be made. The latter offers greater flexibility and avoids financial and contractual commitment, but each time afresh requires the building up of confidence, knowledge and respect.
· Review of legislation and its impact on partnership may reveal conflicting legal requirements or even a legislative vacuum, as Slovakia discovered with child protection and volunteer participation in crime prevention. Sometimes, legislation may even expect partnerships to be established when they are not. Prospective approaches such as crime proofing of legislation are normally considered for the purpose of directly addressing crime problems; but it would be reasonable to use the technique to assess likely threats and opportunities for the creation and operation of crime prevention partnerships.
· The Conjunction of Criminal Opportunity8 conceptual framework and its more recent packaging in the wider '5Is' preventive process can supply a clear and precise language to systematically describe the crime prevention tasks/ roles of partners and partnerships. Besides considering generic solutions it provides explicit and systematic ways of mapping crime problems anddiagnosing causes. If all partners are following the same map, communication and collaboration are likely to be far easier.
· Alternative operational models or templates for partnership can be identified, such as voluntary, commercial, administrative/managerial, and networking – and choices can be set out.
· Partnerships (or their designers) need to decide if their scope of action should cover prevention in general, or some part of it (such as prevention of recidivism or design of built environment); the balance between enforcement versus welfare of offenders; targeting intervention on a primary, secondary and/or tertiary basis; being a co-ordinating body for all local crime prevention initiatives (ie acting at the involvement or mobilisation level), or being involved in the practical work of implementing interventions directly.
Development of partnerships
The process of developing initial arrangements for partnership-based crime prevention will differ from the process of maintaining those arrangements once partnerships have been set up. Development may not be easy – for example, in Denmark it took some 10-15 years to get interdisciplinary and cross-sectional co-operation to work almost without friction and mutual suspicion.
Development may involve some deliberate central planning (albeit with wide consultation) combined with some quite specific guidance, as in the Crime & Disorder Act 1998 for England & Wales, and the French system of crime prevention councils and plans tied into prefectures for supervision and funding. In Eastern European countries emerging from communist systems, strict legal authority for agencies to extend their responsibilities beyond formal boundaries appears important (as in Ukraine for example). However, in other circumstances it may be more a matter of trying to set the right conditions for those partnerships to grow and evolve in profitable directions, without too much canalisation, as in Sweden. Slovakia, too, envisages a gradual emergence of partnerships from less formal exchanges and collaborations. And it is usually sensible to start cooperation on clear, limited and less controversial topics.
Other 'development trajectories' identified include a when a partnership progresses from an initial coming together to obtain funds, into the development of more efficient ways of working; and a shift from a joint, ad-hoc response to emergencies or pressure of demand, to a degree of goal-oriented planning and management. But even bottom-up development needs some ploughing and fertilisation of the soil. This could involve setting up a general infrastructure of information and guidance systems, such as the crime reduction toolkits in England & Wales and a planned migration to greater professionalisation of crime prevention practitioners, as in Slovakia and project-specific support. To change metaphors, regional or central agencies can adopt a catalytic role. Such catalysis could involve bringing agencies together; or creating the community structures, such as residents' associations, with which they can share or transfer responsibility. Thus some mixture of top-down and bottom-up development is usually needed – but the mixture will differ between countries.
To return to the specific issue of reconciling partners' diverse interests, it could be useful to go beyond establishment of individual protocols and codes of practice, to draw up some kind of overarching 'prenuptial agreement' between the parties, setting out at least initial individual/joint positions on a wide range of considerations. In this way, partners enter the relationship with their eyes wide open and are less likely to hold unrealistic expectations of other partners. This is particularly important where private citizens and institutions are involved as partners.
Maintenance can involve prosaic, practical issues such as designing arrangements to cope with the continual turnover of personnel – often key personnel – within partnerships. (In many cases, such events are seen as unwelcome surprises rather than the inevitable movement of talented individuals.) More fundamentally, maintenance may involve some review of the 'state of the partnership' – whether by internal self-assessment and adjustment, or deliberate feedback from external evaluations. Such reviews are necessary for two related reasons which both stem from new technology and social change: crime problems and effective preventive solutions change over time; so do the responsibilities and resources of particular institutions, and the cultural climate of what is, and is not, acceptable.
A third reason is that the benefit from some partnerships may arise from novelty and the creative tension of diversity – which may simply fade with familiarity. In the UK at the moment, the recent enactment of Human Rights legislation is sending ripples through the entire area of crime prevention and law enforcement. In Ireland, the White Paper (2000)9 on voluntary activity suggests establishing a monitoring committee to review existing programmes and schemes to ensure continued relevance and value for money. In Denmark, the local SSP committees are inspired to new activities partly by local developments, and partly by the National Crime Prevention Council. The Council tracks crime trends, and looks out for possible new risks, ideas for solutions and knowledge both nationally and internationally. The information is passed on through the contact scheme with the local police and there is also a flow in the other direction. In general, it is important to have deliberate 'feeder channels' for information when working top-down; and also to provide for the flow of information back up from ground level practice. The UK's crime reduction website10 caters for both directions, including practitioner discussion groups and (most recently) channels for the electronic sharing and transmission of documents and data between partnerships.
Evolution or extinction?
Some partnerships may thus evolve to track changing problems to be tackled, changing working environments and changing internal dynamics. Others may be unable to adapt. Still others may only justify their existence with a planned lifetime and a deliberate exit strategy as in the UK's Safer Cities Programme.
This paper does not aim to review the results of the evaluations of partnerships. Evaluation is important at several levels. Partnerships (or their sponsors) must evaluate:
· The individual crime prevention schemes they implement or fund, in terms of their process and impact
· Their crime prevention performance as a strategic whole – partnership impact
· The efficiency and acceptability of their operations (such as how well they conduct the preventive process, and more generally, how well they create a climate favourable to prevention, mobilise individuals and institutions for prevention, and establish the necessary infrastructure and guidance) – partnership process
Such assessments may take the form of direct, fast feedback loops to adjust activity in progress; or more considered reviews. There will also be a collective – national or international – interest in assembling information on what works and what is acceptable, in what context – as here.
The essential question for impact evaluation of partnerships is, how does partnership add value by improving performance in terms of cost effectiveness, sustainability and acceptability of crime preventive action? How does it extend the scope (the range of problems tackled) and coverage (the proportion of problems tackled) of preventive action? Note that in order to assess performance of partnership in this way, we must look for improvement in the planning, distribution and performance of the set of individual preventive schemes which are implemented in a partnership environment, relative to those implemented in isolation.
Process evaluation attempts to identify how best partnership can do these things – extracting partnership know-how – and to raise wider issues of accountability, equity etc. Again, how partnerships appear from the perspective of the individual schemes which are initiated within that partnership environment is important, but it has to be considered alongside a strategic perspective of action in the partnership area as a whole.
