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Non-domestic violence related assault

In this section of the report, the findings from a review of community-based crime prevention strategies that have as a primary goal a reduction in non-domestic violence related assault are presented. Following a brief review of the literature examining issues relating to the prevention of violence, a summary of the evidence in support of intervention types as reviewed by the research team, an explanation of how they work and the characteristics of successful strategies are outlined.

Preventing non-domestic violence related assault

Assault is broadly defined as

[the] direct (and immediate/confrontational) infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person or persons or the direct (and immediate/confrontational) threat of force, injury or violence where there is an apprehension that the threat could be enacted (ABS 2011: 29).

Within this broad definition, BOCSAR categorises assaults as either domestic violence related or non-domestic violence related. Whether an assault is classified as domestic violence related is determined by the relationship between the offender and victim. If the offender and victim are currently (or have been previously) in a domestic relationship (ie intimate partners, ex-partners, family members as well as those who live together in the same residence), the assault is defined as domestic violence related. An offender who commits a non-domestic violence related assault is not in a domestic relationship (either present of past) with the victim.

  • Recent BOCSAR data suggests that there are a number of trends associated with non-domestic violence related assaults committed in New South Wales. In particular, the data suggests that a high number of non-domestic violence related assaults are:
  • committed in public places and residential areas;
  • alcohol related (41%); and
  • committed between 6 pm on Friday and 6 am Saturday and between 6 pm Saturday and 6 am Sunday (BOCSAR 2012).
  • The same data also suggests that the majority of non-domestic violence related assault victims are male. In particular, 20–29 year old males appear to be at greater risk of victimisation. Further, 20–29 year old males account for a large proportion of the offender population (BOCSAR 2012).

There is a considerable body of evidence surrounding the characteristics of effective violence prevention strategies. This draws on both past systematic reviews of prevention strategies as well as research into the relationship between certain risk factors—relating to the individual, family, peer, community or environment—and violent crime. For example, research into the prevention of alcohol-related violence in entertainment precincts has suggested that effective strategies are those that aim to:

  • target multiple contributing risk factors for alcohol-related violence including patron characteristics, venue characteristics, the social environment, staffing characteristics or the wider environment;
  • identify and target those venues associated with the greatest number of problems;
  • create a positive physical and social drinking environment to attract patrons that are more likely to be well behaved by setting and maintaining high standards for both venue operators and clientele;
  • be developed at the community level, where practical and appropriate, and adapted to suit local circumstances;
  • be based on effective partnerships between all levels of government, non-government, private business, academia and the community; and
  • be supported by strong and effective enforcement of existing liquor licensing laws (Graham & Homel 2008; Morgan & McAtamney 2009; NDRI 2007).

Similarly, a recent systematic review of youth violence prevention programs and good practice in preventing violence involving young people highlighted the importance of designing strategies that are:

  • inclusive and engage young people in the development and implementation of interventions;
  • supported by effective interagency collaboration between stakeholders such as police, schools, service providers, community groups and young people;
  • age, gender, culturally and developmentally appropriate, as well as being tailored to the needs of different groups and the context in which they are being delivered;
  • considerate of the peer, family, school, community and environmental factors that may exert some level of influence over the young person’s behaviour; and
  • part of a broader strategy that incorporates multiple interventions to address both social and environmental factors associated with young people’s involvement in crime, including a balance between proactive crime prevention strategies and ensuring timely responses to offending behaviour when it occurs (Bodson et al. 2008; Hemphill & Smith 2010).

Findings from the review

A comprehensive summary of the findings from a review of strategies designed to reduce non-domestic violence related assault is presented in Tables 5 and 6. In Table 5, the evidence is described in relation to the various categories of violence prevention interventions and in Table 6, important considerations with respect to the requirements for implementation and suitability of the interventions for local government are highlighted. Strategies examined as part of this review are described in Table 7. Overall, the review identified 41 studies that met the criteria for inclusion and of these, 27 studies reached at least level three on the SMS. Therefore, it is possible to draw a number of conclusions about the effectiveness of specific interventions (or combinations of interventions) and their impact on non-domestic violence related assault.

Table 6 Suitability of crime prevention interventions targeting non-domestic violence related assault for local government
Intervention Suitability for local government Considerations for funding through grant program

Community-based and multicomponent interventions targeting alcohol-related violence in entertainment precincts

Clear role for local government in leading the development and implementation of comprehensive strategies targeting alcohol-related violence in entertainment precincts, as well as facilitating community involvement and engagement

Local government is recognised as a key partner in liquor accords. Liquor accords are an important vehicle for the delivery of comprehensive community-based strategies

Requires longer term support and therefore, longer term funding

Potentially costly, particularly if there is an education component (over and above mandatory RSA training)

Requires support from police and licensing authorities

Extensive guidance on establishing liquor accords available online from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing

Comprehensive responses to gang-related violence

The interventions that were delivered as part of these responses to gang-related violence could potentially involve local government working closely with community-based organisations to implement outreach services, mobilise communities, and to develop and implement awareness campaigns

All of the strategies reviewed in this research were implemented in the United States to address gang-related violence. Relevance to the Australian and specifically, NSW context uncertain

However, the underlying principles and intervention components appear relevant to strategies that attempt to reduce violence between groups (eg between different ethnic groups) involving young people, or violence that is related to drug trafficking and distribution

