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Crime Prevention and Communities: Social and environmental strategies for safer neighbourhoods

Media Release

30 April 2012

How do our city planners, police forces, and NGOs work towards preventing crime in the first instance? How can they work impoverished communities, young people, and even businesses such as nightclubs and bars - to minimise the opportunity for criminal activity?

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) is hosting an international conference on crime prevention and communities at the Sydney Convention Centre on 4 and 5 June 2012.

“This important conference explores community safety, social cohesion, and the complexities of designing both social and environmental crime prevention programs for at-risk communities and neighbourhoods,” AIC Research Director, Dr Rick Brown, said.

“Crime problems can be present in a community for many reasons including economic cultural and social impoverishment, a high incidence of alcohol outlets in a suburb, geographic isolation, or even the appearance of conspicuous wealth.

“Many speakers will talk about how their organisations have managed to plan and implement programs and how they measured their success,” Dr Brown said.

45 presenters – Australian and International - will discuss urban and community planning and safety; crime prevention and safety in indigenous communities; community policing, and the design, development, implementation and evaluation of crime prevention programs.

The conference involves significant input from the local government sector and NGOs working in the crime prevention area, plus contributions from policing and academic research.

There are seven plenary addresses on crucial areas in contemporary crime prevention practice plus 35 papers with speakers from as far afield as South Africa, Kenya, the United Kingdom, and the USA. 

Plenary speakers include:

Juma Assiago leads UN Habitat’s Global Network on Safer Cities (GNSC) — Safer Cities Program

Safer Cities is now documenting the experience of cities which have implemented urban crime prevention strategies, as well as a new emphasis on a broader concept of urban safety for cities that directly builds on local government mandates. The focus is on strengthening links between the crime prevention community and the urban development community.

Jon Bright(Director of Homelessness, Housing Support, Sustainable Buildings and Climate Change in the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Jon Bright is a Senior Civil Servant with the UK Government. From 1998-2007 he was responsible for implementing the Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal strategy and serving in the Cabinet office Social Exclusion Unit. 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.

Ross Homel AO (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)

Professor Homel received his Order of Australia “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 recognized 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.” Professor Homel has published widely on crime and violence prevention, as well as producing numerous high impact government reports

Michael Scott(Clinical Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School, and director of the Centre for Problem-Oriented Policing US)

Michael Scott was formerly chief of police in Lauderhill, Florida; served in various civilian administrative positions in the St. Louis Metropolitan, Ft. Pierce, Florida, and New York City police departments; and was a police officer in the Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department. Scott developed training programs in problem-oriented policing at the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), and is the current chairperson for the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing.

While crime prevention is a growing field within the disciplines of criminology, urban planning, sociology and evaluation, researchers and practitioners in these areas will discuss:

  • 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

Plus in conjunction with the conference – four practical hands-on workshops on crime prevention projects hosted by the Sydney University’s NSW Institute of Criminology and the AIC’s Crime Prevention ASSIST team.

Further Comment: Colin Campbell 0418 159 525/02 6260 9244
Further information and registration details at: or email