To identify the kinds of question posed in both impact and process evaluations of partnerships, we can return to the 'logic model of partnership' set out at the beginning of this paper, and to the 'how to do prevention' framework set out in the 5Is process.
Partnership, and crime prevention more generally, have been shown in this report to be complex and subtle both at the level of ideas and the level of actions. Clear definitions and conceptual distinctions, of the kind presented here, are vital to enable policymakers and practitioners alike to articulate their actions, communicate between and within partnerships and with the wider community, evaluate good practice and share knowledge of that good practice both nationally and internationally.
Consolidated report on the terms of reference based on the national reports11 and the work of the Committee
prepared for the Committee by Mr Andre LEMAITRE, Mr Patrice VILLETTAZ and Ms Anne WYVEKENS (scientific experts)
Over the last twenty years, in a context of increasing social hardship and insecurity, public authorities at the national, regional and local levels have been obliged to develop new social policies that make better allowance for the socio-environmental considerations surrounding the various social problems encountered in the community.
In reaction to the increase in minor offences and anti-social behaviour, to the growing sense of insecurity and to the fact that there are both quantitative and qualitative limits to criminal measures, a broader concept of criminal policy is taking shape across much of Europe.
Gone is the monopoly enjoyed by law-enforcement and criminal justice agencies in the handling of crime, and what are known as cross-sectoral policies are emerging which, anchored for the most part in the notion of prevention, seek to combine punitive measures with preventive action on the part of a number of other bodies which are intended to work together in partnership rather than each isolated in its sphere of competence.
Thus the new crime prevention policies are more community-oriented, targeting a specific social problem via a multidimensional approach involving both law enforcement and prevention agencies pooling a multitude of varied resources. We shall not dwell on the context in which these new crime prevention policy trends have emerged, which has already been amply commented upon. Nor shall we discuss the appropriateness of the partnership approach - although it should be borne in mind that it is not necessarily a panacea12. The purpose of the work, once it had been agreed in principle that the approach was relevant, was to move on to the next stage - to give shape to partnerships by determining who should be involved and what should be their goals, working methods, resources and so forth.
Under the specific terms of reference on partnership in crime prevention, the scientific experts were asked to answer seven questions on how to set up effective partnerships, based on reports drawn up by experts from the participating countries. The national experts were asked to provide as much detailed information as possible about those partnerships in place in their respective countries which they considered most interesting and most enlightening.
1. Composition of the partnership
1.1 Preliminary remarks
This wording is less transparent than it might appear and requires some clarification. At stake is the identification of key agencies and partners with a view to obtaining the most effective results in terms of prevention. A first observation concerns the value of replies that will be forthcoming. The question carries a notion of excellence and appreciation of worth which presupposes that policies and partnerships are evaluated. However, there is seldom any evaluation. The national reports are fairly unanimous in this respect, whether explicitly13 or indeed implicitly, in that, generally speaking, both on this point and others, they allow no conclusions to be drawn as to why a project does or does not “work”. This is one reason why the comments made below will be descriptive or analytical rather than prescriptive. Another reason is that what “works” is not necessarily the same in every country. While concerns are largely shared, account must be taken - and given -
of a diversity deriving from several factors: the institutional, political and cultural context and the level of intervention (local or national) in each country, types of intervention (whether institutional or broadly informal) and the reference period in cases where partnership policies have been taking shape for a certain time.
That being said, it is worthwhile nonetheless to question how “results” are to be understood. The range of replies can shed some light on this entire debate. Are the most effective results to be found in falling crime rates; should results be assessed in terms of a population's ability to achieve the best possible quality of life given the spread of anti-social behaviour and the sense of insecurity; or is it more important to evaluate whether the partnership itself functions smoothly14?
A final clarification is necessary, since it has a strong bearing on possible replies to the question of the partnership's composition. It relates to the meaning of “prevention”. Those deemed to be suitable partners will obviously vary according to the interpretation given to this term. To illustrate this point, the initiation in Europe of partnership policies for prevention has been described traditionally as being marked by a more or less clear dividing line between those countries (in the south) which use economic and social prevention policies to tackle the root causes of crime and those (in the north) which favour more direct action to prevent the occurrence of crime, by means either of technical measures or surveillance of potential offenders as well as long-term social and educational interventions. As it affects partnerships, this division is reflected by the fact that the social services are in charge of operations in the first group of countries, while arrangements in the second group centre on policing15. Besides the fact that this division should not be interpreted too rigorously, the current trend in Europe would appear to be towards a convergence of policies. This can be seen in particular in the recent establishment of a European Union directorate-general concerned with a Europe of freedoms, justice and security and the setting up of EUCPN16. Without seeking to define the concept of prevention, we wish merely to clarify that it is primarily to be understood in its broadest sense, which includes social as well as situational prevention, dissuasion as well as positive prevention and prevention of vulnerability to crime as well as prevention of the actual commission of offences. This broad interpretation of prevention will extend to partnership policies set up in various places under the heading of “security”, and the range of potential partners will therefore be as wide as possible.
1.2 The police and the courts
The terms of reference present the issue as being one of co-operation between the police and other agencies. The opening phrases at any rate suggest that the task of law enforcement, to which prevention would make a contribution, is exclusively the domain of the police, and that the police will inevitably be at the heart of partnerships set up for prevention. There can be no doubt that the police are unavoidable, even indispensable, partners. It is usual for them to be present, and they frequently take a leading role17. However, the committee's work shows firstly that the “theoretical” or “actual” nature of police participation varies from case to case: while the police universally enjoy an operational role in prevention, they do not necessarily exercise this role in practice. Secondly, the fact that the police carry out prevention activities does not automatically make them party to the partnership approach, nor does it mean that they have initiated or are the focus of partnership. Although the police are often cast as leaders at local level, in a few countries such as Finland and Sweden partnerships are defined as “multi-focus”. In others, such as France, the key role is taken by local elected representatives.
Analysis of the national reports brings out one or more “enabling” factors. For example, one important consideration is the basic quality of police relations with the community18. Another is the degree to which the police emphasise problem-solving techniques, which make it more natural that they should be associated with prevention activities19.
It is important to note that in different countries the holders of different roles within the criminal justice system participate to different degrees in crime prevention partnerships. With regard to state authorities, only France tackles the question of the involvement of the judicial system, which is the other key component of law enforcement. France is one of the few countries where the courts, as personified by members of the prosecution service, feature as a partner with a substantial, and often crucial, power of initiative. This led to closer consideration of the role played by the courts in other countries. They are also represented in Belgium (through the prosecuting authorities and juvenile courts). In Scandinavian countries there is occasional participation by prosecutors. Countries such as Denmark and Germany report resistance on the part of the judicial service itself, owing inter alia to fear of intimidation or the loss of independence of the judges.