Comprehensive strategies are costly and must be implemented in full to be most effective

Requires support from police and strong enforcement targeting violence

Access control (specifically street closures)

Local government are responsible for the installation and maintenance of roads and pathways in residential neighbourhoods

The decision to implement street closures should be based on a clear assessment of both the access routes for offenders and implications for local residents

Potential application of principles underpinning street closures

Street lighting

Improving street lighting is a common strategy implemented by local government to prevent crime

There is evidence that in those circumstances in where it is effective, street lighting can be a cost-efficient approach to reducing crime

Mentoring

Local government may not be the primary agency responsible for implement mentoring projects; however, it can offer support for the agencies or groups providing the service. The specific needs of these agencies and what local government can provide would depend on the agency and would be best negotiated between the two

Has been identified in reviews of local government crime prevention plans as a common strategy to address offending behaviour (generally) among at-risk young people

Evidence in support of mentoring as a violence prevention measure appears mixed

Potentially expensive to deliver to large numbers of young people

Programs are more effective when the mentoring relationship is longer in duration and involves more frequent contacts; implications for costs

Brief interventions

As with mentoring, the primary responsibility for delivering brief intervention projects rests outside of local government. However, local government may be able to facilitate referrals and contact with young people

Potentially cost effective as an offender-focused intervention to reduce violence

Suitability for brief interventions in a community setting needs to be considered, given that both evaluations identified participants in emergency departments

The review highlights that there are various forms of non-domestic violence related assault that occurs in different contexts. They differ in terms of the type of violence, the location of violence and the groups that are targeted. The responses to the different forms of violence vary accordingly. The review identified strategies targeting the following forms of violence:

  • alcohol-related violence in entertainment precincts and licensed premises;
  • gang-related violence;
  • youth violence;
  • violence in Indigenous communities;
  • violence revolving around a particular event or location; and
  • violence in residential neighbourhoods.

There was considerable variation across the different forms of non-domestic violence related assault in terms of the number of evaluations meeting the criteria for inclusion that could be located by the research team. This became more apparent once the search was limited to those strategies that were delivered by community-based organisations, including local government.

For example, there was considerable evidence in relation to effective strategies targeting youth violence, but these strategies were most frequently delivered in schools or involved direct service provision targeted at high-risk families (Hemphill & Smith 2010; WHO 2010). School-based crime prevention, particularly those strategies focused on changing the school environment or curriculum, have been shown to be effective in reducing crime, substance use, antisocial behaviour and aggression and improving school attendance (Gottfredson, Wilson & Najaka 2006). Further, there is strong evidence to show that early intervention programs—such as home visitation programs, parent education plus preschool and school-based child training with parent training—are extremely effective in reducing aggression (Farrington & Welsh 2006). However, these strategies are not particularly suited to being implemented by local government, nor are they suited to short-term grant funding.

Similarly, reviews of supply reduction strategies to reduce alcohol-related harms have identified a range of different approaches that have been effective in reducing alcohol consumption and in many cases, alcohol-related harms such as assault (NDRI 2007). However, strategies such as pricing and taxation measures fall outside the role of local government. Further, while there is considerable evidence of a relationship between outlet density and alcohol-related problems (eg Chikritzhs, Catalano & Pascal 2007, and local government play an important role in development applications and planning of entertainment precincts, strategies that aim to reduce violence through more effective planning have not been subjected to evaluation (which is not surprising, given that many entertainment precincts are already well established).

A number of interventions delivered by community-based organisations have been found by previous systematic reviews to show some promise as crime prevention strategies that may impact upon violence. For example, there is some evidence that afterschool recreation programs can be effective in reducing crime among juvenile offenders, although the impact of these programs is limited in duration and to a defined area (Welsh & Hoshi 2006). There is also evidence that community-based mentoring is a promising (and potentially cost effective) approach to reducing offending and targeting risk factors such as drug use and poor academic performance (Newburn & Souhami 2005; Welsh & Hoshi 2006). As is evident below, the findings from this review with respect to the impact of these particular interventions on violence is more circumspect.

This is, in part, due to the fact that the evidence from these studies often does not measure violence as a key outcome (or have the prevention of violence as a primary objective), instead relying on more general outcomes such as arrests, or measures of delinquency or antisocial behaviour. While some systematic reviews have included studies that measure the impact of interventions on risk and protective factors for violence (WHO 2010), the AIC was reluctant to draw upon research findings where the impact on violence was not directly or indirectly measured. By limiting evaluations to those where there is a short-term measurable impact on violence (or not), the study may inadvertently exclude strategies that deliver longer term improvements by addressing risk and protective factors that may, in time, lead to a reduction in crime.

Interventions supported by evidence of effectiveness

Strategies targeting violent crime that were evaluated frequently involved multiple interventions being delivered in combination. As such it was not always possible, at least from the information provided, to determine which of the interventions delivered was the primary intervention. Even more problematic was attempting to determine which of the interventions was responsible for the observed outcomes, or the relative contribution of the different interventions to the overall impact of the strategy.

