Australian Institute of Criminology

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Crime prevention and communities: Social and environmental strategies for safer neighbourhoods

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
4-5 June 2012


The Australian Institute of Criminology held an international conference on Crime Prevention and Communities at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre on 4 and 5 June 2012.

Australian and International speakers will discuss social and environmental projects and programs; urban and community planning and safety; crime prevention and safety in indigenous communities; and the design development, implementation and evaluation of crime prevention programs.

While crime prevention is a growing field within the disciplines of criminology, urban planning, sociology and evaluation, practitioners in these areas would benefit in exploring the following themes:

  • How local government, policing and not for profit sector practitioners plan, build and sustain crime prevention projects.
  • The exchange of knowledge and skills development – including using research in practice and learning from the experience of others.
  • How project designers and local communities measure effectiveness – including designing, implementing, interpreting and applying the results of performance measurement and evaluation work
  • Ensuring maximum benefit from working in partnerships and collaborative arrangements – including leading and participating in complex projects

This conference presents an opportunity for those crime prevention practitioners, police, urban planners, non-government organisations and policy makers to come together and advance the knowledge and thinking around this burgeoning – and successful – area of community safety and security.

International speakers include:

  • Juma Assiago (Safer Cities, UN-Habitat)
  • Jon Bright (Director, Homelessness and Support, Department of Communities and Local Government, UK)
  • Mike Scott (Clinical Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School, US)

Australian speakers include:

  • Ms Sharon Payne (Consultant on Indigenous community safety)
  • Dr Rick Brown (Deputy Director, Research, AIC)
  • Professor Ross Homel (Director, Griffith Institute for Social and Behavioural Research)
  • Annette Michaux (General Manager, Social Policy and Research, The Benevolent Society)

Major sponsor

NSW attorney General & Justice

Attorney-General's Department

City of Sydney

Keynote presentations

Lessons learned from the international experience of the Safer Cities Programme and the development of the Global Network on Safer Cities

Juma Assiago, UN-HABITAT (Kenya)

The growing feeling of insecurity and the increasing violence that city dwellers are experiencing are major challenges to the sustainability of cities around the world. Key elements of the UN-Habitat Safer Cities Programme are prevention policies for building safe communities, and for supporting and developing inclusive mechanisms and processes. This presentation gives an international review of the experiences of local governments working with the Safer Cities Programme over the past 15 years to develop city crime prevention and urban safety strategies. It will focus in particular on the safer cities methodology of municipal intervention and adaptation of the approach to specific cities around the world, emphasizing tools and processes as well as lessons learned from practice that can inform the development of the Global Network on Safer Cities.

Mr Assiago is a social scientist with a background in management and sociology who works as a Human Settlements Officer on Urban Safety and Sustainable Development with UN-HABITAT. He joined the Safer Cities Programme of UN-HABITAT in 1999, assisting governments and other city stakeholders to build capacities at the city level to address urban insecurity and to contribute to the establishment of a culture of prevention in developing countries. He has coordinated processes and technically supported various international youth crime prevention programs and governance initiatives. His main thematic area of focus is on youth crime and delinquency in cities. Mr Assiago has also participated and presented papers in several international conferences on youth and child empowerment. He is also currently involved in developing the Global Network on Safer Cities (GNSC) as part of the strategic planning process of the Safer Cities Programme, an element of which is defining the key role of the police in urban development. Mr Assiago is currently pursuing a post graduate degree in sustainable urban development at Oxford University.

Implementing crime prevention responses

Michael Scott, Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (US)

One would think that figuring out what to do about crime would be the hardest part and although it is difficult, moving even a good plan from the drawing board to action often proves even more difficult than imagined. Crime prevention initiatives can fail to achieve their intended results for a number of reasons and the failure of proper implementation is among the most common. Drawing upon the guidebook, Implementing Responses to Problems, co-authored by the presenter and Rick Brown, the Deputy Director of Research at the Australian Institute of Criminology, this session will present ideas for enhancing the likelihood that crime prevention plans will be properly implemented so as to maximise the possibility of their achieving positive results.

Michael Scott is the Director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing and a Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School in the United States.

‘We Tell U True’—the blocks and benefits of Indigenous community-based crime prevention

Sharon Payne, Aboriginal ‘Clan’: Badjula

It is easy to get carried away with the ideal of crime prevention initiatives owned and operated by ‘the community’ but the reality can be very different. Indeed there are certain criteria that must be met in order to overcome obstacles inherent in what is essentially a ‘design by committee’ model (in other words, a compromise between vested interests).

This presentation looks at some of the trials and tribulations of community-based programs that have little to do with tradition and culture (although some basic differences do matter), and more to do with meeting the emotional and social needs of the players. From development of an idea to the delivery of services, where good intentions are as harmful as other motives and the road to hell is probably less fraught, overcoming these obstacles within Aboriginal communities is never straightforward or formulaic but the benefits are worth it.

Sharon Payne’s original brush with academia was as the first Aboriginal student at the University of Queensland under the Whitlam government’s new Aboriginal Tertiary Assistance Scheme. Although later transferring to ‘Arts’ (from the B SocWk), she maintained her interest in psychology (and anthropology/biology) and combined them with a law degree some twenty years later.

Sharon joined the Commonwealth Public Service in the mid 1980s originally working at DAA, then ATSIC. While working in the ACT Public Service, she established the Aboriginal Justice Centre to fill a gap for crime prevention services. Sharon was the CEO of two Aboriginal Legal Services, in southeastern New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory and the Darwin region, before establishing private law firm and winning the contract for the provision of Indigenous legal services to the whole Top End.

Community approaches to crime prevention: How non-profit organisations can help turn the curve

Annette Michaux, The Benevolent Society

Policy-makers are looking increasingly to the non-profit sector for help in tackling some of our most pressing social issues—in particular, issues affecting disadvantaged communities such as poverty, housing stress and difficulties relating to employment and educational attainment.

Many initiatives put in place to address these social problems are strongly linked to crime prevention but are often framed outside this paradigm. The presentation will look at how our fragmented way of working gets in the way of sharing what we learn across sectors and organisational boundaries.

Non-profit organisations often work at the coalface, which means they have insights about the implementation of policy initiatives and ways to improve it.

In this presentation a non-profit perspective on crime-proofing communities will be explored, as well as local and systemic strategies for bringing together our collective efforts.

Annette Michaux is General Manager, Social Policy and Research, at The Benevolent Society, one of Australia’s large non-profit organisations whose purpose is to create caring and inclusive communities and a just society. Annette’s role at The Benevolent Society is to oversee strategy and planning, promote the use of evidence-informed practice and drive research and social policy.

With a professional background in social work and adult education, Annette has held a number of senior policy and operational positions in both government and non-profit organisations. She was Head of the NSW Child Protection Council and a member of the senior policy team at the NSW Commission for Children and Young People. Earlier in her career, Annette worked as a child welfare officer and ran a large inner-city community centre in Sydney.

Annette is involved in several boards and committees including the Australian Social Policy Association and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth’s Knowledge Brokering Network. She recently co-edited the book Bridging the Know-Do Gap: Knowledge Brokering to Improve Child Wellbeing.

From small-scale good to large scale program implementation: Successful UK crime prevention

Jon Bright, Department of Communities and Local Government (UK)

Drawing on his work on crime prevention, social exclusion and neighbourhood renewal, Jon will set out what he sees as the two big challenges facing those who believe in the value of prevention and early intervention. The first refers to the difficulty of persuading governments to roll out tried and tested prevention programs at scale. The second deals with the task of making sure local programs really succeed. He will draw on evaluations and new thinking in the United Kingdom to suggest how we might best respond. He will include a summary of lessons learned from the last UK Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy

Jon Bright is a Senior Civil Servant with the UK Government. He is currently Director of Homelessness, Housing Support, Sustainable Buildings and Climate Change in the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Prior to taking up this post, Jon was Regional Director of the Government Office for the South West. Before that, he worked as a Director at Birmingham City Council, on secondment from central Government. From 1998–2007, he was responsible for implementing the Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal strategy and served as Deputy Director of the Social Exclusion Unit in the Cabinet Office.