1.3 The composition of partnerships
In addressing the matter of a partnership's composition, a number of distinctions need to be drawn.
Composition varies primarily according to the territorial level of the partnership, whether national, regional or local. Most states represented on the committee have a structured and more or less longstanding national agency, generally in the form of a crime prevention council. This body is in principle composed of representatives of the various ministries and government departments either directly or indirectly concerned with these issues: internal affairs and justice, social affairs, housing, town planning, education, culture, vocational training, sport and recreation, and health. Non-governmental organisations and churches often participate too, and the business sector is occasionally represented. Finally, there are representatives of academic and research circles. To give just one example, partnership at this level is particularly extensive in Denmark, where it reflects the equal importance accorded to objective prevention (focusing on situations and the reduction of crime opportunity) and subjective prevention (focusing on behaviour). A body of this sort used to exist in France but has been absorbed into a more general arrangement.
Partnerships are less a feature at regional level; where they do exist they combine agencies of the same kind. This level doubtless carries greater weight in federal states20, where regional governments enjoy substantial powers in areas traditionally associated with prevention, and where they may also perform the task of communicating central government policy to local authorities. Each state will determine the appropriate level on the basis of its political structure.
There is no doubt that the local approach is of fundamental importance in all countries. After cross-disciplinarity, getting closer to the local level is the second major theme of European prevention policies. The points developed below essentially relate to local partnerships.
Generally speaking, there is a separation of roles between the national level, which provides broad policy definitions or at the very least delivers impetus for local authorities, and the local level itself, which is responsible for policy implementation. Although this power to issue directives is often limited by local authorities' decision-making autonomy21, the composition of partnerships at the various levels may have an impact on the effectiveness of relations between the tiers. Switzerland is a case in point: the police and the courts are organised on a cantonal basis, and the under-representation of the chiefs of the police at national level (in the Swiss Crime Prevention Centre) has resulted in a gap between the development of so-called “message in a bottle” prevention campaigns and their implementation at local level.
In considering the local level from the same general angle, it is important to distinguish between “institutional” and “operational” partnerships. In this regard, for example, the Finnish report notes the importance of encouraging “co-operation” between the people working in the field rather than between experts. The same notion underlies the organisation of the Danish SSP22 committees: the “upper” level comprises departmental heads and representatives of senior politicians, while the “lower” level is made up of persons who come into daily contact with target groups. Their numbers may be swelled by the presence of specialists appointed for a given mission. As regards the local level, as a rule, alongside government representation there is also a wider range of private organisations than in national partnerships. These include tenants' associations, sports clubs, groups combating drug use, senior citizens' and neighbourhood associations, charities and business heads.
Lastly, partnerships are shaped according to the type of “prevention” being implemented. What follows is not an exhaustive list, since there is no point in reiterating the vast amount of information contained in the national reports. We shall restrict ourselves to two comments, the first concerning the need to ensure that partnerships can be adapted to changing needs, and the second concerning the observation that there is a strong and interesting trend towards an expansion and diversification of partnerships.
Firstly, taking up the notion of operational partnerships, in their general remarks as well as in their descriptions of specific projects the national reports stress the need for flexibility. A partnership's composition depends on:
· the objectives (situational prevention, social prevention or the need to tackle anti-social behaviour)
· the target groups (young people are reached through schools and the social services23).
· the specific situations. In an example reported by the Swiss expert, squatters living in Geneva who fall ill but have no contact with social workers are taken in hand by the police, to whom they are known.
An analysis of the various programmes not only points up their individual elements of interest, but also reveals that it is crucial to select partners with close ties to a situation and that there may be a connection between the success of a venture and the fact that its instigators are fully involved. The Danish report emphasises local-level flexibility in terms both of composition and the intensity of participation. One example among many projects thus described is the Swedish initiative Together against violence in Scania, which was launched by a nurse familiar with the problems of violence. This example raises the tricky issue of the balance between grassroots activism and institutionalisation. The former often brings a certain effectiveness, and the desire to generalise and conserve24 this quality threatens to render sterile what was originally so productive.
The second observation concerns a trend which is noticeable in many quarters. Although highly “social” projects involving neither the police nor the courts are still to be found (such as a Finnish project offering support to families with very small children), in several countries there appears to be a growing movement towards more complex activities interlinking social, situational and even punitive measures on the basis of an appreciable broadening of partnerships. In this regard, the French report mentions the importance of the concept of “security”, while the Swedish report speaks of a “great change”.
The first thing to note in this connection is the special importance of the economic sector. While it has remained relatively detached from purely social projects, the business world is showing increasing interest in partnerships the more this approach opens up to the notion of security. One especially interesting example is that of the Danish project Fred's Fencing Shop, which was initiated by an umbrella organisation representing all Danish insurance companies. This project makes use of a particularly extensive partnership25 to promote a highly media-friendly information campaign on the handling of stolen goods. A second such example is that of programmes run in France in connection with local security contracts in the transport sector.
From a more general point of view, the national reports refer to projects combining several forms of activity and involving a variety of partners, each within their own field of competence. This broadening process would appear to be the future of partnership policies for prevention. The Slovakian project Safe City Kosice combines punitive measures with the subsequent reclaiming of a site by its residents and activities to reduce risk. There is therefore input from the police and the courts on one hand, and from Roma associations, churches and community centres on the other, the whole under the guidance of the city authorities. The German project Das Haus des Jugendrechts, which is tackling juvenile delinquency, encourages a link which previously did not exist between the police, juvenile courts and social work, while also involving the retail sector. One Finnish project is built around a quid pro quo relationship between the police and schools, whereby police officers conduct training in the classroom and schools respond by reporting any incidents. This idea also lies behind local groups tackling delinquency in France, where penal measures imposed by the prosecution service co-exist with a variety of preventive and educational activities.
2. The role of municipalities and local authorities
The second issue addressed in the terms of reference is the role local authorities and local communities should play in crime prevention.
2.1 The role of municipalities and local authorities in crime prevention
The role of local authorities in the composition and leadership of prevention partnerships is indisputably among the most absorbing themes. It has already been observed that a necessary characteristic of this policy is its foothold at local level. Accordingly, the local authorities in most countries are involved in prevention policy and take part in specific projects for which they provide funding. At this point it is necessary to clarify what is meant by “local authorities”. Involvement in fact varies enormously, ranging from de facto participation by local authority departments through their exercise of ordinary municipal powers to the supervision of arrangements, which more naturally falls to locally elected representatives. Although the local level is universally important, in practice local councillors are relatively seldom involved in guiding policy, however desirable that may be. However, there is a fairly widespread trend towards support for their taking this role.