Nevertheless, there were a number of interventions that were identified as being supported by evidence of effectiveness. For multicomponent strategies, the research team grouped strategies in accordance with the problems they sought to address and context in which they were delivered. This included:

  • community-based multifaceted strategies targeting alcohol-related violence in entertainment precincts (10 strategies reviewed, 8 studies showing evidence of effectiveness), which involved some combination of the following:
    • rules and regulations for licensed premise operators, such as a code of conduct;
    • additional training for licensees, bar staff and security (besides mandatory responsible service of alcohol (RSA) training);
    • community engagement and mobilisation;
    • awareness campaigns directed at patrons and the wider community to promote the strategy and harm minimisation messages;
    • awareness campaigns targeted at licensees to raise awareness of the risk factors for alcohol-related violence and strategies to reduce this risk;
    • the implementation of a patron lock out;
    • strong enforcement of liquor licensing legislation by police and regulatory authorities;
    • providing late night transport options to prevent intoxicated patrons congregating outside licensed premises;
    • establishing secure taxi ranks to ensure patrons queue for taxis in an orderly fashion;
    • undertaking assessments of the physical environment around licensed premises and making improvements in accordance with the principles of CPTED; and
    • the regulation of security providers.
  • community-based multifaceted strategies targeting gang-related violence that combined community patrols (where the focus was on providing outreach services), awareness campaigns, community mobilisation and support services with strong enforcement by police, corrections and housing authorities (5 strategies reviewed, 3 studies showing evidence of effectiveness);

Other strategies supported by evidence of effectiveness in the prevention of non-domestic violence related assault included:

  • access control measures targeted at reducing violence by minimising conflict between groups in known high-risk locations (2 studies reviewed, both showing evidence of effectiveness, one of which also involved the application of CPTED principles);
  • improving street lighting in locations with high rates of violent crime, particularly in residential areas with high-density housing (7 studies reviewed, 4 studies showing evidence of effectiveness); and
  • brief interventions targeting violence among adolescents identified in emergency departments (2 studies reviewed, both showing evidence of effectiveness).

Interventions with limited evidence of effectiveness

In general, strategies that appeared to be ineffective were those that encountered issues relating to the implementation of the strategy. These strategies encountered issues such as:

  • a lack of community support or involvement over the life of the project, often because the project did not engage the community in the project in its initial stages or devolve responsibility for the running of the program to the community.
  • aspects of the project being delivered inconsistently or not at all, often because there was a lack of funding to implement the interventions as planned, difficulties in engaging the target group or because there was external pressure to implement the project as soon as possible.

These issues were also common, albeit to a lesser extent, among those projects that were found to have some evidence of effectiveness. Among those interventions for which evaluations could be located, two intervention types were not supported by evidence of effectiveness. These were:

  • interventions that aimed to improve surveillance from members of the community, either as part of a formal community patrol or as part of their day to day activity (ie natural surveillance); and
  • interventions that restrict access to certain products or aim to limit the ability of potential offenders to access weapons or tools that increase their ability or risk of offending (2 studies, one involved a firearm buyback and the other replaced glassware in bars with tempered glass).

The evidence around mentoring was mixed. Among the seven studies reviewed that involved mentoring for young people at risk of becoming a violent offender (often in conjunction with the provision of support services), only two found that mentoring had a positive impact on the level of violence among the target population. This is consistent with the findings from a review undertaken by Joliffe and Farrington (2008) who concluded that, while a promising intervention, there was little conclusive evidence that mentoring reduced reoffending.

There was also a notable lack of evidence surrounding the impact of a number of common strategies frequently included in crime prevention plans or implemented by local government to reduce violence, such as:

  • community-based afterschool programs or school holiday recreation projects; and
  • media strategies and awareness raising campaigns to strengthen attitudes against violence and/or to increase personal safety.

The challenges associated with finding evaluations of community-based afterschool projects warrants further explanation. A large-scale evaluation of 15 afterschool programs offering academic assistance, social skills training and recreational or enrichment activities (predominantly sports and arts and crafts) examined the impact of these programs on delinquent behaviour, finding positive results (Gottfredson et al. 2004). This review did not focus on specific outcome measures for violence. The majority of research into the relationship between afterschool programs, recreation and violence involved studies that correlated the availability of or participation rates in recreational programs with trends in violence rates for a given area or group of individuals, for which the evidence was mixed (Gottfredson et al. 2004; Mahoney, Stattin & Magnusson 2001; Mahoney, Stattin & Lord 2004). The absence of studies relating to these types of interventions may therefore reflect the fact that these projects target young people and their involvement in criminal and antisocial behaviours generally. These studies rely on broad outcome measures that do not distinguish between involvement in personal and property crime (ie do not identify the impact on assault as a specific outcome) and were therefore excluded from this review.

Table 5: Evidence in support of crime prevention interventions targeting non-domestic violence related assaulta
Intervention Description of intervention Supported interventions Evidence of effectiveness Where it works How it worksb Characteristics of successful strategies

Community-based and multicomponent interventions targeting alcohol-related violence in entertainment precincts

(Some combination of)

Rules and regulations for business—risk assessments, establish house policies and code of conduct

Education-type project—RSA training for licensees, bar staff and security, additional education (formal or informal) on premise management

Awareness campaign—raise community awareness of program and harms of binge drinking

Street lighting—improve street lighting around licensed premises

Access control—limit access to premises after specified time

Police enforcement—strict enforcement of liquor licensing, drink driving and underage drinking

Community engagement and mobilisation—establish a committee to raise awareness and increase knowledge concerning alcohol-related harms in the community