Before joining the Civil Service, Jon was Director of Operations for Crime Concern, a national charity set up by the Home Office in 1989. During the 1980s, he set up the Safe Neighbourhood Unit, a NACRO/Local Government initiative in London. He is the author of two books and numerous publications on crime prevention and neighbourhood renewal. He is currently a member of a Commission set up by the Bishop of Birmingham to tackle social exclusion in the UK’s second largest city.

Reinventing developmental prevention: Lessons from the Pathways to Prevention Project

Professor Ross Homel AO, Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, Griffith University

Developmental or early prevention involves the organised provision of resources to individuals, families, schools or communities to forestall the later development of crime or other problems. The basic idea is to ‘get in early,’ before problems emerge or become entrenched, an idea for which there is a growing scientific foundation. However, despite the fact that early crime prevention has been prominent in the policy landscape since the turn of the century in Australia, the field locally is in disarray. It is blighted by inadequate attention to evidence-based practice, ineffective governance arrangements and above all, by a poverty of intellectual imagination and political understanding that has led to tokenistic investment in short-term projects that add little to the body of scientific knowledge or to the capacity for sustainable practice. Drawing on experience over the past 10 years with the Pathways to Prevention Project in a disadvantaged region of Brisbane, as well as on international developments in prevention and implementation sciences, this paper sets out my understanding of how effective systems for the delivery of evidence-based developmental prevention can be created for very socially disadvantaged communities. Such delivery systems—essential for sustainable, large-scale prevention—are founded on good governance, evidence-based practice and community capacity. These principles are illustrated by reference to the Pathways Model of Collaborative Preventive Practice, a prevention delivery model that has emerged from the Pathways Project and which is designed to strengthen the developmental system and foster positive child and youth outcomes, including reductions in rates of involvement in antisocial behaviour and crime.

Professor Ross Homel AO is Foundation Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia and Director of the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance. He has served as Director of the Griffith Institute for Social and Behavioural Research; Head of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice; a Commissioner of the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission; and in 2003 worked with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth to establish a research network to promote child wellbeing. He is a former Board member and Vice-President of the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and former member of the Academy executive committee and has won numerous awards for his research on crime and crime prevention. He has published three monographs and six edited books on crime and violence prevention, as well as more than 120 peer-reviewed papers and numerous high impact government reports. His accomplishments were recognised in January 2008 when he was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) ‘for service to education, particularly in the field of criminology, through research into the causes of crime, early intervention and prevention methods’. In May 2008, he was recognised with an award from the Premier of Queensland as a ‘Queensland Great’, ‘for his contribution to Queensland’s reputation for research excellence, the development of social policy and justice reform and helping Queensland’s disadvantaged communities’. In December 2008, he was shortlisted for 2009 Australia of the Year, in 2009 he received a Distinguished Service Award for Alumni, Macquarie University and in 2010, won the Sellin-Glueck Award for criminological scholarship that considers problems of crime and justice as they are manifested outside the United States.

The Australian Crime Prevention Program

Mark Burgess, Australian Police Federation

In the lead up to the 2010 Federal Election, the Police Federation of Australia (PFA), on behalf of its 55,000 members sought commitments from all major political parties to:

…introduce an Australian Crime Prevention Program of innovative grants to police/community partnerships to address crime, including a crime prevention stream specifically devoted to Indigenous communities.

The PFA called for a national crime prevention strategy and an enduring national crime prevention program. We argued that there should be a police-centred, sustained national approach to crime prevention led and resourced by the Australian Government, with focus on the Australian Government’s priorities as established from time to time in program guidelines.

The presentation will outline the commitments given by each of the political parties and what has happened since 2010 including the issue of the use of proceeds of crime.

Mark Burgess joined the NSW Police in 1988. He has worked in general duties policing, intelligence, beat policing and liquor licensing work. In 1996, he was promoted to Sergeant as a District Licensing Co-ordinator for the then Upper Hunter District which encompassed the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. Shortly after Mark was transferred to the Royal Commission Implementation Unit at Police HQ in Sydney, he became the liaison officer between NSW Police and the NSW Police Association (where he was the Deputy President) on all reform issues flowing from the Royal Commission.

In May of 1998, he was elected President of the NSW Police Association. In December 2000, Mark moved to his current role as Chief Executive Officer of the Police Federation of Australia. In this role, Mark is responsible for the coordination of national issues across the eight state, territory and federal police associations/unions on behalf of their 56,000 members. Mark has a Bachelor of Social Science (Justice Studies) from Newcastle University and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Charles Sturt University. He was awarded the Australia Police Medal in the 2007 Queens Birthday Honours list.

Concurrent session 1a—Knowledge and skills development and exchange

Apartment living in the 21st century— CPTED challenges in creating a sense of neighbourliness

Mr John Maynard, Senior Project Coordinator Safe City, City of Sydney

Proponents of second generation CPTED have argued that safer more liveable communities need to look beyond the physical aspects of place toward a better understanding of what we might call home and neighbourhood. Urban consolidation policies advanced by higher levels of government that focus on more people living closer to city or regional centres along transport corridors have given rise to a rapid increase in demand for high-rise apartment dwellings. Arguably, fundamental notions of what we might term a ‘sense of neighbourliness’ or the habits and behaviours of and between residents have had their base in more traditional housing typologies. The presentation will highlight some of the challenges facing the City of Sydney as the consent authority in assessing the kinds of social environments developers in high density apartment living areas are aiming to encourage, or at the very least, consider in the creation of vibrant, integrated, self-policing and sustainable communities.

Neighbourhood structure and crime prevention: The case of Narmak in Tehran

Morteza Mirgholami, Assistant Professor of Urban Design, Tabriz Islamic Art University

Creating safe urban neighborhoods and preventing crime through environmental design (CPTED) have featured increasingly during the last couple of decades in urban design literature and have been reflected in the writing of scholars such as Jane Jacobs, Oscar Newman, C. Ray Jeffery and Alice Coleman. The models have been complemented by, and extended in, new approaches such as DICE (design improvement controlled experiment) and space syntax theory. This paper, based on the principles of CPTED and space syntax theory, examines how the design and grid structure of the Narmak neighborhood in Tehran (designed in 1951) correlates with social surveillance and community bonds and the reduction of potential crimes and robberies.

The presentation will argue that in Narmak cul-de-sacs and less integrated lines, as typical elements of Islamic cities, in combination with several semi-public squares, have increased the potential for natural surveillance, a sense of ownership and recognition of strangers. The different methods used—such as space syntax maps, observation, surveys and interviews with residents—will be presented, as well as some police statistics on crime and domestic burglary.

The paper suggests that, besides the social profile of Narmak—that is, its class and identity—it is its urban structure and features such as access lines, connectivity, density, combination/clustering of residential units, lot patterns and connection of public–private spatial boundaries that contribute to natural surveillance and the prevention of crime in Narmak. The paper concludes that to achieve naturally safe urban neighborhoods two issues need to be revisited: the original idea of ‘safety via eyes’ on the street and sensitivity to social and cultural difference among societies.

Street Spirit: A look at passive surveillance impact on crime rates in Sydney’s urban layout

Ms Kim Wan, Research Assistant, Designing Out Crime Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney

Rohan Lulham, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Designing Out Crime Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney

Dr Lindsay Asquith, Research Officer, Designing Out Crime Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney*

This research explores the use of space syntax to evaluate the crime prevention effectiveness of Sydney’s street layouts, particularly the role of passive surveillance in this capacity. Does the encouragement or discouragement of pedestrian traffic through neighbourhoods help, hinder or have no relationship with specific types of crime? What type of neighbourhood layout appears to have greater success with preventing crime and which layout types don’t? While existing studies extol the virtues of passive surveillance in preventing crime, other studies refute this claim with findings that in several circumstances the opposite is in fact true.