A good number of examples are given of operational involvement. Local councils always enjoy police powers and competence in social, educational and technical matters which can be incorporated into crime prevention. In the case of the Swiss campaign United against violence, the involvement of local authorities is described as remaining within the limits of their powers in matters of policing and public information. As the proprietors of school buildings, municipalities suffer from acts of vandalism, which motivates them to contribute through their youth services to solutions comprising reparation and education for citizenship. Partners in Sweden are local authority departments (social services, schools and the local police) as well as councillors. The Finnish report states that local authorities are necessarily involved in prevention because of their responsibility for common tasks concerning their residents, and their social needs in particular. There is of course a connection between social problems and crime ... The involvement of municipalities is also due to the fact that their duties in respect of urban security are constantly expanding and include security measures against criminal acts. The same logic underlies the contrasting situation in Ireland, where the nature of local authorities' regular powers means that prevention is not a priority for them. One field in which they take action is that of prevention through environmental design.
There are also several examples of more active involvement on the part of local authorities which have initiated specific projects. The Slovakian project Safe City Kosice has already been mentioned. In Finland, the Hanko project to combat juvenile delinquency, which combines social and situational prevention with the particular objective of reducing the incidence of property offences, was launched by the city authorities.
The transition from operational involvement or the leadership of one-off projects to a position of heading partnership arrangements for security requires a real qualitative leap which is not always easily achieved. This is clearly illustrated by some German Länder, with their deliberate strategy of trying to convert to a system of partnerships headed by local councils. While this appears to be strongly promoted, it is meeting with resistance owing to local community fears that the federal and Länder governments will offload responsibility. In the United Kingdom, the trend is towards making local authorities key partners, and this has culminated in the involvement in statutory partnerships with the police, but for a long time there were lobbies which opposed that idea. The role of the police is more important than that of local authorities, especially in view of the relatively limited allocations to the latter for prevention purposes. In contrast, in France local politicians were instrumental in the inception of partnerships for prevention, in that the mayors of large and medium-sized towns laid the foundations for this approach. Prevention policy in Belgium is carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior and the regional authorities, which relies heavily on the input of local councillors.
The need to involve local elected representatives, on the basis that they are the first to be concerned by issues of security, which have become a central concern and a major priority for local council heads, is a very topical theme26. Finnish towns, for example, have become aware that prevention could be a general task inasmuch as environmental quality in terms especially of safety affects urban economic development and determines how attractive towns are for firms and their employees27. The Danish report mentions a similar growth in awareness. Given the extremely practical nature of what is at stake, involvement appears to be crucial if ideological divisions are to be overcome.
2.2 The role of local communities in crime prevention
The term 'local communities' refers to the residents themselves. Associations and other bodies collectively known as non-governmental organisations are present in partnerships at every level in each country. The involvement of residents per se is a different matter which draws on American experiences of community policing, themselves derived from the “broken windows” theory. In most cases a partnership is set up with the police on the understanding that a poor quality environment contributes to crime and that the police must support community efforts to maintain a standard of neighbourhood order which residents themselves determine and enforce28.
Community participation is one area in which European practices vary the most, despite unanimous agreement on its pertinence. Talk about involving residents frequently obscures the difficulty - or the lack of good will - encountered in putting participation into practice. For example, the Swiss report forthrightly observes: “In the field of prevention in schools, the role of parents and their associations […] is not always clearly defined other than in terms of a vague intention to involve them in some way”. Residents' participation is also virtually non-existent in a country like France29, but in contrast it may attain a certain degree of dynamism in a number of English-speaking countries30.
What is the situation in the other countries represented on the committee? The project described in the Slovakian report concludes that the best results were obtained when, contrary to top-down decisions, participation was opened to the Roma population. In Ireland there are well-organised community watch movements at various levels which co-operate with the police. A Finnish project to convert a park frequented by undesirable elements into a “living-room” provides an excellent illustration of the idea that there is a link between a site and the people living there. Active residents commit themselves to act as park “godparents” who intensively use and take care of the park and report incidents to the police. In Denmark and Sweden, fathers and mothers organise themselves into groups in order to protect and supervise children and infants in the streets at night. The Norwegian project EXIT, which exists to help young people to leave violent extremist organisations, makes use of share groups organised for parents of the children concerned in much the same way as Alcoholics Anonymous.
Residents' participation is certainly the weak link in countries such as France, just as it is - although this cannot be shown conclusively given the committee's membership - in the states of southern Europe. Is this the result of a condescending attitude towards citizens viewed as inferior, or of concerns that a “law and order” approach might prevail? It would be worthwhile to initiate debate on this matter.
3. The most effective forms of co-operation
Having considered the variety of possibilities that exist regarding the composition of partnerships, let us go on to investigate the most effective means of co-operation for the agencies involved in this type of prevention strategy.
3.1 The move towards a partnership strategy
Every period - according to Bailleau and Garioud 31 - produces a “new” solution in the sense that the choice of components, the weighting of each and the order of priorities are different. The purport and limits of techniques claiming to be preventive at given time lie not so much in the techniques themselves as in the place occupied by the concept of prevention in the various systems of social action (p. 19).
As from the 1980s but more commonly in the 1990s, a distinctive feature of prevention policies in Europe has been their integrated character, both at national and at local level 32. In the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France, integration of policies coming under different government departments is sought at the national level.(...) At the local level, integration of different local policies (police, social, housing ...) is pursued in order to prevent crime and allay the sense of insecurity. (p. 14).
This integration of prevention policies eventually required the establishment of partnerships for setting up prevention schemes. As a result, various forms of co-ordination have been developing for several years among the agents of prevention, sometimes out of concern to avoid duplication, and with the main aim of encouraging the pooling of experience and delivering better service to clients. At the early stage, these initiatives are typified by voluntary participation, without substantial structuring (regular meetings for mutual knowledge and information, comparing notes, and consultation) and a manageable geographical coverage. In that form, co-ordination sets out to overcome the time-honoured professional and institutional partitioning between the various agencies operating in this area.
A further stage is consultation between operators from different professional fields, who make arrangements under which agreement can be reached before concerted action is taken.
Partnership denotes a still closer association between the individuals or institutions, as the case may be, who decide to work together in pursuit of a common goal: partnership is aimed at the pooling of information as well as of resources (in the broad, not merely financial, sense) with a view to a common approach towards prevention 33.
In general terms, partnership may be interpreted as a relationship where two or more parties, having compatible goals, form an agreement to share the work, share the risk and share the results or proceeds. Partnership implies the sharing of decision-making, risks, power, benefits and burdens 34.
Partnership is spoken of when different people sharing an aim or goal decide to pool their professional skills, knowledge and experience and to work together to achieve that aim, for a set period which may vary depending on the project. The partners each retain their work practices and the identity which they possess in their primary activity, within the organisation where they normally work.