Not applicable

Overall evidence is mixed, however there is support for comprehensive strategies

Ten studies were reviewed that involved multifaceted community-based strategies to address alcohol-related violence

Eight studies showed a decline in the number or rate of assaults within the target area following implementation of the planned intervention. One study showed no effect and for another project, the effect was uncertain

Evidence from a number of high-quality international studies that community-driven strategies are effective in reducing violence

Evidence from Australian studies more circumspect with regards to positive outcomes

Appears that initial reductions in violence may not be sustained over time

One study showed some evidence of displacement to adjacent areas

Entertainment precincts with high rates of alcohol-related violence and other harms during peak periods for alcohol consumption

Encourages premise operators to consider the implications of their management practices and discourages premise management and operational practices that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Prevents potentially aggressive patrons from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence (in this case, alcohol)

Prevents potentially aggressive patrons from being able to access locations where there are potential victims or where provocation may occur

Introduces or improves formal or informal surveillance of licensed premises to increase the perceived risk among licensees that breaches of the liquor act will be detected and prosecuted

Manipulates the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Must be supported by strong enforcement of liquor licensing legislation by police and licensing authorities

Combination of strategies to address multiple contributing factors to violence appears to have a cumulative effect in terms of reducing alcohol-related assaults

Thorough analysis of the local problem to determine the precise factors that contribute to the high rate of alcohol-related violence and tailor the combination of interventions accordingly

Instigated by the local community (as in local police, licensees, local government and in some cases community representatives) and maintained a strong focus on community involvement throughout the life of the strategy

High degree of commitment and support for the project among licensees

Mobilising community support for the project through promoting the project to the wider community

Comprehensive responses to gang-related violence

(Some combination of)

Awareness campaign—community members and media delivered strong anti-violence message and information about the program

Police enforcement—targeted enforcement of firearm traffickers, law enforcement targeting gang activity, police patrols deployed in hotspot areas, increased enforcement of parole and probation of gang members

Support services—gang members offered access to job training and development opportunities, substance abuse treatment; connecting at-risk youths with services like social welfare

Community patrol—social service workers, community representatives and probation and parole officers actively patrolled the community, providing an outreach service and assistance to gang members

Community engagement and mobilisation—proactively sough community input, rallies, marches and prayer vigils to promote message, rapid response to incidents, faith-based leaders promote message and provide counselling and support

Not applicable

Five studies were reviewed that involved comprehensive strategies to address gang-related violence. All of these strategies were implemented in metropolitan communities in the United States with high levels of gang-related activity

Three strategies demonstrate a positive impact on gang-related violence

In one strategy, there was an increase in gang crime. However, this increase was lower than the comparison area (uncertain effect)

In the remaining strategy, there was evidence of an increase in homicides and assaults (no control group). There was also evidence of displacement to surrounding areas (undesirable effect)

Residential neighbourhoods where there are high rates of gang-related violence and high degree of community opposition to violence

Prevents offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk among gang members that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations where their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders

Effective strategies were all based on the same model (Operation Ceasefire)

Strategies that aimed to intervene to prevent violence appear to be more effective as short-term responses than those that attempt to prevent gang membership

Effective strategies were informed by operational intelligence that identified high-risk areas and factors contributing to violence between gangs

Appears to be most effective when combines support services for gang members along with enforcement. However, strong enforcement crucial to success of project

Strategies that actively engage the community representatives (especially respected members of the community) in program development and implementation of patrol, awareness raising and support strategies more likely to be effective

Outreach component actively targeting gang members in communities and providing direct support and assistance important

Access control (specifically, street closures)

Barricades placed in high crime thoroughfares to prevent access to residential neighbourhoods

CPTED—changed access points to streets to make outsiders more noticeable (one strategy)

Two strategies were reviewed and both demonstrated a significant reduction in violence (one evaluation included a control group, the other did not)

One study showed some evidence of displacement

Situations in which there is a high degree of conflict between users in a well-defined space

In one strategy, barricades were installed as part of a larger response to gang violence

Makes target enclosures harder to penetrate to increase the perceived effort associated with a crime

Prevents potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential victims or where provocation may occur

Manipulating the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

In both projects, identifying which streets should be closed was informed by a thorough and detailed analysis of crime patterns

In one project, street closures were implemented as part of a strategy to redevelop the neighbourhood

Barriers need to be installed at the end of streets that act as thoroughfares

Creating defensible space may be contingent on their being a cohesive community to begin with; the same intervention may not be as effective In fragmented communities

Street lighting

Involves the placement or improvement of lighting to increase visibility in public spaces and thoroughfares

Also included as part of community-based strategies to reduce alcohol-related violence (2 studies)

Seven studies were reviewed that involved improved street lighting as the sole intervention

Evidence of a significant decline in violent crime from four studies; two in housing estates, one in commercial/residential areas and one in a city centre

Evidence of a decline in one high-quality study where street lighting was the sole intervention and there was a comparison group

Remaining three studies showed no effect of street lighting on crime; all three were implemented in residential neighbourhoods

Specific circumstances in which street lighting is most effective is unclear

Some evidence that it works more effectively in stable homogeneous communities

Appears to work most effectively in residential areas with high-density housing

Improving lighting in poorly lit areas serves to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and can minimise conflict between potential victims and offenders

Lighting can increase an offender’s perceived risk of detection and discourage them from committing an offence

Improved lighting in thoroughfares that are poorly lit and are potential targets for offenders