A sample of Sydney’s street networks chosen for variation in morphological characteristics are analysed using Hillier’s space syntax framework and overlaid with recent crime hotspot data, and land use zoning to identify location types at risk for concentrations of specific crime types based on their degree of isolation or integration. The methodology to be detailed seeks to inform future decisions for planning authorities and developers alike regarding design of street network layouts, land use zoning and urban design guidelines around location types at risk.

Concurrent session 1b— Planning and implementing crime prevention work

Scaling-up community coalitions for evidence-based youth crime prevention

Mr Brian Bumbarger, Director, Evidence-based Prevention and Intervention Support Center (EPISCenter), Prevention Research Center, Penn State University

Mark Greenberg PhD, Director, Prevention Resarch Center, Penn State University*

Mark Feinberg PhD, Research Associate, Prevention Research Center, Penn State University*

Brittany Rhoades PhD, Research Associate, Prevention Research Center, Penn State University*

Julia Moore PhD, Implementation and Evaluation Specialist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Translation Institute*

A risk-focused delinquency prevention model has been implemented in communities across the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. The model mobilises communities in a data-driven strategic planning process to plan, build and sustain youth crime prevention efforts. This initiative has led nearly 200 communities to strategically adopt and implement a diverse menu of evidence-based programs (EBPs) targeting youth crime. In two large cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, communities using this strategy showed significantly lower rates of delinquency and youth drug use, higher levels of school engagement, better academic achievement and greater fidelity and sustainability of their youth crime prevention projects. Further analysis found that counties adopting these EBPs have also seen significant reductions in costly residential delinquency placements, representing a significant return on the investment of scarce public resources.

Begun by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the initiative has grown into a multi-agency effort including the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Education, and Public Welfare and the creation of a dedicated centre to promote the greater use of evidence-based delinquency prevention approaches. We will describe Pennsylvania’s approach to reducing youth crime, including the vital role of community coalitions and research demonstrating its impact and cost-effectiveness. We will discuss lessons learned and remaining challenges to bridging the gap between prevention and implementation science and population-level youth crime reduction.

The importance of context and theory in the implementation of effective local government crime prevention strategies

Ms Hayley Boxall, Research Officer, Australian Institute of Criminology

An important component of the evidence-based approach to crime prevention is the selection of a response based on an understanding of the problem being addressed and its underlying causes, and the context in which a strategy will be delivered. However, understanding crime prevention theory and in particular, how an intervention brings about change (its mechanism/s) is also a key consideration in the design of effective local strategies. Identifying the mechanisms that underpin interventions that have been evaluated and the context in which they have previously been implemented, can better inform the effective replication and adaptation of crime prevention strategies. It helps us to understand why a strategy was or wasn’t successful, why it may have been effective in one scenario but not another and what is needed to make it work again.

The Australian Institute of Criminology recently completed a systematic review of crime prevention interventions to identify strategies that were supported by evidence of effectiveness and that are suitable for implementation by local government. This paper will describe some of key findings identified from this review, specifically as they relate to strategies targeting stealing from motor vehicle and stealing from retail store offences. A number of case studies will be used to illustrate these findings. This research highlighted a number of lessons for the implementation of crime prevention strategies by local government, the relevance of theory to local government crime prevention and the value of understanding the context in which a local strategy is being delivered.

‘We’re not Batman’—The role of local government community safety officers in New South Wales

Mr Garner Clancey, Deputy Director, Sydney Institute of Criminology

Many local authorities now routinely assume some responsibility for crime prevention. Much of this work is managed by Community Safety Officers (or related titles). To date, there has been limited analysis of, or commentary on, these roles, especially in New South Wales, Australia, where CSOs have been deployed by some local governments since the late 1980s. In an attempt to address the knowledge gap, this research involved conducting a focus group with 13 NSW local government CSOs (from 12 councils) and reviewing 10 CSO job or position descriptions. From this data, it emerged that local government CSOs undertake a wide variety of tasks and feel considerable pressure to be ‘everything to everybody’. Specifically, key tasks and responsibilities relate to preventing crime in the built environment, devising and coordinating social crime prevention programs, developing crime prevention (and associated) plans and hosting and participating in inter-agency committees. Despite some similarities, there are significant differences in the work and working arrangements of CSOs across council boundaries. Position titles, position descriptions and practices vary greatly from area to area, often reflecting the different sections within local government where these positions are located. These structural local arrangements can significantly influence the nature of the work conducted and expectations of the roles. Increased clarity about their roles and relationships with state (and federal) government organisations, increased resourcing and greater access to professional development opportunities will go some way to enhancing the effectiveness of these roles. The recent establishment of the NSW Local Government Community Safety and Crime Prevention Network holds promise in supporting the work of CSOs, advocating for improvements and stimulating greater research into the work undertaken by CSOs.

Concurrent session 1c— Ensuring maximum benefit from working in partnerships and collaborative arrangements

Sharing the evidence: A model for evaluation capacity building within the primary prevention of violence against women

Ms Kiri Bear, Senior Project Officer, VicHealth

In 2008, VicHealth funded five primary prevention of violence against women projects over three years with a view to building the evidence base on effective practice in this emerging field.

The five projects covered a range of settings (including community health, local government, corporations, faith-based organisations) and target groups (such as first time parents, young people, employees and the broader community). Each project has been supported to conduct a thorough evaluation of their activities within a model of evaluation capacity building led by a VicHealth Research Practice Leader, leading to the production of five evaluation reports.

Benefits of the evaluation capacity building model include:

  • the production of high-quality evaluation reports on each of the five funded projects;
  • the close working relationship, characterised by trust and communication, that developed between Vichealth and the partner organisations; and
  • the development of a community of practice where partner organisations could learn from each others’ practice and evaluation experiences.

Our experience with these five projects has shown that primary prevention of violence against women projects are most effective when:

  • they aim to address the determinants of violence against women;
  • they deliver multiple, mutually reinforcing strategies across individual, community and societal levels;
  • they engage stakeholders and build strong partnerships over an extended period of time; and
  • they are supported to carry out thorough planning and evaluation.

This presentation will outline key elements of the evaluation capacity building model, share things we learned through the process and discuss practical strategies for the evaluation of prevention programs.

Good governance for effective crime prevention implementation

Professor Peter Homel, Principal Criminologist (Crime Prevention), Australian Institute of Criminology

Governance refers to the processes and systems by which societies or organisations make their important decisions, determine who has a voice and who will be engaged in the process, and how account is to be rendered. The word relates to older English and French notions of ‘steering’, and can be contrasted with the traditional top-down approach of governments driving or controlling society. Good governance combined with strong and consistent leadership provides the framework within which evidence based crime prevention policies and programs can flourish.

The coherent, cohesive and productive implementation of crime prevention policies and programs requires the exercise of power in the form of legitimate authority and the application of knowledge and resources to achieve goals that are often contested. Achieving good governance is about how well power is exercised, but it is important to recognise that power in society is distributed in complex ways that can give rise to unintended consequences.

The complexity of these power relationships is further amplified when policies and programs are designed and implemented through partnership arrangements, something which is very characteristic of modern crime prevention work. Partnerships represent a sustained commitment to cooperative action to achieve a common objective. The exact nature of what a ‘sustained commitment’ represents in a partnership will vary depending upon the complexity of issues, the players involved, the political and cultural backdrop, the resources available and so on.