For partnership to exist, there must accordingly be an association of several persons with a common goal, a joint policy to frame and pursue, even if the opinions concerning it diverge. Above and beyond an initial common agreement, the presence of deep motivation that surpasses token gestures and appearances is indispensable. All parties involved must have some share in reaching decisions and must therefore be able to do so within bounds of partnership that are determined beforehand to preserve the various partners' freedom in pursuing their own activities. The partnership involves representatives of such varied departments as housing and town planning, police, justice, education, vocational training, culture, health, recreation, and others, as well as representatives of the private sector in the broad sense: firstly the non-commercial “community” sector (personal help services – to young people, drug addicts, the elderly, victims, etc.), together with charitable associations, neighbourhood centres, sports clubs and the like, and secondly the “economic” sectors. Now, as noted by Faget and de Maillard 35 in their analysis of two devices for controlling incivility which illustrate the concern of municipalities to devise a new way of keeping the peace, (...) it should be clearly understood that for all institutions concerned, participation in these committees and schemes is a way of responding to the problems encountered in their own capacity and impossible for them to cope with alone. The system of exchanges has extremely pragmatic foundations (p.191).
Sound, sustainable partnerships are therefore not the product of chance but of combined efforts. Nor does that suffice, however; different contributory factors must also coincide for this result to be attainable. Before all else, the partnership must commence on sound and satisfactory terms. Constructing a new relationship on poor foundations is tantamount to building on shifting sand. From the outset, agreement must be the norm. This immediately raises question number one: agreement on what?
3.2 Steps towards setting up effective partnerships
In setting up a partnership, a phase of preliminary discussion is needed to answer any questions from the potential partners. Discussion should bear on crucial points such as the partnership's object and goals, their compatibility with the aims of the organisation outside the contemplated partnership, the involvement of the partners, the resources committed by each, the policy to be applied, the target dates, the appraisals, etc.
Several stages may be summarily described:
· stage one would be a visualisation of the future on the assumption that the projected partnership is to succeed, as a means of predicting the efforts that will be required, setting a goal to be achieved, and summoning up the necessary motivation to attain it;
· stage two is to define the objectives, having regard to the situation at the outset, the changes required to achieve the objectives, and the time it may take. This will facilitate the decision on the policy to be pursued thereafter;
· stage three is the choice of partner agencies fitted for the project, with the skills corresponding to the specific requirements of the intended partnership and the same level of competence of their representatives. An agreement must already be reached on the objectives sought. The partners should be drawn from different spheres;
· stage four is to appreciate that it is a case of group work for a single cause, not an individual project. Specifically, the collective character of the partnership is to be given official force within the group, thereby allowing the roles and inputs (financial and human resources) of all concerned to be determined. This a crucial but sometimes neglected element of partnership-building;
· stage five serves to establish the line of conduct, the action plan to be followed and the means to be employed for the purpose. Strengths, weaknesses and possible problems should be registered. It will also be necessary to plan the due dates for the assessments;
· stage six will be devoted to overall comparison of each partner's level of participation and involvement. Their responsibilities and roles will also need to be determined, as will the prescriptions and prohibitions to be observed for the pursuit and eventual termination of the partnership. Attention will be paid to the nature of the relations that bond the partnership as a unit, and to its various component structures;
· lastly, communication will receive high priority. It is crucial to understand each other within the partnership thus constituted: accordingly, agreement on vocabulary is fundamental.
3.3. The variety of forms of partnership
It is fair to say that crime-fighting policies on principles of partnership have for many years been actuated by the realisation that the crime phenomenon is multidimensional and requires a global, integrated response. However, the diversity of the national and local contexts described in the various reports presented and discussed in the Committee compels the further observation that partnership-based crime prevention policies are not conducted on a single pattern and with the same range in all states.
Varied experiences, usually recent (ie lacking hindsight), and a wide spectrum of situations presented, reveal a complexity at national level that often reflects a lack of straightforwardness in the perception of the partnerships formed.
Political action (unavoidable for a crime prevention policy) is always placed in a territorial context. Whether this is national or local, European or regional, a political decision is only applicable within given boundaries, and a political responsibility is acquired and exercised only in a demarcated area. Asking what place politics are to have in prevention thus begs the question of the territorial register of these actions. The existence of multiple territorial levels generates risks of clashes or even incoherence between these levels. When security and crime are at issue, the risk is especially significant because it is a source of vulnerability. An effort is made to remedy this through apportionment of responsibilities between levels but, in areas of such complexity, a really clear apportionment is usually not feasible as there is a valid demand for broad cross-sectoral action, so that the procedures and resources attaching to different levels will be combined in practice36.
The legal and constitutional order of the states in question largely determines the form that the partnership may take and how it is structured (possibly on more than one level) and how it functions. Much depends on the history and traditions of nations. Ph. Robert 37 already pointed this out in the general scientific report presented to the Second International Conference on Urban Safety, Drugs and Crime Prevention: Prevention can therefore be called local in “application” but requiring central-local “dialogue”. On that premise, the designation of the centre varies greatly according to the organisation of the public authorities: it tends to be the central state in unitary countries but more often the federate entities under a federal structure. The observer also notes great differences according to the more or less devolutionary tradition of state management. The local level varies even more, with priority assigned to the town, but is also encountered at a higher tier: conurbation, district, etc., or a more fragmented one: neighbourhood, area, etc. Principally, the local pole is not confined to local public authorities but, alongside and opposite these, community structures, themselves extremely varied, are often discerned. Relations between these two kinds of local agencies may be more or less complex, depending on the two partners' degree of autonomy (p. 18). Ten years on, the work of the European Forum for Urban Safety 38 continues to emphasise the importance of taking the national and local contexts into consideration because they link up with different cultures, problem areas and solutions. This is important not only when looking into the implementing arrangements for these official policies, but at the outset when the conditions for transposing successful experiences are debated.
The national reports deal with competence in respect of prevention: it is either virtually exclusive at the national level 39, or shared between the national, regional and local levels 40.
The federal structure of countries like Germany or Switzerland is accurately reflected in the organisation of policy-making on prevention: in the Cantons and the Länder there is “strategic” guidance of prevention campaigns, but even here the partnership between this level of political authority and the local authority differs: local autonomy limits the direct influence that one level can have on another 41.
Co-operation in the field of crime prevention may be expressly regulated or at the very least organised 42, if only at one level of decision (national or local): the “prevention councils”, whether national or local, with a multidisciplinary composition, are explicitly mandated to institute a policy of partnership. The “formalism” of the co-operation also varies but most often the voluntary base is the rule 43. Another aspect is the “incentive” role that an organ of prevention policy may have, considering either its level of political decision-making power or its ability to influence another level. Some reports mention mutual agreements that formalise the partnership to some extent 44; while in certain cases co-operation is a matter of personal relations founded on verbal agreements 45.
