The traditional assumption is that the police control crime. In reality we all have a part to play - perhaps none more so than as individuals - parents, teachers, citizens. It is useful to draw a comparison here with preventive medicine. As individuals we all wash our hands in the bathroom, and teach our children to do the same; we have children inoculated against a variety of illnesses and we make full use of all the preventive medicine options available to us. But we can only do these things if central and local government create a context within which they are possible. We need a plumbing system, and local medical scheme and an option on vaccination if we are to use these facilities. They have to be provided, maintain and developed in an organised and cost effective manner and that calls for action on the part of central and local government in organising and providing the relevant services and encouraging their use. To return to crime then; while as individuals we have a responsibility to support the crime prevention effort we rely on the local and central government and the service they support to create the right context. It is in this sense that I shall be taking about responsibility in the remainder of this talk.
This is a rather different concept but I think it is crucial in getting things done. Competency refers to the individual, agency, group, with the power to change the situation. I have listed some example s on the slide. If we feel that car security is poor then it is not the police, the local authority or even the government that need to act but the car manufacturers. Similarly, if the store layout is felt to encourage crime then the store owner may have to take some action to prevent it - and many now do. And so on. I will come back to these agencies later to give some examples of what has been achieved in encouraging change over the last few years but first let me step sideways slightly and remind you about the ‘preventive process’, or what ever your preferred label for it is - basically the process through which good crime prevention initiatives are developed.
How was this achieved? In 1991 car crime accounted for 28% of recorded crime. Cars were easy to steal. Home Office published the first car theft index in 1991. It showed the risk of theft by car type. It also showed that cars with better security were less vulnerable. The publication of the car theft index concentrated the minds of the manufacturers but they did not work in partnership. Nevertheless the most recently published car theft index, published last year, shows great improvements in car security and reduced risk.
Losses were running at £150m per annum in 1990 and were rising fast. Partnership between financial institutions led to the investment of £500m in the development of more secure systems. In the shorter term improved procedures reducing card misuse at point of sale ensuring safe card delivery encouraging the public to take more care of their cards all led to significant reductions and a 41% drop from 1992 when the new procedures were coming in to 1994 when our evaluation report was published.
As many of you will know, because this is quite an old example, we looked at shop theft in Oxford Street. I might say incidentally that the beat boundary goes right up the centre of Oxford Street separately Marylebone and Vine Street divisions. This was to help in manpower and resources, but you can imagine what it did to the concept of a hot spot! We found that HMV, a small record store in Oxford Street, accounted for 43% of all arrests. Items recovered from thieves is shown on the slide. I will not go into the details of what was done, but suffice to say that the store was very reluctant to move from its policy of holding the cassettes and records live in the sleeves on the shop floor so that people could pick them up and just take them to buy. Of course many people took them, but not to buy. After a series of initiatives, the next slide shows the effect.
As you can see, arrests fell in HMV. The shop did not, however, implement the initiative measures because they thought it was a good idea or because of some altruistic social responsibility notion, but because they were told that if they did not, the police would caution all offenders arrested on the doorstep and let them go. This is what I mean by a lever. Other examples - reorganising how the costs of crime fall - car park owners and liability, hotel owners and liability, false alarms and alarm companies, Car theft Index
Sound rationale - includes being realistic, not overly ambitious, being clear how it will work - something everyone will recognise as being evidence based once those with the competency to act have been identified then those with the responsibility need to think through just how that action is going to be generated. Remember - levers can be applied at various levels - local, regional and national Some examples.
Nationally, in support, you need a structure that can hear and respond to locally identified problems Suitable levers for action being identified at national level and perhaps an environmental scanning facility to ensure that early problems are picked up.
Clarifying Responsibility for Crime and Safety Problems: Who is responsible for what? Gloria Laycock Institute of Crime Science University College London
... create a context within which we can all take responsibility for crime reduction, as individuals, as members of communities as directors of commerce and industry. This means:
Providing an efficient and effective criminal justice system
Encouraging the reporting of crime and the attendance in court of victims and witnesses
Encouraging us all to take responsibility
Ensuring that all those with the competency to contribute to crime prevention do so
Goldstein’s hierarchy of ways to shift ownership Increasingly difficult Less cooperative Bringing of a civil action Legislation mandating adoption of prevention Charging a fee for police service Withdrawing police service Public shaming Pressing for the creation of a new organization to assume ownership Engaging another existing organization Targeted confrontational requests Educational programmes Straightforward informal requests
Deciding how far to break down the car type was a major issue
Outline of the SMMT classification system for motor vehicles MAKE Ford Vauxhall Volkwagen (Approx 70 makes) MODEL Escort Cavalier Golf (Approx 290 models) RANGE Escort Mk1 Cavalier Mk1 Golk Mk1 (Approx 350 ranges) Escort Mk2 Cavalier Mk2 Golk Mk2 Escort Mk3 Cavalier Mk3 Golk Mk3 Escort Mk4 LINE 1987 1392cc Ford Escort GL Plus Mk3 (Approx 4,500 Lines) 1984 1608cc Ford Escort GL Diesel Mk3 1981 1598cc Vauxhall Cavalier L Mk2 1989 1796cc Vauxhall Cavalier GL Mk3 1979 1093cc Volkswagen Golf GL Mk1 1976 1499cc Volkswagen Golf GLS Mk1
Ford Escort Mk2 Ford Cortina Mk5 Ford Sierra MK1 Ford Fiesta Mk1 Rover Mini Ford Fiesta Mk2 Vauxhall Cavalier Mk2 Rover Metro Mk1 Ford Escort Mk3 Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Top 9 ranges in use at the end of 1989
Theft risks for the top 22 volume car ranges HIGH RISK FORD CAPRI FORD FIESTA MK1 FORD CORTINA MK4 FORD GRANADA MK2/3 FORD CORTINA MK5 VAUXHALL ASTRA MK2 FORD ESCORT MK 2 MEDIUM RISK (SELECTED RANGES) BMW 300 SERIES ROVER MAESTRO FORD ESCORT MK3 ROVER METRO FORD FIESTA MK2 ROVER MINI FORD GRANADA MK4 ROVER MONTEGO FORD ORION MK1 VAUXHALL ASTRA MK1 FORD SIERRA MK1 VAUXHALL CAVALIER MK1 FORD SIERRA MK2 VAUXHALL CAVALIER MK2