Improved lighting may act as a catalyst for further changes in the community, leading to an increase in community pride and additional changes to the physical environment

The relationship between improved lighting and non-domestic violence related assault not clearly established

Mentoring

Involves a more experienced person taking on a role advising a less experienced person

Characterised by contact between individuals that have had contact with the criminal justice system, or are at risk of becoming involved in offending or antisocial behaviour, with positive role models

These role models are usually older and more experienced, and provide support, guidance and encouragement to the less experienced young person

Generally involves long-term contact between mentor and young person

Mentoring is frequently delivered alongside support services that aim to provide some type of customised support for individuals (typically on an individual basis but also in small groups)

This often involves individual case management or an assessment of an individual’s needs, with a view to improving access to essential services (such as counselling, emergency accommodation etc) by way of referrals

Evidence of effectiveness of mentoring projects in reducing aggression and violence mixed.

Seven studies were reviewed that involved some form of mentoring

Two mentoring projects showed a positive impact on violent behaviour among young people

Two projects appeared to have no effect on violent offending, for two projects the effects were uncertain and one project had no impact on violence and adverse long-term outcomes in terms of future involvement in crime

Appears to work most effectively when targeted at younger individuals identified as being at risk of becoming involved in violence, based on early signs of aggression or delinquent behaviour

The support, guidance and counselling often delivered as part of a mentoring project builds a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with conflict resolution, life, social and anger management skills to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

By matching at-risk young people with a suitable role model, mentoring can also help to alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders

Mentoring can intervene at key developmental stages (such as the transition to high school) to alleviate risk factors (eg negative peer influence) and enhance protective factors (eg pro-social support networks)

Taking account of young people’s views in the design of the program

Ensure mentors need to be able to refer young people to appropriate support services as required; as such, may be more effective if mentoring incorporated into wider range of services

Projects involving more frequent contact more likely to be effective

Services offered to participants by mentors (or as part of program) need to be targeted to the needs of individuals

Coordination of services to mentored youth, particularly over time as they age

High-quality mentors who exhibit relevant skills and attributes

(For Indigenous mentoring projects)

Strong links with Indigenous communities and services

Based on an understanding of the historical, cultural and social background factors that influence young Indigenous peoples’ lives

Adequate consultation with and promotion in Indigenous communities

Sensitivity to cultural requirements in matching Indigenous mentors and young people

Brief interventions

Brief intervention combining motivational interviewing with skills training, including goal setting, tailored feedback, decisional balance exercise, role plays (conflict resolution and anger management) and referrals

In one of the strategies, parents received three home visits with health educator to discuss family needs and facilitate service use and parental monitoring

In both strategies, the control group received community resources to facilitate contact with services

Not applicable

Two studies were reviewed that involved brief interventions delivered to youths identified in emergency departments

Both utilised a high-quality research design and found that participation in a brief intervention had a positive impact in terms of aggression and peer violence

Effective when targeted at youths who have recently suffered an injury and are attending an emergency department

Brief interventions can help to build a young person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the problem solving and conflict resolution skills, developed through role play, to avoid situations in which their risk of offending or victimisation might be increased

Importance of being able to deliver the intervention in full where there are multiple sessions

Unclear whether identifying recently injured youths through emergency department is a key to success, or whether the program could be delivered to youths identified in other settings

a: Limited to those interventions for which there was more than one evaluated strategy

b: Based on those mechanisms that were identified for effective strategies

Suitability for implementation by local government

While there are some questions regarding the relevance of gang-related violence prevention in the NSW context, the interventions that were reviewed as part of this research project are suitable for implementation by local government, either as the lead agency or in partnership with police, private businesses and community-based organisations. Local government were an important stakeholder involved in a number of the strategies targeting alcohol-related violence among the Australian studies reviewed as part of this project. Similarly, the NSW CPD has been responsible for leading large scale multicomponent strategies involving a number of different stakeholders targeting alcohol-related violence in a major entertainment precinct.

Nevertheless, there are a number of important considerations for the funding of these projects through a grants program (see Table 6).

Table 7: Crime prevention strategies targeting non-domestic violence related assault
Source Context Intervention(s) Mechanism(s) Outcomes Research design

Haurtiz et al. (1998)

Community Safety Action Project

Target crime—alcohol-related assault (primary)

Nature of problem—escalating levels of late-night assault and violence occurring in and around licensed establishments

Target group or beneficiaries—patrons and service staff

Target location—Townsville, Cairns and Mackay, Queensland

Community engagement and mobilisation—community represented on the working group and program developers held a community forum to provide community with an opportunity to provide suggestions and raise concerns

Rules and regulations for business—working group established a code of conduct for licensees

Education-type project—provided training for security staff in premise management

Police enforcement—increased monitoring and enforcement of Liquor Act breaches (in partnership with licensing authority)

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or that might be used as an excuse

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—significant decreases in physical and non-physical aggression and violence, particularly in Cairns (88.3%)

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—observations

Level on SMS—2

Holder et al. (2000)

Community Trials Project

Target crime: Alcohol-related assault, under-age drinking and drink-driving (primary)

Nature of problem: Escalating rates of violent crime in and around licensed establishments

Target group or beneficiaries: Mix of urban, suburban and rural sites

Target location: California and South Carolina (US)

Education-type project: Service providers given information about and, training in, responsible service of alcohol standards