It can be seen that partnerships vary widely in their degree of formalisation. Placed on a scale, they go from one extreme to the other, from an advanced degree of bureaucratisation to informal contacts or fairly loose networks. The informal extreme is the one sometimes preferred by certain field operators for whom the act absolutely outweighs the form. Indeed, they are often discovered to have a preoccupation about possibly unproductive meetings. In another way, informal partnerships are problematic in being difficult to direct and, obviously, to assess. But this type of partnership, based on informal arrangements, has the advantage of adaptability and flexibility. Underpinned by what are usually inter-personal relationships, these partnerships are made very fragile by the often considerable rotation within the teams involved in the partnership. Partnership formalised by well-defined agreements ensures transparency and is thus an important element of democratic review of decision-making among the partners, in preventing decisions from being reached on a select group basis, outside the intended circle and bypassing formal - ie public - channels.
Establishment of partnerships with a view to enhancing crime prevention largely depends on the will of the state authorities. Most of the national reports explicitly allude to this in terms of policy initiative, but more seldom to purposive local initiative; sometimes the stimulus is given at the regional level.
Paradoxically, while some rapporteurs emphasise the counter-productiveness of making co-operation obligatory by law, others advocate it as a means of vanquishing individualist and corporatist tendencies. The only real legal provisions governing partnership that exist and are mentioned in the national reports concern exchange of information between the partners co-operating in crime prevention46.
The present-day contexts of civic action have two salient features. On the one hand there is multiplicity of the agents concerned with current management of crime or security problems. On the other hand, the relations between public authorities and non-governmental players are distinct from relations of a hierarchical kind, coming closer to more negotiated relations (which, need it be pointed out, does not signify the demise of asymmetrical power relationships). This evolution, more by way of a trend than strictly linear, may be revealed in transition from types of action dominated by consultation to universality of collective management processes 47.
4. Level of acceptance of the partnership
The level of acceptance of a partnership by the partners, the public and the media is difficult to ascertain: once again the absence of an evaluative approach relying on a tested methodology makes itself felt and calls to mind the warning already issued in 1991: if just one conclusion was to be drawn from the proceedings of the scientific committee, it would probably be that prevention programmes need to have more backing and to be evaluated more systematically. They are too often founded on an unduly cursory observation, besides which their effects are seldom assessed 48. The little that is known concerns the partners themselves: partnership is fashionable today; can one stand aloof from it without sacrilege? What emerges from some of the reports 49 is that the earlier the involvement and the stronger the encouragement for association between the partners at the various stages of the project, the more enthusiastically they will participate.
Summing up what can be inferred from the reports and the discussions which attended their presentation, it is plain that the effectiveness of the partnership, normally construed as workable co-operation because evaluation of this aspect is invariably lacking, depends on different factors:
· An important one is communication within the group of partners but also between the group and the outside world (target audience, population at large and media especially). First of all, it must be possible for the requisite information to circulate among the partners in order to optimise the chances of success. Dialogue is indispensable, as discussion can offer solutions where a single operator could not have found any; so regular, properly prepared meetings are imperative. Next, it is necessary to implement an outward-looking communication policy: production of documentation, brochures and statements intended for the media.
· Sharing points of mutual history and having a background of prior working experience with one partner or another can positively influence the satisfactory conduct of the project (also allowing useful lessons to be learned from the past).
· Adequate resources are vital, but still more their availability at the proper time. Resources may be human or financial. They must be fairly and wisely apportioned.
· The presence of a staunch, highly motivated leadership, also valued by others, is necessary to the extent that it co-ordinates the partnership.
· The decisive factor is of course the advantage/usefulness which the various partners (or those who charge the partners with joint responsibility)will find in participating in the arrangement.
· The work performed in the framework of the partnership derives its value from the diversity of those who constitute the partnership, also the source of the implementation problems: a high level of adaptability, comprehension and ability to respect others is crucial; it must be possible to overcome corporatist tendencies since the problems may originate from differences in professional outlook and working methods 50. In that perspective, Hebberecht and Duprez 51 point to the fact that managerial reforms carried out in the police, justice and other departments playing a part in the framing of a prevention and security policy often run counter to the formation of a partnership by redirecting the concerns of the professionals to their own institution.
It is important to bear in mind the goals that were sought at the inception of the partnership, in order to avoid confusions and inconsistencies in the course of work.
5. Fundraising for partnership work
Having considered the most effective means for the different members of the partnership to work together, and the degree of acceptance of the partnership system by those directly involved, the general public and the media, let us now turn to the best ways of raising money locally to fund partnership activities.
5.1 During partnership initiation
On the basis of the various statements made and the discussions with the national experts, the most important thing when a partnership is being organised is for the various partners to make available both their own human resources and their own infrastructure. It thus seems inappropriate to speak of the raising of money for the initial financing of a partnership. In practice, given that each institutional partner has, in the ordinary course of its own activities, to devote part of its budget to prevention, and particularly to crime prevention. Financial incentives might be encouraged from the beginning, although this is not always necessary for the development of activities related to partnerships. All that is needed at the very start of a partnership is the goodwill and the commitment of the various agencies involved, so that they pool their various resources to achieve the objectives and targets set for the partnership.
It thus seems that the main prerequisite for the setting up of a partnership is a genuine will among the various partners concerned to pool all their available resources, so as to try to solve the social problem concerned as effectively as possible. Any reference to the resources made available has to be interpreted in the broad sense as encompassing the respective skills and experience of each partner, know-know, staff possessing crime prevention skills, information resources and documents able to keep the other partners informed of the existing crime situation, enabling each party to target the crime problem which needs to be dealt with as accurately as it is able.
The first thing that we can therefore say is that the resources of a partnership depend firstly on the budget spent by each partner on crime prevention within the framework of its own activities. Given that crime prevention is primarily an activity for the various responsible departments of central government – those responsible for the police, the courts, education, social affairs, healthcare and culture – the initial funding of a partnership is to some extent met from the budgets of these state bodies.
What is more, since the main players in the partnership are the responsible government departments, depending on the level of centralisation or the extent to which the country has a federal structure, as well as on the crime problem being targeted, the main “sponsors” of the partnership may be not only central government, through the various ministries with a statutory duty to provide support to prevention efforts, but also the regions and/or municipalities.
When we examine the various partnership projects put forward by the national experts, we note that they relate to specific crime problems, such as the handling of stolen goods, violence against a particular group or in a specific milieu or shoplifting. Thus, in the light of both the specific problem which the partnership is intended to deal with and the private interests at stake, private institutions, such as insurance companies, banks and shops, may make a sizeable financial and/or material contribution to the partnership's activities. Their assistance will be better guaranteed, and therefore more useful, if private partners benefit from this kind of crime prevention, as clearly demonstrated by the Danish campaign against the handling of stolen goods known as “Fred's Fencing Shop” (Henrys haelerbar). During this partnership experiment, a large number of private parties co-operated closely with the partnership's activities, making not only financial contributions, but also material ones, making supplies available at lower cost and/or distributing prevention material intended for the general public. During this Danish crime prevention campaign, both institutional and private players thus successfully pooled their respective resources so as to increase public awareness of the serious problems to which the handling of stolen goods gives rise. As far as we know, this seems to be a very successful example of a partnership between institutional and private players in the crime prevention sphere.
