The future of crime prevention

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Cardiff University, as part of the Commissioned Partnership Programme, has carried out 4 primary research studies looking at how crime is continually advancing in volume and sophistication and how future crime prevention must be designed with this in mind.  A summary of these 4 studies is below.


Will smart cities be safe cities?
Urban areas across the globe are seeking to promote the idea that they can harness new 'big data' and 'Internet of Things' technologies to improve the management of a range of urban problems. Based upon documentary analysis of a large quantity of policy documents from the UK and globally on smart cities and in-depth interviews with key actors involved in urban policy development and design. The analysis focused on how public safety issues are envisioned by the designers of 'smarter' urban environments. Put another way, what are the implications for crime and policing as the internet of things is threaded into the urban fabric?
You can read more about this primary research in the Crime prevention futures briefing paper.

Domestic Violence and the DASH Risk Assessment Tool
Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is a prime example of the continuing evolution of our understanding of crime-related harms, whereby defining the boundaries of the concept of DVA and putting in place valid and reliable measures to ascertain its prevalence remains contested. Risk assessments have become an increasingly important aspect of how practitioners identify which crime risks and threats should be prioritised for prevention activity. This study is the first to consider in-depth, the implementation of risk-led policing of DVA and the DASH risk tool. The research involved an analysis of official data, police surveys, interviews and frontline observations to better understand the policing practices gravitating around the DASH risk assessment process used for DVA cases.
You can find further information about this research in the Crime prevention futures briefing paper or the full report Risk-led policing of domestic abuse and the DASH risk model.

Behavioural Crime Prevention Communications.
One way that police routinely try to prevent crime is through undertaking crime prevention advertising campaigns. Based upon a social experiment followed by a field trial in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, this study was designed to systematically test the efficacy of crime prevention advice campaigns delivered by the police.

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The social experiment exposed 1064 members of the public to different crime prevention scenarios, where the message, messenger and social psychological mechanism for prevention were systematically varied to test reactions. The field trial compared the effects of a traditional crime prevention campaign launched by the Metropolitan Police Service, with an approach informed by the results of the film experiment, designed around a cartoon cat called "CopCat'. The work was underpinned by taking established influence and persuasion behaviour change mechanisms and formatting these for the purposes of crime prevention to establish 'what works' in communicating crime prevention advice to the public. BBC News Wales published an article on the cartoon cat and how it was being used to make police warning messages more memorable and less about trying to scare people into changing their behaviour.
You can read more about this primary research in the Crime prevention futures briefing paper.

Prevent and Crime Prevention.
One of the most pressing and high profile issues currently is that of how to manage the risks of violent extremism to prevent radicalisation and terrorist violence. Reflecting the broader focus upon new modalities of crime prevention, an in-depth examination of the role of the police in Prevent was conducted based upon interviews with key stakeholders and analysis of policy documentation. This study builds upon work originally conducted for the Association of Chief Police Officers in 2010 and seeks to develop new insights into 'what works' in counter-radicalisation policy and practice. 
You can read more about this primary research in the Crime prevention futures briefing paper.

For further information or to receive updates from College What Works, please email whatworks@college.pnn.police.uk