Police enforcement: Stricter enforcement of drink-driving offences, and the sale of alcohol to under-age patrons

Awareness campaign: Media campaign to raise community awareness of program and harms of binge drinking

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—during the 12 month post-intervention period, hospital assault cases and hospitalised assault injuries decreased (43% and 2% respectively) in relation to comparison sites

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, multiple intervention and control sites

Research methods and source of data—surveys and interviews, hospital discharge data

Level on SMS—3

Homel et al. (1994)

Surfers Paradise Safety Action Project

Target crime—alcohol-related assault and disorder

Nature of problem—escalating rates of violent crime in and around licensed establishments

Target group or beneficiaries—patrons and service staff

Target location—Surfers Paradise, Queensland

Community engagement and mobilisation—community represented on the working group and program developers held a community forum to provide community with an opportunity to provide suggestions and raise concerns

Rules and regulations for business—working group established a code of conduct for licensees

Education-type project—provided training for security staff in premise management

Police enforcement—increased monitoring and enforcement of Liquor Act breaches (in partnership with licensing authority)

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or that might be used as an excuse

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—decrease in incidents of physical and non-physical violence occurring in licensed establishments, most notable after Code of Practice was introduced into the majority of venues. Increase in street offences eg rude language

Negative displacement of offending behaviour

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—observations, police records and surveys

Level on SMS—2

Maguire and Nettleton (2003)

Tackling Alcohol-related Street Crime (TASC) Project

Target crime—assault and disorder

Nature of problem—escalating levels of late-night assault and violence occurring in and around licensed establishments

Target group or beneficiaries—licensed establishments and fast-food joints

Target location—Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay, Wales

Education type project—training to all licensed establishment staff, developed an education program about the dangers of irresponsible drinking behaviours for school age children

Support services—provided appropriate counselling services to repeat offenders

Awareness campaign—increased awareness of alcohol-related violence among those responsible for planning and licensing strategies in Cardiff and the general public

Police enforcement—random police patrols in licenced establishments to monitor service standards; increased presence at hotspots

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture.

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or which might be used as an excuse

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—during the 12 month post-intervention period, alcohol-related assaults decreased by four percent (approximately 100 assaults). However, alcohol-related disorder offences increased by 49 percent. Decrease in offences committed in licensed premises but increase in street offences

Comparison—assault rates increased in other parts of Wales

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, some control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Molloy et al. (2004)

Operation Link: Be Safe Late Program (OLBSL)

Target crime—alcohol-related assault

Nature of problem—escalating rates of violent crime in and around licensed establishments

Target group or beneficiaries—patrons and service staff

Target location—Ballarat CBD, New South Wales

Police enforcement—additional police patrols in hotspot areas around licensed establishments

Street lighting—improved street lighting around licensed establishments

Access control—3 am ‘lockout’ prohibited late-night drinkers from accessing licensed establishments

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—39.85 percent decrease in assaults committed within Ballarat CBD—down from 133 in 2002–03 to 80 in 2003–04. A 47.54 percent decrease in assaults committed in licensed premises, reduction of 33.33 percent in public places

No evidence of displacement of crime to surrounding suburbs

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—project administrative data, police records and interviews

Level on SMS—2

Rumbold et al. (1998)

Geelong Local Industry Accord

Target crime—alcohol-related assault (primary), under-age drinking, and property damage

Nature of problem—escalating rates of violent crime in and around licensed establishments

Target group or beneficiaries—patrons and service staff

Target location—Geelong, Vic

Education-type project—service providers given information about and training in safe alcohol service standards

Police enforcement—stricter enforcement of liquor licensing laws and the sale of alcohol to underage patrons

Access control—stopped patrons from accessing bars/pubs after certain times

Rules and regulations for business—established a code of practice for licensees, endorsed by key project stakeholders, with particular focus on refusing service to intoxicated patron, underage drinking, drink promotions and pub-hopping

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or which might be used as an excuse

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—reported lower scores for safety and prevention of alcohol-related violence than control areas (observational data)

Intervention v comparison—decrease in assault and property damage. Assault reduced from 0.8 assaults per day to 0.5 assaults (although data unreliable due to changes in recording)

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before-after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records, interviews, surveys, observations and administrative data

Level on SMS—3

Hawks et al. (1999)

Fremantle Police-Licensee Accord

Target crime—alcohol-related violence

Nature of problem—antisocial behaviour among patrons leaving licensed premises

Target group or beneficiaries—patrons and service staff

Target location—Fremantle, Western Australia

Rules and regulations for business—established a code of practice for licensees, endorsed by key project stakeholders, with particular focus on refusing service to intoxicated patron, underage drinking and drink promotions

Education-type project—licensees, bar staff and security encouraged to access responsible service of alcohol training

Police enforcement—increased presence of police in hotspot areas

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or that might be used as an excuse

(Null effect)

Intervention v comparison—no significant reductions among any of the harm indicators when compared with control area. Assaults appeared to increase over time, most likely due to increased police presence

Intervention—no measurable improvements in responsible service practices by bar staff

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records, interviews, surveys, observational and pseudo-patron data

Level on SMS—3

Treno et al. (2007). Sacramento Neighbourhood Alcohol Prevention Project

Target crime—alcohol-related assault, drink-driving and underage drinking

Nature of problem—escalating rates of violent crime in and around licensed establishments