To sum up, it is therefore possible to say that the crime prevention partnership's initial resources derive from the budget devoted to prevention issues by the various institutional and/or private players52.
5.2 During partnership operation
While, in the phase during which a partnership is being set up, the availability of financial resources is not of primary importance, as we have seen, it does become necessary during the subsequent phase of maintenance and possibly development of the partnership to structure it by setting up a management body which will be able to continue well beyond the period initially covered by the programme. While, in principle, co-operation between the various ordinary players involved in prevention costs little or nothing, as they merely pool some of their respective resources hitherto unproductively dispersed through their prevention activities, extra financial resources are clearly needed when a permanent prevention body is set up to manage and co-ordinate the activities of a partnership. Thus the question is, who will be able to finance such a body?
Having examined the national reports, we have noted that in most countries, the main funding for any prevention activity at local level is through the municipality, although specific funds allocated during particular projects acknowledged to be of public interest may come from the budget of the Ministries of the Interior, Justice, Culture, Youth, Urban Affairs or Social Affairs. As is clear from the projects described by the experts, additional resources to make the partnership permanent at local level come mainly from municipal prevention budgets, although a certain proportion of the contributions to partnership activity in the crime prevention sphere may also come from non-institutional players, mainly insurance companies, banks or shops (for example the Danish 'Fred's Fencing Shop' project). However, for the administrative management of the partnership itself and to cover the additional work done by the partners in connection with the specific partnership project, a special budget for the partnership activities of each of the partners should be established. This budget would also allow a degree of freedom to accommodate the variable nature of partnership work, thereby adding a certain stability to each partner's efforts.
It is in fact striking in the national reports that the life expectancy of such partnership projects tends to be limited, usually being between a few weeks and one year or two. It is important here to distinguish partnership projects in the field from the setting up of permanent bodies to run local partnerships. While field projects require a degree of flexibility of the partners enabling them to adapt to changing social needs, a permanent advisory body should take the form of a “local prevention council” combining the various parties involved in prevention. Beyond the action taken by the different partnerships, the local prevention council would be responsible for developing partnership action strategies, informing the authorities and the public about local partnership activities and providing the requisite resources for, and perhaps even financing, specific partnership projects.
Setting up a local prevention council requires additional funding, mainly from the municipality but also from regional and central government.
While well-organised institutions are usually called on to run crime prevention partnerships, in some cases it is ordinary people who commit themselves on a voluntary basis to conduct such a programme, one example being the Swedish project at Rinkeby School. A group of pupils' parents and residents of the neighbourhood was set up to make the school more lively and dynamic and to rid it of delinquency and violence. With very little by way of financial resources, but with a great deal of voluntary good will, a group of motivated citizens has managed to change the image of both school and neighbourhood. This is yet another example showing that crime prevention must not be left solely to public institutions, but is also a “citizen's obligation”. But although voluntary activity gives some people a vocation and leads to innovations in the crime prevention sphere, it has to be said that it rapidly reaches its limits. As we can easily understand, it is in practice always easier to bring partners together when they are remunerated, especially if an experiment lasts several months.
In short, the main source of funding for such partnerships is the state in the broad sense, almost always the municipality, and sometimes the central government itself through its various ministries or the region. However, insofar as the private sector is particularly affected by a crime problem, it may provide funds and other resources through its associations or interest groups. Where the various experiments mentioned by the national experts are concerned, the main private sources of funding have been insurance companies, banks and the distribution sector.
6. Taking stock of partnership programmes in crime prevention
Having examined the various ways of organising crime prevention partnerships, let us now take stock of crime prevention programmes which have worked best with particular partners and/or in relation to specific types of problems/offences.
Two questions have to be considered in the context of the terms of reference. The first is whether the partnership worked, in terms of co-operation between those involved, and the second is whether the partnership's prevention activities reduced the level of the crime concerned.
In other words, a distinction has to be made between the efficiency of the partnership in terms of co-operation and the effectiveness of the partnership approach in reducing crime.
A number of problems affect the search for answers to these two questions, for there has never been a scientific evaluation considering both the smooth operation of a partnership and the effectiveness of that partnership in crime reduction. Nevertheless, in the light of the numerous partnership projects tested in the countries covered by the Committee, some fairly detailed answers can be given concerning the efficiency of co-operation between partners in projects which generally tended to work well. Partners can learn some very useful and important things in their partnership projects to help them improve their own crime prevention strategies and also give others the benefit of their experience.
6.1 Evaluating co-operation between partners
The most important factor in the efficiency of co-operation is the unrestricted commitment of the various partners to pool all the necessary human resources, experience, information, material and financing so as to achieve the targets set by the partnership. The main partners in most of the examples put forward by the national experts are essentially institutional players (police and the courts, the education system, social services), with possible participation by private sector players (shops, banks, insurance companies), depending on the crime problem targeted (shoplifting, robbery, handling of stolen goods). But a partnership cannot function satisfactorily without a strong commitment by the partners, particularly the institutions concerned. There are several examples which show that a less than wholehearted commitment by the partners inevitably leads to some degree of failure, such as the campaign against violence in schools in Switzerland. On the basis of the various examples of partnerships put forward by the national experts, we have attempted to highlight the vital elements which may take a partnership to success, where co-operation is concerned.
There are several kinds of basic ingredients needed for a partnership to function properly. As the main players in a partnership are state institutions which already deal individually with crime prevention, the political authorities at every level – different authorities at a single level and different tiers of authority – must demonstrate their genuine will, on the practical plane, to embark on a partnership approach to combating crime problems and to keep up unfailing support throughout the experiment. For years Scandinavian examples have very clearly shown us the leading role that must be played by the state at central, regional and local level and by different authorities at each level in setting up partnership structures in order to prevent crime.
When considering whether a partnership has been successful, the second factor to take into consideration is the creation of mutual trust between the various partners. If there is some degree of suspicion between the different partners, the co-operation will be a sorry failure. Where partnerships are constituted to address very specific or time-limited problems it is preferable to construct them with just a few players (a maximum of 3 or 4) with whom one already has contacts, and to ask each to help to draw up a specific or tightly planned project. If a prevention project is devised by the partners together, the links between them are undeniably stronger, for the project is, so to speak, a child of their co-operation with each other. Later, when those initially involved have learned to co-operate with minimal restrictions, other players may be added to the partnership in the light of the specific needs and expertise required to deal with a specific crime problem, but of course this may require some renegotiation of the relationships among all players, old and new alike.