This presentation examines the valuable lessons to be learned about good governance for effective crime prevention implementation by using the experience of a number of significant programs undertaken overseas and in Australia over the past 15 years. Some of these lessons include the importance of linkages between local activities and partnerships and central resources and policy units; the centrality of strong leadership and shared goals; and the necessity of adequate resources and support systems provided for a sufficiently long period to achieve sustainable change. It is argued that adherence to five key governance principles is essential for successful crime prevention partnerships. In the context of the exercise of power, these principles relate to legitimacy and voice, direction/strategic vision, performance (including monitoring and reporting), accountability and fairness.

At an organizational level, good governance for effective implementation of evidence-based programs revolves around structures and arrangements that support staff recruitment, training, coaching and performance evaluation. Essential elements of such arrangements include decision support data systems, facilitative administrative supports and external system settings that support the work of practitioners (such as enlightened policies and adequate funding).

By using examples of crime prevention initiatives that have been both more and less successfully implemented throughout the world, it is demonstrated how a policy or program manager might go about identifying and applying good governance systems and maximise prospects for successful and sustainable implementation.

Maximising the potential of crime prevention partnerships with the private sector

Tomas Lopata, Assistant Director General, Crime Prevention Division, Department of Attorney General and Justice

Hanna Mohamad, Senior Policy and Project Officer, Crime Prevention Division, Department of Attorney General and Justice

Ian Seed, National Investigation Manager, Woolworths

The implementation of crime prevention initiatives can greatly benefit from the establishment of strategic partnerships with the private sector. The private sector is both a victim of crime and an equally significant stakeholder in capital investment for the prevention of crime. For example, within the retail environment, the Global Retail Theft Barometer reported that in 2011 global shrinkage reached an all-time high at $119b. At the same time, expenditure on loss prevention activity by retailers also rose to a significant $28.3b.

The Crime Prevention Division has been working closely with a range of private sector agencies including the Insurance Council of Australia, Hardware Association of New South Wales and retail organisations from the Australian Retailers Association through to retailers such as Woolworths and Myer, in response to a range of property crimes such as break and enter dwelling, payment fraud and retail crime. The establishment of these partnerships has been of mutual benefit to the government and the private sector. It has allowed for the coordinated sharing of information and experience, concentration of resources and investment in innovation. The Crime Prevention Division has been impressed by the commitment of its private sector partners in working together and sharing information across sectors, and even between competitors, for achieving common crime prevention aims.

This paper will consider:

  • the advantages in engaging private sector stakeholders at the inception/early development of strategies;
  • suggested ways of developing these partnerships; and
  • the benefits to both government and the private sector in establishing these partnerships.

Concurrent session 2a—Knowledge and skills development and exchange

National Crime Prevention Framework—Promoting good practice and effective approaches in preventing crime

Superintendent Dan Keating, Policing Advancement Branch, Queensland Police Service

The National Crime Prevention Framework was prepared by the AIC for the Australian and New Zealand Crime Prevention Senior Officers’ Group (CPSOG) and endorsed by the Standing Council on Police and Emergency Management in November 2011. The framework outlines the most effective approaches to the prevention of crime. It describes a range of possible roles and functions for state/territory and national governments for the effective delivery of crime prevention activity in Australia.

The framework aims to assist a coordinated approach to addressing crime issues including new and emerging crime problems, as well as promote an improved level of collaboration between jurisdictions. It provides guidance to all jurisdictions to assist with the development of successful crime prevention strategies by promoting principles of good practice and effective approaches to preventing crime. It also encourages increased commitment to crime prevention at all levels of government and across different sectors, while guiding the allocation of crime prevention resources to achieve the greatest impact.

The AIC worked closely with the CPSOG to identify a number of priority areas for crime prevention. These include alcohol-related violence, improving the safety of young people and Indigenous communities, preventing child abuse and neglect and reducing violence against women.

This paper will discuss the principles for good practice, requirements for effective crime prevention and priority areas as outlined in the framework to reinforce the important role that crime prevention policy and practice plays in addressing crime and safety issues of national importance.

The use of evidence in crime prevention planning: A framework to guide decision making

Mr Anthony Morgan, Principal Research Analyst, Australian Institute of Criminology

An important principle underpinning effective crime prevention is a commitment to evidence-based decision making. This involves the practical application of research and evaluation findings in the development and implementation of measures to reduce crime. Faced with the expectation that decisions will be made based upon the latest and best available evidence, practitioners are required to demonstrate that the accumulated evidence base has been used to design projects that can prevent local crime problems. But what other factors influence decision making? How are decisions about what to do actually made? What types of evidence do practitioners use? How much influence does the accumulated evidence base have in the planning process? And on what basis can new and innovative projects be supported when there is no research evidence?

This paper will present the findings from research into the use of evidence by local government and community-based organisations and the processes through which new interventions are developed. The range of factors that can or should influence the decision-making process when planning crime prevention projects will be highlighted, as will some of the barriers that limit the use of evidence. The presentation will end by describing a framework that aims to help guide practitioners through the process of deciding what to do and integrate evidence-based thinking into the decision-making process.

Local government community safety and crime prevention network: A practice based approach to communication

Miss Rebecca Sinclair, Youth and Community Safety Officer, Burwood Council

Claudia Guajardo, Community Safety and Crime Prevention Officer, Fairfield City Council

Margaret Southwell, Community Development Officer Safety and Crime Prevention, Bankstown City Council

Local government is a key stakeholder in the development and implementation of crime prevention programs, yet staff often work in isolation and until recently, had limited opportunities for professional development. Not all councils employ an officer focused on community safety or crime prevention; some manage multiple portfolios while other councils employ a team of workers to address the complex and changing ideas of what constitutes community safety and the management of public space.

In 2009, a grassroots initiative was started by Community Safety Officers called the ‘Local Government Community Safety and Crime Prevention Network’. The network was created by workers, for workers, primarily to provide an avenue for the exchange of information. The network now aims to:

  • provide mechanisms to disseminate available knowledge about crime prevention practice and research;
  • advocate for and assist in the delivery of practical professional development opportunities within the crime prevention workforce;
  • facilitate improved program evaluation practice;
  • provide advocacy avenues for practitioners at a local, state and federal level on key issues relating to funding, policy and service provision; and
  • promote a multidisciplinary approach to community safety and crime prevention management through the promotion of partnerships amongst relevant agencies and networks.

This presentation discusses the role of the network in the exchange of knowledge and skills between local government workers, identifies the potential use of the network in implementing a research in practice approach and highlights how a collaborative initiative can build from grass roots into a representative body.

Concurrent session 2b— Planning and implementing crime prevention work

The Manly safety committee: A community model for managing alcohol-related violence

Dr Malcolm Edward Pearse, District Manager, Probation and Parole Service, Dee Why

Ms Leanne Martin, Community Safety Coordinator, Manly Local Council*

The Manly Safety Committee of the Manly Local Council has initiated, planned and implemented crime prevention projects in the Manly central business precinct for over twenty years. As a consequence, it provides a sustainable institutional model for how communities can design and execute crime prevention projects. Its key focus has been the prevention and management of alcohol-related crime in the Manly Corso precinct. But it also plays a prominent role in maintaining the broad safety agenda for residents, visitors, pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and others.

The Committee essentially relies on representation of the key stakeholders for community safety (Council, Police, community, hoteliers, and other government and community services representatives) combined with co-operation between parties whose interests are often separate and conflicting. But it has also developed plans, accords and agreements to institute further structure and protocol. The social, political, economic and institutional dimensions of the model are explored to identify critical dynamics and success factors that have contributed to its durability and effectiveness.

Key elements in the success of the Committee have been its prominence, representation, consensus, frequent meetings, links between community, agencies and policy-makers, and its and ability to generate pressure to solve problems and co-ordinate community services.

