28 January 2021

Updated Safer Streets toolkit released

A second ‘Safer Streets Fund’ has been announced to support PCCs in implementing situational crime prevention initiatives in areas with high levels of acquisitive crime. Our Safer Streets toolkit has been updated as a resource for those developing bids.

The scope of the fund has been expanded for the second round, and will provide funding to hotspot areas within England and Wales that are disproportionately affected by neighbourhood and acquisitive crime, including burglary, robbery, theft from the person and vehicle crime.  The broad aim of the Safer Streets Fund is to reduce neighbourhood crime making local areas safer and reducing demand on the police, enabling them to focus on higher-harm crimes. More information about the fund and applying for it can be found here.

To support the delivery of the fund we have worked with the Home Office, the Police Crime Prevention Initiative and a subject matter expert group to develop a toolkit that will support bidders to develop their plans and select appropriate interventions. The toolkit provides:

  • resources to help identify and analyse problems;

  • an evidence-based guide to the situational crime prevention tactics that can be used to tackle neighbourhood crime;

  • information on implementation considerations and lead in times for the tactics that will help to inform decision-making; and

  • case studies to provide examples of where a problem solving approach to acquisitive crime has worked well in the past.

One of the subject matter experts who contributed to the updated toolkit, Professor Andromachi Tseloni of Nottingham Trent University explains more:

"The Safer Street Toolkit identifies what works in preventing acquisitive crime, drawing upon the volume and strength of all the available academic evidence. In addition, the neighbourhood level burglary maps enable users to identify where initiatives should be targeted based upon both actual and predicted hotspots."

The updated toolkit includes more case studies taken from relevant Tilley Award entrants for 2020, additional content about use of video doorbells and a clearer indication of where there is strong evidence that an intervention works.  As the fund has been widened to include bids on robbery and theft from the person, the updated Safer Streets toolkit has focused on including evidence of what works in relation to these crimes (where it exists) from a situational crime prevention perspective. Professor Rachel Armitage of the University of Huddersfield, who supported the development of the Safer Streets Toolkit as a subject matter expert, highlights the benefits of using it as a resource when planning crime prevention activities:  

"It brings together a series of crime prevention interventions and presents them alongside research evidence on the strength of effect, the cost of implementation and other key factors such as sustainability of impact, ease of implementation and impact when combined with other interventions. It synthesises the many research studies into one easy access resource that practitioners can use to assist in crime prevention decision making."

The Safer Streets toolkit is a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in the use, implementation or evaluation of situational crime prevention initiatives to address burglary, robbery, theft from the person and vehicle crime. It is worth noting that the majority of research evidence focuses on burglary due to the place-based nature of situational crime prevention.

The Safer Streets toolkit can be accessed here.

For further information or to provide feedback on the toolkit, please email saferstreets@homeoffice.gov.uk