The third point is that it is important to select projects which allow the partnership to display all the advantages it offers in dealing with crime. In order to achieve this, the various partners should choose limited and clearly targeted projects.
Fourthly, each partner should realise that it does not have all the knowledge it needs to deal with the crime problem or problems as a whole, but that it is playing an active part in the partnership as an expert in its own specific field, on which it contributes its specific expertise. Each of the partners therefore needs to be aware that it has a specific role, and not an all-embracing one, to play in the partnership approach to crime prevention.
The fifth point is that each partner needs a certain amount of independence from its own supervisory authority when it comes to decision-taking, so that this can be done speedily to ensure that the ordinary activities of the partnership run smoothly. This independence in terms of decision-taking, however, does not mean that one partner will have any more power than another over the conduct and management of the partnership. If such a partnership is to operate smoothly, not only must there be a climate of trust between all the partners, but all decisions need to be taken in an honest manner by all the partners together. Consequently it is preferable within reason that the same persons represent the agencies for the entire duration of the partnership.
Sixthly, partnership must not be perceived as a new entity in the fight against crime, but can still be regarded as a means of co-operation between the different players involved in crime prevention. It is therefore wrong to try to institutionalise the partnership as an entity in its own right, as it must have the capacity to adapt in the light of social changes affecting both the partners and the world of crime. A partnership must be able to adapt rapidly to new situations, depending on its targets, and take on the most suitable partners, which is why it has to be flexible.
Finally, as mentioned by certain experts, prevention through partnership works better if, within that partnership, a secretariat is set up to co-ordinate and manage the project53. While the secretariat's first duty is to act as an intermediary and point of reference for the various partners, such a permanent body should be set up only in the medium term, with a view to prolonging the partnership approach.
The setting up of a permanent advisory service on prevention, of course, implies the availability of a specific budget. The question then arises as to who will provide the funding for the partnership, and what proportion their contributions will meet.
We should remember the principle that he who pays the piper calls the tune, so equality of authority in decision taking within the partnership may be seriously jeopardised if one or more of the partners makes too substantial a contribution. So in order to maintain the situation in which decisions are taken by all the partners together, it is preferable for the partnership's budget to be balanced through contributions not only from the partners themselves, but also from outside “sponsors”. Furthermore, the greater the number of sponsors, the less the risk of imbalance when decisions are taken. However, where the partnership receives outside assistance with its management and prevention activities, it is not advisable for it to be accountable for its actions to the “sponsors” concerned.
Concluding on this point, we should not forget that the success of the partnership approach to crime prevention also depends on how its usefulness is perceived by not only the public institutions (not least by colleagues of those participating in partnerships), but also by ordinary people and potential private players.
6.2. Evaluation of the effectiveness of partnerships
The second point needing to be dealt with under this heading is the effectiveness of the partnership approach in reducing crime, together with the ways used to evaluate this. As mentioned in numerous national reports, partnership projects have had a beneficial effect in terms of crime reduction in the area covered. But, as also pointed out by the national experts, there are virtually no scientific evaluations of prevention projects from the perspective of value-added from partnership approach as opposed to research on crime prevention methods, whether these are carried out by the partnerships or implemented by agencies acting alone. It is thus dogmatic to assert that crime has been dramatically reduced through a partnership approach to prevention in a particular area, especially when only the data recorded by a single department, particularly the police, are taken into account. A large number of research workers may be struck by this absence of a scientific assessment, but it is a perfect reflection of the situations which exist when a crime-reducing project or programme is begun.
A rigorous scientific assessment of major projects in future is highly desirable, so as to determine which criteria need to be met before a partnership approach to prevention can be deemed to have been effective or ineffective.
At this stage, it is a good idea to point out that the scientific evaluation of a crime prevention programme or project, particularly one run in partnership, is intended to find answers to four questions. The first is whether the stated aims of the activity have been partially or completely fulfilled and whether this achievement can reliably be attributed to this activity. And if so, the second question is were they achieved in the short, medium and/or long term? The third point, an important one, is whether there were side-effects (adverse or otherwise). The fourth question that must be investigated is whether the effects obtained could have been achieved in another way and/or less expensively.
It is only when clear replies have been given to these four fundamental questions, and not before, that it will be possible to assert convincingly and without risk of error that a given prevention programme is a good one and can therefore be extended and universally adopted, whereas another should quite simply be dropped.
7. New technologies and the partnership approach
The final matter to be dealt with in relation to the specific terms of reference concerns new technology, particularly surveillance by television cameras, and its effectiveness in crime prevention. In the view of the PC-PA committee this question should be addressed purely from the perspective of the partnership approach.
Within the framework of crime prevention partnerships, most of the national experts note that CCTV for example serves mainly to deter and detect crime and offenders. Some experts also believe that the emergence of surveillance by television cameras in public areas frustrates the development of the partnership approach, primarily based on human relations of trust and not on a technical system for preventing crime and for providing protection against outside elements.
The new technologies which can best serve partnerships are quite clearly the information technologies, such as the Internet, intranets, software for crime pattern analysis and mapping, and mobile telephony. To the extent, of course, that the partners involved undertake to co-operate with full trust, these new ways of transferring information are able to improve the operation of partnerships, insofar as any exchangeable information of use may be immediately communicated. In addition, the Internet can serve as a platform for disseminating to the public very full information about crime prevention and making practical prevention advice and ideas available through the network.
Looking beyond the local context in which the partnership approach exists, the observer is most struck by the lack of detailed information about the various experiments conducted in partnership to prevent crime. So it is highly desirable, with a view to publicising the partnership approach to crime prevention more, and subsequently developing such an approach on a sound basis, to achieve broad dissemination of the know-how acquired from the various partnership experiments and preferably reliably evaluated. In this context, the Internet seems to offer an excellent means of going beyond national intelligence limits in the partnership approach to crime prevention.
It could usefully be recommended within the committee of experts that a list of official Internet sites dealing with the matter at national level be drawn up, and perhaps that later a list of official sites covering crime prevention partnerships also be drawn up. In terms of content it is impossible to exercise any quality control over crime prevention material on the Internet as a whole but the national information for partnerships should at least establish clear quality assurance standards and procedures for their own sites.
By virtue of the Internet partnership projects can now move on from being purely local experiments involving local knowledge to becoming known worldwide, for it should not be forgotten that crime no longer stops at national borders; the sharing of experience acquired within partnerships may help in the fight against crime, and this would be another step towards international co-operation in crime prevention.
By way of conclusion we believe that the task of the governments should therefore be to create suitable conditions for the development of partnerships in the interests of all, and to foster new forms of co-operation based on mutual acceptance of differences and on inter-organisational trust54 in order to enhance the quality of community life.