U-turn: From start to finish

Ms Margaret Southwell, Community Development Officer, Safety and Crime Prevention, Bankstown City Council

Sarah Rees, Crime Prevention Officer, City of Canterbury

Local government is in the best position to implement crime reduction strategies due to the localised nature of many crimes and antisocial behaviour. As practitioners in the local government sector, there is an increased pressure to stay on top of research and implement best practice projects. But what are the challenges in taking a project run successfully in one location and implementing it in another? How do we identify the key elements that make a project successful?

In 2010, Bankstown and Canterbury Council embarked on a partnership to tackle the growing problem of juvenile involvement in motor vehicle theft across their local government areas. After conducting research into social and situational best practice approaches, a program run in Tasmania, ‘U-Turns for Youth’, was selected as a social intervention model to be implemented locally. The ‘U Turns for Youth’ program aimed to deter at-risk young people from committing motor vehicle crimes through providing vocational education options in the automotive mechanics industry. Further, the project aimed to address young people’s criminogenic factors such as peer relations, substance abuse, self esteem, self discipline and teamwork.

This presentation will critically review the process of planning and implementing a scaled down ‘U-Turns for Youth’ program in South Western Sydney and the challenges of building collaborative and equal partnerships, as well as provide insight into some of the lessons we learned along the way.

Empowering community organisations to prevent crime

Ms Jodi Cornish, Community Engagement Coordinator, Neighbourhood Centre

Good law is about strong community. In 2009, the Neighbourhood Justice Centre, Melbourne, Australia, entered into a formal partnership with the local City of Yarra Council to deliver Community Justice Grants. The grants are for up to $10,000 and are aimed at providing funding for local not-for-profit organisations to continue and further their crime prevention and early intervention initiatives.

Since 2009, this partnership has funded over 30 projects implemented by local community groups and agencies. Projects span films on legal rights, ‘reclaiming space’ through environmental design at primary schools, anger management for intravenous drug users and driving information for newly arrived African women.

This presentation outlines the development of the Neighbourhood Justice Centre/City of Yarra partnership, the criteria for project grants and the operation of the community assessment panel. The presentation shows how capacity to provide local crime solutions can occur through creating dialogue within the community about crime prevention and early intervention. Stories of the organisation and the recommendations from an independent review of the grants project will also be shared.

Concurrent session 2c—Ensuring maximum benefit from working in partnerships and collaborative arrangements

Community and environment project Mt Druitt: A partnership between Housing New South Wales, UWS and UTS

Dr Olga Camacho Duarte, Postdoctoral Fellow, Designing Out Crime Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney

Inter-agency collaborations for community development, urban renewal and crime prevention have increasingly gained relevance in the Australian context. The assumption that collaborations facilitate the achievement of a common goal makes good sense; however, in practice partnerships are highly complex. The Community and Environment Project (CEP) is a partnership between two universities and Housing New South Wales. It aims to invigorate Mt Druitt housing estates by addressing community development through design-led initiatives including socially responsive design and design for crime prevention.

This paper describes the experience from the perspective of the staff engaged in the partnership and discusses how having a design-led approach to projects has influenced the work of the partnership. Qualitative interviews with staff involved in the CEP revealed how they see their roles, how they understand design-led projects and how they assess the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. This presentation discusses the perceptions of people who have worked in this partnership in an attempt to internalise and reflect on its origin, and the work, dialogues and communication of its first year.

The findings reveal that the CEP has dealt with the common complexities of working in partnerships and still is trying to find a workable balance. However, that this partnership has an element of design that is highly visual, contextual and driven by established design processes, allows for outcomes that are targeted, tangible and if not possible to fully implement, at least instils creativity and motivating individuals to work in partnerships.

Working together to respond proactively to illegal, public injecting drug use

Mr Greg Denham, Executive Officer, Yarra Drug and Health Forum

Ms Susan Gulko, Community Safety Officer, Yarra City Council

In partnership, agencies and relevant authorities in the drug and alcohol sector within the City of Yarra, including Yarra City Council, local police and the Yarra Drug and Health Forum, have moved to a more proactive approach to build community confidence and awareness around the management of the negative impacts associated with illegal drug use.

Public injecting of illicit drugs commonly takes place in the City of Yarra, which not surprisingly has the highest volume of heroin-related overdoses in Victoria. The use of heroin in public impacts on local residents and traders sense of amenity and safety.

Under the leadership of the Yarra Drug and Health Forum and Yarra City Council, forums have been arranged for relevant agencies to come together to unpack a range of complex assumptions and tired responses to a very complex issue. This has paved the way to identify practical solutions to common concerns raised by local residents, traders and injecting drug users about the incidence of public, illegal drug use.

From these forums, a series of innovative projects and strategic advocacy have come about, delivering a number of invaluable resources and strengthening partnerships between agencies. Some of these include a community campaign supported by Councillors of Yarra City Council to advocate for practical solutions such as a supervised injecting facility, work with injecting drug users to enhance safe disposal practices and the development of a protocol for services on best practice responses to community concerns around illicit drug use.

Community engagement and partnerships with local government

Ms Kamrun Rahman, Community Development Worker (Community Safety), Liverpool City Council

Ms Cinzia Guaraldu, Living Streets Coordinator, Liverpool City Council

Over the last few years, BOCSAR data indicates that major crimes are declining or are stable in Australia, including in New South Wales. However, councils have been increasingly under pressure to take a leadership role in creating safer communities for everyone. Crimes are multifaceted and need collaborative approaches towards the reduction of crime and improvement of safety within local government areas. Community engagement in crime prevention activities is one of the most important strategies in creating perceptions of safety and preventing localised crime.

This presentation will provide an overview of Liverpool City Council’s diverse community engagement and partnership programs delivered by the Community Services Department of Council. Successful community engagement initiatives and partnership activities in Liverpool include:

  • Interagency (local government and non-government agency forums) collaborative approaches;
  • Liverpool Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan:
    • Liverpool Community Safety and Crime Prevention Working Group;
    • Community Safety and Crime Prevention Program—annual Liverpool Safety Expo, regular Safety Audits;
    • Responsible Use of Alcohol Digital Art Project with local High School students, Non Domestic Violence Risk; and
    • Minimisation Project, Operation Bounce Back; and
  • Living Street Programs—Community Garden and Farm Projects, Mural Art in Graffiti Hotspots, Urban Renewal and beautification of neighbourhoods.

Issues arising in delivering crime prevention programs include:

  • the challenge of working with some communities that have no interest in or have no knowledge of their surroundings in relation to crime and safety;
  • timely access to crime profile statistics; and
  • effective methods for evaluating work and the required resources.

Concurrent session 3a—Knowledge and skills development and exchange

Building a community facility together

Ms Christine Bannister, Crime Prevention Officer, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

Liam Bulley, Manager, Recreation and Buildings Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

Historically, skate parks have been planned and built as ‘youth spaces’ where young people can play with enough visual surveillance to monitor behaviour but at such a distance to provide a perception of a space away from adults. The evolution of skating over the past 40-plus years has seen the sport become established within its own right, moving from underground to become a mainstream activity with media attention, corporate sponsorships and now attracting as many spectators as those who practice the art.

When planning to upgrade a local high-profile beachfront reserve and skate park in Port Macquarie, representatives of council approached the local community so they could be involved. This led to the creation of the Port Macquarie Skate Park Committee who worked alongside council as technical advisors, sharing their knowledge and expertise in planning what should happen in the space and how this should occur.

