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Delivering safer neighbourhoods: lessons from the NDC programme Reducing fear and crime in our neighbourhoods Scott Dickinson, SQWC and Richard Meegan,

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Presentation on theme: "Delivering safer neighbourhoods: lessons from the NDC programme Reducing fear and crime in our neighbourhoods Scott Dickinson, SQWC and Richard Meegan,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Delivering safer neighbourhoods: lessons from the NDC programme Reducing fear and crime in our neighbourhoods Scott Dickinson, SQWC and Richard Meegan, EIUA 30 October 2007

2 1 Structure of this presentation What we did Nature of the problem NDCs’ approaches Interventions and activities Neighbourhood-level change Working with communities and agencies Implications and conclusions

3 2 What we did Six case studies  Bradford  Knowsley  Lambeth  Newcastle  Newham  Walsall Using:  Project reviews  Data analysis >Household survey data >Police recorded crime data  Interviews and focus groups July 2006 and March 2007  Plus other research

4 3 Nature of the problem: issues and complexities Variation in levels of crime and fear of crime Crime ‘hotspots’ linked to particular geographies or communities Crimes and the geography of crime change over time Increasing profile of youth nuisance and ASB issues Relative vulnerability of younger and older people Issues relating to drugs and drug dealing Problems associated with changing populations (particularly where increases in the number of refugee and migrant communities)

5 4 NDCs’ approaches Evidence  Available data  Visible issues  Less on invisible and unreported Focus on tackling high levels of recorded crime  early interventions >vehicle crime >property related crime Tackling the fear of crime  resources for >increased police presence >neighbourhood wardens >CCTV preventative and diversionary work with young people support to victims and, in some cases, perpetrators of crime flexible use of resources to enable targeting of ‘hotspots’ agency collaboration with a focus on ‘problem solving’ …but emphasis on working within themes

6 5 Interventions and activities Improvements to local environments and public space Diversionary activities for young people Reactive interventions to tackle immediate issues, e.g. drug dealing or prostitution Crime prevention activities, e.g. improved street lighting Reassurance measures, e.g. wardens, additional police Support, information and awareness raising projects

7 6 Neighbourhood-level change Positive change since the start of the programme Across most reduction in crime and across all reduction in fear of crime  more positive for women than men  BME communities saw more positive change for quality of life and satisfaction with area indicators  overall reductions in burglary and theft, but only marginal reductions in criminal damage in three case studies and reductions in violent crime in only the two London NDCs Reductions in fear of crime lag behind actual reductions Little evidence that crime has been displaced Evidence benefits extended to surrounding neighbourhoods Linking interventions to outcomes is problematic but local evidence does suggest some plausible links between them

8 7 Working with communities and agencies Communities have had an impact by  influencing project development and highlighting issues through engagement in theme groups and projects Agencies involvement has worked with  early engagement in strategic and delivery work has been beneficial  foci for partnership working e.g. neighbourhood policing, youth diversion and neighbourhood management  multi-agency partnerships for the development of holistic approaches to crime and community safety Problems have been encountered:  difficult to engage young people  communities have not always felt comfortable working with agencies and the police on sensitive issues  need to ensure the safety/ confidentiality of community representatives  tensions between community and agencies’ priorities sometimes resulting in NDCs being 'out of step' with wider strategies and approaches

9 8 Implications and conclusions NDC resources have 'enhanced' mainstream services  additional services or flexibility in delivery which could be replicated in other neighbourhood programmes  BUT police forces are unlikely in all cases to be able to maintain current levels of service beyond NDC Safer Neighbourhoods work has focused on prevention, detection and enforcement  less emphasis on restorative justice  little evidence of interventions to support the rehabilitation of offenders Neighbourhoods (c. 10,000 pop.) are an appropriate spatial scale at which to co- ordinate interventions and address some community safety issues:  crimes against property  anti-social behaviour  youth nuisance BUT some issues require interventions beyond NDC and spatial scales  E.g. drug-related crimes which cut across a range of deprived communities

10 9 Implications and conclusions Community involvement has been critical  Communities are a key source of information  BUT they can focus on the visible and enforcement to the exclusion of the invisible and preventative Multi-agency partnerships that reach beyond the main criminal justice agencies can provide  Valuable intelligence  Mechanisms for crime prevention and project implementation  BUT scant evidence the engagement with the Probation Service or prisons (only Bradford)  AND limited evidence of systematic links with LSPs/LAAs Demolition and redevelopment might, in the short to medium term, result in increases in crime rates in particular ‘hotspots’

11 10 Implications and conclusions What we need is a strategic approach based around core themes: policing and deterrence support to victims and perpetrators education and diversion Based on a flexible “problem solving approach”, complemented by the coordinated delivery of projects. Community based partnerships have a key role in working with local communities and can broker and strengthen relationships between communities and agencies, notably the police. Communication to residents through newsletters and consultation through community forums and organisations is vital in ensuring the vitality of crime and community safety programmes. They also serve to raise the profile of interventions and provide safe conduits for residents to provide agencies with intelligence.

12 11 Implications and conclusions But these are commonly delivered by third sector agencies and evidence to date shows these projects are the least likely to be mainstreamed or attract secure funding Projects on education, family support, youth activities, community facilities and employment play a crucial role in instigating the cultural change required to sustain reductions in crime levels An asset-based strategy may not be sufficient to support social infrastructure projects which are unlikely to be adopted by mainstream service providers

13 12 Contact Scott Dickinson Associate Director SQW Consulting t. 020 7307 7152 e. w. Richard Meegan EIUA t. 020 7307 7152 e. w.

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