Target group or beneficiaries—offenders 15– 29 years

Target location—two low-income, ethnic minority neighbourhoods. High crime rates and alcohol-related problems. North and South Sacramento, United States

Police enforcement—stricter enforcement of existing alcohol laws

Education-type project—service providers given information about and training in safe alcohol service standards

Community engagement and mobilisation—community support for the scheme facilitated through consultations and an extensive media campaign

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or that might be used as an excuse

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—statistically significant reductions in assaults recorded by police and emergency medical service

Intervention—sale of alcohol to minors increased significantly in the second site (61%)

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police and emergency medical service records, surveys

Level on SMS—3

Wallin, Norstrom & Andreasson (2003) Stockholm Prevents Alcohol and Drug Problems

Target crime—alcohol-related assault, threats and harassment, violence and threats targeted at officials

Nature of problem—escalating rates of violent crime in and around licensed establishments

Target group or beneficiaries—patrons and service staff

Target location—Stockholm CBD

Education-type project—gave service providers information about and training in safe alcohol service standards

Police enforcement—stricter enforcement of existing alcohol laws

Community engagement and mobilisation—established a committee to raise community awareness of the scheme and increase knowledge concerning alcohol-related harms

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence or that might be used as an excuse

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—in the 33 month post-intervention period, alcohol-related violence decreased by 29 percent

Comparison—increase in alcohol-related violence

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

Coumarelos (2001)

Safe City Strategy

Target crime—assault (primary), robbery with/without a weapon and theft

Nature of problem—crime statistics for the Sydney CBD were significantly higher when compared with other areas in Sydney and New South Wales. Correspondingly, fear of victimisation among resident populations is high

Target location—Central city area of Sydney, New South Wales

Community patrol—presence of security guards at taxi ranks

CCTV—cameras installed in crime hotspots and monitored by trained staff

Street lighting—improved street lighting in crime hotspots

CPTED/Urban renewal—introduced new paving, wider footpaths, additional trees and new street furniture; development of environmental design guidelines

Natural surveillance—supervised recreational and cultural activities in city

Awareness campaign—community informed about the program and crime prevention techniques through media

Education-type program—encouraging licensed premise operators to adopt safer service protocols

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur.

(Uncertain effect)

Intervention—in the 12 month post-intervention period:

  • robbery with a weapon decreased by 31 percent
  • non-residential serious assault increased by seven percent
  • non-residential common assault increased by 12 percent
  • robbery without a weapon increased by five percent

Adjacent—non-residential serious assault increased by 81 percent, non-residential common assault by six percent, robbery without a weapon by 64 percent

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before-after

Research methods and source of data—resident surveys and interviews, police records

Level on SMS—2

Braga et al. (2001)

Boston Gun Project’s Operation Ceasefire

Target crime—gang-related homicide and assaults involving guns

Nature of problem—escalating rates of youth homicide, usually committed by gang members,

Target group or beneficiaries—gangs and gang members.

Target location—Boston, United States

Awareness campaign—community members and media delivered strong anti-violence message and information about the program

Police enforcement—targeted enforcement of firearm traffickers; law enforcement targeted gang activity

Community patrol—social service workers, community representatives and probation and parole officers actively patrolled community providing an outreach service and assistance to gang members

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—during the four year post-intervention period there were significant decreases in:

  • youth homicides (63%)
  • ‘shots fired’ call outs (32%)
  • gun assaults (25%)
  • youth gun assaults (44%)

These findings were the same taking into account seasonal variations and other control variables

Comparison—decline in youth homicide distinct when compared with youth homicide trends in most US and New England cities

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control (control variables and major cities across United States)

Research methods and source of data—oservations and police records

Level on SMS—3

Skogan et al. (2008)

CeaseFire-Chicago

Target crime—gang-related homicide and assaults involving guns

Nature of problem—escalating rates of homicides involving firearms, usually committed by gang members

Target group or beneficiaries—gangs and gang members.

Target location—Chicago, US

Community patrol—‘violence interrupters’ actively patrolled community performing mediation and conflict resolution services; outreach workers provided support service, assisting gang members access education and employment opportunities

Awareness campaign—community members and media delivered strong anti-violence message and information about the program

Community engagement and mobilisation—proactively sought community input through rallies, marches and prayer vigils to promote message of the scheme. Faith-based leaders promoted the scheme provided counselling and support

Police enforcement: Stricter enforcement of existing laws

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—analysis of seven intervention sites (of 25 in operation) and comparison areas showed significant declines in actual and attempted shootings in three areas due to the program; a decline in gun-related homicide in three sites (of which one was found to be due to the program); a decline in shooting density in six sites (3 due to program)

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control (control variables and major cities across United States)

Research methods and source of data—interviews, surveys observations and police records

Level on SMS—4

Spergel (1986)

Crisis Intervention Services Project (CRISP)

Target crime—gang-related homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, simple assault, simple battery, intimidation, gang recruitment and unlawful use of weapon

Nature of problem—upward trend in gang-related homicides in Chicago

Target location—neighbourhood characterised by very high homicide rates, intense gang violence and predominantly Puerto Rican population. Community politically and culturally fragmented due to socio-demographic shifts

Awareness campaign—outreach workers spread knowledge about police crackdowns

Community patrol—outreach workers patrolled high crime areas and performed mediation and conflict resolution services