Over a period of five years, this group came together to offer their ongoing input and knowledge to design a facility that would best meet the needs of the local user groups. This included being involved in making decisions about:

  • what level of budget should be sought;
  • creating designs for how the facility should look;
  • selecting which company would be approached to develop concept design based on local designs;
  • lobbying all levels of government at a local level to ensure support to secure funds; and
  • being involved in the tendering process to select company to construct facility

Developing successful diversionary schemes for youth gangs from a remote Aboriginal community

Dr Teresa Cunningham, Senior Research Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research

Dr Kate Senior, Senior Research Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research*

Dr Robbie Lloyd, Post-doctoral Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research*

Ms Rachael McMahon, Project Manager, Menzies School of Health Research*

Dr Bill Ivory, Government Business Manager, Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) *

Dr Richard Chenhall, Senior Lecturer Medical Anthropology, University of Melbourne*

Wadeye first came to prominence in both media and political circles in the early 1980s as a site of so-called ‘gang violence’. In Wadeye, gangs appear to have emerged in the early 1980s and are generally defined through youth aligning themselves along cultural clan and family affiliations into groups with contemporary Americanised gang traits, symbolic heavy metal music links and clearly defined turf boundaries. While they engage in relatively low-scale drug (predominantly marijuana) distribution for profit, the basis of these groups appears to be their use as an offensive structure or at other times, a defensive mechanism. The youth gangs have evolved in an environment at Wadeye that is characterised by substantial social and economic disadvantage with associated challenges.

The first aim of the project is to explore the meanings and experience of being involved in a gang from the perspective of youth in the community of Wadeye. This community experiences a very high rate of youth involvement in crime and much of this crime appears to be associated with gang membership. This research will explore youth motivations to be involved in gangs and the perceived benefits of being involved. This paper presents the results of a survey of 133 young people and qualitative interviews with other young people in relation to their experience of being a young person in a remote Indigenous community. This paper will address intervention and diversion programs and their relevance for youth in Wadeye.

Implementing locally based approaches to crime prevention and community safety: challenges and solutions

Ms Georgina Fuller, Research Officer, Australian Institute of Criminology

Dr Katie Willis, Principle Research Analyst, Australian Institute of Criminology

Over the last few decades, the responsibility for crime prevention has shifted away from traditional providers such as police and criminal justice agencies towards ‘grass-roots’ community organisations and groups, including local government. This shift stems from the belief that local organisations are better able to respond to community needs and the issues that lead to criminal offending. Locally based programs and initiatives are typically supported by state and territory and federal funding agencies in an effort to confront the immediate and social causes of crime.

Despite the proliferation of local approaches to crime prevention and community safety, there is little information that is publicly available regarding how these initiatives are implemented; specifically, the challenges community-based organisations face when implementing crime prevention and community safety initiatives. The risk is that without this information, future community-based crime prevention work will waste valuable time and precious resources repeating and dealing with the same mistakes.

The aim of this presentation is to explore some of the challenges encountered by community-based organisations in the execution of a crime prevention or community safety initiative. Eighty-seven project managers completed a qualitative survey as part of an evaluation of the Australian Government Attorney General’s Department Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) community crime prevention funding program. Project managers were asked to indicate in the survey any challenges they had faced and how these were overcome, particularly during project design, implementation and completion. Despite the diversity of the 87 projects, key similarities emerged with regards to the challenges they faced. These findings are presented to encourage discussion and consideration of the future design and implementation of locally based approaches to crime prevention and community safety.

Concurrent session 3b— Planning and implementing crime prevention work

A new approach to justice and crime prevention—The Neighbourhood Justice Centre

Ms Kerry Walker, Director, Neighbourhood Justice Centre

If all other courts were run like the NJC, a lot of lives would be a lot different. People would get help to move their lives on. Thanks to the NJC, my life has turned around (Neighbourhood Justice Centre client).

When clients can turn their lives around, the whole community benefits and crime is reduced. Director of the Neighbourhood Justice Centre, Kerry Walker, will discuss the community justice model, a significant reform in Victoria’s justice delivery.

Crime prevention comes in many guises and often requires bureaucracy to invert its usual thinking. Ms Walker talks about how crime prevention is framed at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre and works within the community justice model.

A 2009 independent evaluation demonstrated that the Neighbourhood Justice Centre cut recidivism rates, helped reduce crime and increased offender accountability within inner city Melbourne. Some examples encompass:

  • individual therapeutic treatment and support—pre, during and post sentencing practices;
  • targeted projects—Phuchas, a young people’s skills and leadership project; and
  • broad population approaches—safe parking campaigns.

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre in inner city Melbourne, Australia, brings together a multi-jurisdictional court, mediation services, integrated support services and works to prevent crime and strengthen the local community. The Neighbourhood Justice Centre also works broadly with community to strengthen their capacity to respond to crime, decrease the likelihood of them becoming a victim and develop their understanding of the offender.

Designing out crime

Associate Professor Douglas Tomkin, Co-founder, Designing Out Crime Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney

Mr Rodger Watson, Deputy Director, Designing Out Crime Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney

In criminology and crime prevention practice, the concept of ‘design’ is often invoked in the context of crime prevention through environmental design, or in the strict application to a problem of a design discipline such as architecture or urban planning. Outside of criminology, ‘design’ is often portrayed as the latest Apple product or fashion item. In other words, ‘design’ is seen as either a fancy product, or the product of a closed problem solving process such as a new building.

The Designing Out Crime (DOC) research centre at UTS uses a multidisciplinary approach to open problem solving, drawing on core principles of emerging design theory. Engaging with practice stakeholders from government and the private sector, DOC has applied a design technique known as reframing to complex and difficult crime problems. This methodology has been applied to more than 70 projects over the last three years. Through this process, DOC is showing how ‘design’ can be used to break down deadlocks and catalyse change in multi-stakeholder contexts.

This presentation will examine the processes used by DOC and will illustrate several case studies that highlight the challenges and the learnings of DOC.

Harnessing the power of social media in crime prevention—Local solutions for local problems

Chief Inspector Joshua James Maxwell, Project Manager, Project ‘eyewatch’, NSW Police Force

Sir Robert Peel’s first principle of policing stated ‘[t]he basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder’. This remains the case, but the challenges facing communities and police have changed over time. Since the 1960s, new technologies have helped police to keep up with advances in the way that crime is committed. The increased mobility of criminals has been matched by the patrol car and radio communication; analysis of crime and ASB hot spots allows response teams to see where they should be targeted. But while technology has enabled the police to keep up with new types of crime and criminals, the ongoing centralisation of the police has left the service disconnected from the communities they are there to serve.

The world has evolved and continues to evolve at such a rapid pace, that all organisations are required to plan strategically, review those plans and look forward to the future and what impact the future has for the organisation. Police and Law Enforcement agencies around the world are looking to the future and what impact it may have on the way in which police and community engage in crime prevention strategies.

The social network phenomenon continues to expand across the world. Yet the challenges facing law enforcement have seen most agencies dabble at the edges of the social networks rather than truly engage the same. The NSW Police Force uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to provide information about policing activities and general information. Such use of modern media technologies is replicated all over the world by police agencies. Yet research has shown that no police agency has yet to harness the power of the internet and social networking to truly engage our communities in crime prevention.

It is argued the NSW Police Force has developed a new strategic direction and platform for the delivery of information to the community of New South Wales. Utilising Facebook as the platform, the NSW Police Force has created neighbourhood watch communities, organised into precincts. In addition, the NSW Police Force supplies local communities, in real time, with information, including local crime figures, issues affecting the local community and ‘keep a look out for information’ via Local Area Command Facebook open pages. The aim of ‘eyewatch’ is to engage the community in crime prevention and law enforcement at a level never seen before under specific governance.

Concurrent session 3c—Ensuring maximum benefit from working in partnerships and collaborative arrangements

Collaborating with the local Aboriginal community to reduce crime

Mr James Fraser, Koori Justice Worker, Neighbourhood Justice Centre

In 2008, the Neighbourhood Justice Centre, Melbourne, identified gaps in its delivery of accessible justice services to the local Aboriginal community. It found that:

  • there were low attendance rates of Aboriginal clients in court
  • there was often no representation from the local Aboriginal legal service for clients, even when its clients were in custody
  • the local Aboriginal community were not accessing the many legal and client services available at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre (the centre).

This presentation tells the story of how the centre, as Australia’s only community court, has sought to address these gaps.

Reflecting the importance of the Yarra area to the Koori Aboriginal community, the centre developed a number of innovations to engage the Aboriginal community in the justice system and increase their confidence in it. These included establishing ‘Aboriginal Hearing Day’ to hear Aboriginal matters in court, employing two Koori Justice Workers, and supporting local Aboriginal projects and initiatives.

These successful initiatives and approaches were informed by community engagement and education, and networking and consultation with the local community, elders, Aboriginal treatment providers and legal practitioners. Success depended upon collaboration between the court, legal practitioners, the Centre’s magistrate, and community organisations and members.

These initiatives have forged a strong, collaborative and trusting relationship between the local Indigenous community and the criminal justice system.

Enhancing the evidence: How C.A.P.E. PCYC delivers crime prevention projects in partnership with community, and what it means

Mr Shane Boris Pointing, Researcher, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University

The C.A.P.E. (Community Activities Program through Education) PCYC (Police Community Youth Centre) program was established in late 2008 in four CAPE communities: Northern Peninsula Area, Aurukun, Kowanyama and Woorabinda. Based on a pilot program running for over 10 years, this innovative and successful partnership between the Queensland Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association, Aboriginal Councils, community members and groups, and the Queensland Police Service has resulted in the program’s practical and effective delivery on the ground through partnerships with 58 government departments and service delivery agencies.

C.A.P.E. was developed to introduce a multi-agency approach to support Indigenous youth development through sustainable youth activity co-ordination platforms. The model provides structured and consistent management of culturally appropriate, healthy and sustainable youth activities through a diverse range of sporting and recreational programs and events. C.A.P.E. PCYC develops programs with local community members for local community members to address the potential crime cycle, truancy and suicide rates of the relevant communities.

This presentation outlines the first iteration of a realistic evaluation program of C.A.P.E. PCYC crime prevention activities, which was undertaken to align these more closely with the National Crime Prevention Framework. Specifically, we describe the evaluation process relating to the conceptual map of programs and data sources, alignment with the goals of the framework, an analysis of the integrity of data and recommendations to improve this, the synthesis of data from program delivery partners, staff activities to build internal capacity around the evidence base, and the importance of evaluation in program design.

GROWING RESPECT: Developing a community-led approach to preventing violence through diverse partnerships

Ms Angela Walsh, National Manager, GROWING RESPECT Programs, Research & Evaluation, National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect (NAPCAN)

Mr Matthew Willis, Principal Research Analyst, Australian Institute of Criminology

GROWING RESPECT brings together a diverse range of partners—communities, non-government organisations, research institutions and government agencies across local, state/territory, national and international domains—to build a unique, community-focused approach to preventing gender-based violence in sustainable, measurable and transferable ways. GROWING RESPECT was initiated by NAPCAN after extensive experience of developing, actively adapting and supporting the implementation of Respectful Relationships programs (including LOVE BiTES and All Children Being Safe) in over 90 communities across Australia.

Many communities, as well as academic best practice standards (NASASAV, 2009; VicHealth, 2009), recognise that preventing violence against women and children requires a whole-of-school and community approach to create meaningful behavioural and attitudinal change. For the GROWING RESPECT project, NAPCAN will work in partnership with six Aboriginal communities over the coming three years to implement community-led Respectful Relationships programs for children and young people.

Central to the GROWING RESPECT model is listening to and incorporating the voices of children and young people in the development and implementation of school-based programs. GROWING RESPECT is being supported by the CIET (Community, Integrity, Transparency and Empowerment) organisation to adopt their ‘Social Audit’ methodologies and bring a true community participatory voice to the community-based, epidemiological research, planning and evaluation of these localised violence prevention programs.

This presentation will give an overview of how collaborative approaches that bring communities into partnership with a multidisciplinary and multi-agency team can support the use of child and youth inclusive education strategies to prevent gender-based violence.

Concurrent session 4a—Knowledge and skills development and exchange

The challenges involved in evaluating crime prevention programs

Ms Joanne Baker, Senior Research and Evaluation Officer, NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice

Increasing emphasis is being placed on the development of evidence-based programs in crime prevention. This is reflected in contemporary crime prevention programs and current national, state and territory crime prevention strategies. In order to base our programs on the best available evidence, we need access to high-quality evaluations of crime prevention programs telling us which programs work and which do not. However, there are still large gaps in the evidence base, particularly in Australia. Many initiatives are never subjected to evaluation, or rigorous enough evaluation. There are many reasons for this, but the challenges associated with conducting rigorous evaluations of crime prevention programs are clearly a significant contributor. This paper will consider some of the challenges involved in evaluating crime prevention programs and offers some suggestions for how we might go about improving the local evidence base.

Reaching out to communities

Mr Tony Waters, Chief Executive, Victim Support Service Incorporated

The Victim Support Service has a history of providing community-based initiatives designed to prevent crime and increase safety. The Australian Institute of Criminology’s arguments for preventing repeat victimisation include the following:

  1. Preventing repeat victimisation protects the most vulnerable social groups—without having to identify these groups, which can be socially divisive. Having been victimised represents one of the best bases for allocating crime prevention resources.
  2. Repeat victimisation is highest in the most crime-ridden areas. These are also the areas that suffer the most serious forms of crime, so a focus on repeat victimisation automatically directs attention to the areas that need it the most.

These services are delivered in collaboration with other stakeholders and focus on preventing crime / revictimisation by removing opportunities for crime. The presentation will focus on three of these initiatives:

  • Westwood Urban Renewal Project (2005– 08)
  • Staying Home Staying Safe—Domestic Violence Package (2011– current)
  • Home Security Enhancement Program (2011–current)

The presentation will review:

  • service delivery outcomes
  • implementation lessons
  • learning through collaboration.

All of these programs rely on feedback from community members, extensive use of volunteers, and partnerships with a variety of agencies, which include SAPOL, local councils, disability services, Housing SA and Aboriginal services. Although delivery of the services has fluctuated substantially depending upon funding, the common thread has always been an exciting mix of government (state and local), volunteers, commercial or for-profit companies, and not-for-profit agencies.

Common goals of these programs are to provide a practical home security service to individuals and families who have suffered crime-induced trauma, to prevent re-victimisation, to mitigate the impact of poverty by assisting in the protection and securing of already limited resources, and to enable people to remain in their own home and not feel forced to move house to feel safer.

Rethinking alcohol in the night-time economy

Ms Suzie Matthews, Manager, Late Night Economy & Safe City, City of Sydney

Many jurisdictions, internationally and nationally, are grappling with alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour. Many centres have experienced a rise in this type of crime over the last decade. This has coincided with a deregulation and relaxation of liquor licensing legislation, an increase in the number and concentration of licensed premises and the extension of trading hours across several jurisdictions. At a time of increasing urban residential population growth, getting the balance right between economic growth and residential amenity has never been more important.

This presentation will explore the legislative, policy, precinct management and economic diversity measures employed in several global cities and what these mean for their night-time economies. It will then explore how Sydney has applied these international lessons, especially in the context of the ‘OPEN Sydney—Future directions for Sydney at night’ research, consultation and policy-making processes.

The presentation will consider the benefits of reframing the problem from one solely about alcohol- related violence to one about how cities can improve their overall vibrancy and functioning at night. How Sydney has translated this approach into policy and new pilot initiatives to address the same, entrenched problems will then be explored.

Concurrent session 4b— Planning and implementing crime prevention work

Community policing: South African Police initiatives to combat crime

Dr Shaka Yesufu, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Kwa Zulu Natal

Until a few years ago South Africa was referred to as a country with a very high crime rate. South Africa was seen as a no-go destination for tourists because of reports of violence perpetuated by criminal elements of our society. Car hijacking and violent crimes like murder and rape were rife and widely reported by the world media. As a tourist visiting South Africa for the first time you were advised to take out the best life insurance available and to expect to fall prey to prospective assailants. There was no doubt that law breakers were having a good time, but this was prior to South Africa hosting the World Cup in 2010.

South Africans did not shy away from the effects of crime that confronted them; they went back to the drawing board in partnership with communities to find some lasting solutions to crime. The World Cup has come and gone with a high degree of success in community policing. It can be argued that the South African Government and the South African police service did their homework very well and ensured that crime was reduced to a minimum.

The challenge we face today is to maintain the same resilience and tenacity used to combat crime during the World Cup. First, the police service has to fight rank-and-file corruption to be in a position to meet one of the toughest challenges that lies ahead in the 21st century. The community must be called upon to support the police to make South Africans feel safe and secure again. Our community spirit must be rekindled by a police service that listens to all sections of the country and is willing to accept constructive feedback, internal and external.

Who’s chatting to your kids?

Detective Inspector Jon Rouse, Officer in Charge Force Argos, Queensland Police Service

‘Who’s chatting to your kids?’ is an interactive educational resource, in the form of a DVD, designed to deliver key messages to parents, caregivers, and community organisations regarding safe internet use by children. Designed for delivery by school-based police officers, Child Protection Investigation Unit personnel and police community liaison officers, the DVD provides a realistic, confronting portrayal of the ease and various methods with which children can be victimised by way of the internet. It also shows simple, practical and effective strategies for parents and guardians to protect children from these risks. In this way the resource aims to promote safe internet access by children in a context of increasingly universal reliance on, and access to, the internet and thereby reduce opportunities for the exploitation of children.

The DVD is unique in the country; there is no other tool where interviews with real victims, parents and offenders have been presented on the one product.

The Australian Classification Education campaign: Crime prevention and intervention in Northern Territory Indigenous communities

Ms Eileen Deemal-Hall, Program Manager, Northern Territory Department of Justice

Laura Beacroft, Research Manager, Australian Institute of Criminology

The Australian Classification Education program (ACE) was initially developed as an awareness and education campaign to inform Indigenous Australians in the NT, particularly adult carers, about the harms of exposing children to violence and pornography, following recommendations from the Ampe akelyememane meke mekarle: ‘Little children are sacred report’. In 2007 the Australian Government funded the Northern Territory Department of Justice (NT DoJ) to develop and deliver it. While the initial phase of the campaign focused on traditional media (ie DVDs) distributing inappropriate or illegal materials involving violent or sexual images, in its second phase the campaign focuses primarily on new technologies (ie mobile phones) being used to distribute and even locally produce inappropriate or illegal sexual or violent images.

The older ACE awareness and education campaign runs concurrently with a new Stronger Choices campaign, which aims to support whole-of community engagement in the misuse of new technologies in demonstration localities, and also to follow up on key actions in such a way as to enable other communities/localities and interested stakeholders to learn and build on successes.

While misuse of new technologies is a global issue, their misuse in more remote Indigenous communities, for reasons of culture and remoteness, requires a completely different response to that used for other contexts or an adaption of mainstream responses. The AIC is in the process of finalising an evaluation of this specialised program and will provide some important early findings. The presentation involves speakers from the Indigenous team of the NT DoJ and from the program’s crucial collaborators—the AFP’s cyber safety hi-tech crime unit, a producer and musician from Skinnyfish Music and the Northern Territory band, ‘B2M’, and the Aboriginal Medical Service Alliance Northern Territory.

Concurrent session 4c— Ensuring maximum benefit from working in partnerships and collaborative arrangements

Crime prevention through police referral and early intervention: Victoria Police’s statewide trial of SupportLink

Inspector Bernard Jackson, Local Area Commander, Victoria Police

Dr Georgina Lee, Senior Research Officer, Victoria Police

A/Snr Sgt Mark Pollard, Project Manager, Victoria Police

SupportLink is a managed electronic referral framework that provides operational police with a means of referring members of the public to (non-police) support, welfare and health services via a single referral portal. This framework aims to strengthen the partnership between Victoria Police and social support services, particularly in the area of early intervention and crime prevention.

Victoria Police commenced a trial of SupportLink in October 2010, which has grown in size and significance. SupportLink is now available to most operational police to make referrals relating to crime prevention, youth and victims of crime. The framework is anticipated to reduce crime, victimisation and calls for police service through the early provision of support and assistance to persons in need.

Victoria Police’s project team and the CEO of SupportLink will provide a first-hand account of the challenges and lessons learnt in launching and running a trial of this size and complexity and that traverses the law enforcement, health, welfare and not-for-profit sectors. The presentation will include findings to date on Victoria Police’s evaluation of the SupportLink framework, including its effects on repeat police contact and satisfaction with the referral method among police and involved support agencies.

Railway station and transport interchange security audits: The consultant and client perspective

Miss Jessica Ritchie, Security and Crime Prevention Support Officer, Amtac Professional Services Pty Ltd

Mr Simon Carroll, Manager, Security Risks and Standards, Transport for NSW

Amtac Professional Services Pty Ltd was engaged by Transport for NSW to undertake security audits of railway stations and transport interchange infrastructures, by day and night, to deliver an evidentiary baseline to inform future capital works programs and to review security measures across a range of sites. This presentation will offer both the consultant and client perspective on how technology was used to maximise data gathering and analysis. This exchange of information was facilitated by a web-based application that allowed the live inputting of data and visual representation on maps to provide real-time data for live analysis.

Data was entered through Amtac’s ‘SecWeb’ application via iPads. This is a departure from the norm, in that traditional pen-and-paper auditing was not relied on during this security audit. Issues and matters of note, and lighting measurements, were plotted on satellite view maps, with different icons used to indicate various issues identified and to allow quantitative measurements to be recorded. Digital photographs were taken of selected areas at the audit sites to illustrate matters of note or provide general orientation to assist later analysis of data. The plotting provided the client with specific information about each location and the issues present, and why recommendations were made. The principles of situational crime prevention, routine activities theory, crime prevention through environmental design, and security risk management were used to complete the security audits.

Operation Newstart: Police and education collaboration in Victoria

Mr Philip Charles Wheatley, Executive Officer, Operation Newstart Victoria

Operation Newstart assists youth (males and females) of 14–17 years officially enrolled in Victorian state secondary schools who:

  • experience significant academic disruption
  • are at risk of becoming involved in crime and/or anti-social lifestyles where they are more susceptible to offending
  • are likely to become victims of crime or self-harm
  • are school refusers
  • often have a history of abuse, trauma and loss
  • frequently suffer some form of mental illness from the mild to the more complex.

Operation Newstart is an equal partnership between Victoria Police and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. A Victorian Police officer is engaged for 20 days of each school term to deliver the program alongside a full-time teacher. Seven programs operate in Victoria.

Groups comprise eight students who spend a full term (eight weeks) on the program and who must volunteer willingly to participate. They must want to make changes to their lives and be willing to acknowledge difficulty in dealing with the issues they face. There must be evidence that their parents/guardians/carers are prepared to support their active participation.

Operation Newstart’s emphases are:

  • to increase the participant’s resilience by developing emotional and behavioural control, self-esteem and self-efficacy
  • to promote the importance of personal health and wellness
  • to create scholastic and vocational momentum
  • to improve relationships.

Operation Newstart provides operational police officers, teachers and mental health clinicians with opportunities to participate in program activities across four broad disciplines:

  • challenging outdoor experiential activities
  • vocational training
  • community service
  • therapeutic interventions.

Major sponsor

NSW attorney General & Justice

City of Sydney