Support services—outreach workers provided at-risk youths with access to services, such as employment

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Uncertain effect)

Intervention v comparison—rate of serious gang crime among juveniles increased at lower rate than in comparison group over the 10 month post-intervention period

No effect on less serious gang crime

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—plice records

Level on SMS—3

Tita et al. (2010) Operation Ceasefire Los Angeles

Target crime—homicide, attempted homicide, robbery, assault, kidnapping, gang crime and gun crime

Nature of problem—escalating rates of gang-related crime, in particular youth homicide

Target group or beneficiaries—gangs and gang members

Target location—Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, high violent area and gang activity

Awareness campaign—community members and media conveyed strong anti-violence message and information about the program

Police enforcement—police patrols deployed in hotspot areas; increased enforcement of parole and probation of gang members; enforcement of housing codes

Support services—gang members were offered access to job training and development opportunities, substance abuse treatment and tattoo removal

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—reduction in violent, gang and gun crime in areas in which social services delivered not significantly greater than comparison areas

Intervention v comparison—reductions in violent crime in areas with targeted enforcement significantly greater than reductions in comparison areas. No significant decrease in gun or gang crime

Adjacent—decrease in crime rates in surrounding areas providing some evidence of potential diffusion of benefits

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

Wilson, Chermack and McGarrell (2010).

One Vision One Life

Target crime—homicide (primary), aggravated assault.

Nature of problem—in 2003 there was a 49 percent spike in homicide rates in Pittsburgh

Target location—three different areas of Pittsburgh, United States—Northside, Hill District and Southside. All high crime areas

Community engagement and mobilisation—connecting residents with services, promoting connections between neighbours through organised events such as ‘cook-outs’

Support services—connected at-risk youths with services like social welfare

Awareness campaign—outreach workers disseminated an anti-violence message to residents through pamphlets

Encourage individuals (potential targets or individuals who facilitate access to targets) to consider the implications of their actions and discourage behaviour that may create opportunities for crime to occur and/or encourage behaviour that minimises opportunities for crime to occur

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Undesirable effect)

Intervention—monthly homicide rates increased in one site, decreased in two. Average number of assaults increased in all three sites

Adjacent—negative displacement effect. Increase in gun assaults in the Southside and Hill District spill over areas, an increase in aggravated assaults in Southside and a decrease in aggravated assault in Hill District

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, some control

Research methods and source of data—police and administrative records, observations and interviews

Level on SMS—2

Donnelly and Kimble (1997)

Target crime: Assault, residential burglary, larceny, auto theft, and vandalism

Nature of problem: High crime rates in ‘permeable’ neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood characterised by high crime rates and large ethnic population. Close to downtown area and interstate highway

Target location: Five Oaks neighbourhood of Dayton Ohio

Access control: Barricades erected in streets which were thoroughfares for criminals

CPTED: Changed access points to streets to make ‘outsiders’ stand out more

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Make target enclosures harder to penetrate to increase the perceived effort associated with a crime

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations in which there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—decrease in violent crimes (40%), burglaries (39%), larceny (25%) and vandalism (21%)

Evidence of displacement

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before-after, some control

Research methods and source of data—resident surveys and police records

Level on SMS—2

Lasley (1998)

Operation Cul-de-Sac

Target crime—gang-related assault, homicide, residential burglary and theft

Nature of problem—neighbourhoods identified as hotspots for gang-related crime

Target group or beneficiaries—gangs and gang members

Target location—Los Angeles, United States

Access control—barricades placed in high-crime thoroughfares

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—decrease in homicide and assaults. Annual homicide rate dropped from seven victims to one during the 24 month post-intervention period. Assault fell from 190 to 138. Robbery remained constant

Comparison—constant homicide and assault rates

Adjacent—no evidence of displacement

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

Stone and Stevens (1999)

Target crime—assault (including robbery using force) and homicide

Nature of problem—high rates of assaults against taxi-drivers in United States

Target location—citywide Baltimore, United States

Access control—installation of plastic partitions between the taxi driver and passengers

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—in the 12 month post-intervention period, assaults on taxi drivers fell by 56 percent

Intervention v comparison—taxi drivers without partitions five times more likely than shielded drivers to be assaulted

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records and administrative data

Level on SMS—3

Ditton and Nair (1994)

Target crime—assault, threatened assault and harassment

Nature of problem—escalating rates of street crime on route between residential areas and services

Target location—two housing estates near or in Glasgow, Scotland. Bellgrove and High Blantyre. Residents separated from necessary services by a geographical barrier

Street lighting—improved street lighting in high-crime areas

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—decrease in self-reported assaults. Decline violence rates not reflected in police statistics

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—observations, interviews and administrative data

Level on SMS—2

Painter and Farrington (1999) in Welsh and Farrington (2007a)

Target crime—residential burglary, vehicle crime (theft from and of), violence (primarily assault).

Nature of problem—high crime rates on housing estates.

Target location—local housing authority in Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom

Street lighting—improved street lighting in high-crime areas

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—over the 12 month post-intervention period there was a significant decline in violent crime occurring in the intervention site, over and above comparison area

Intervention—43 percent decrease in overall crime. A 68 percent decrease in violent crimes. A 15 percent decrease in residential burglary

Comparison—two percent decrease in overall crime. A 39 percent decrease in violent crimes. Residential burglary increased by six percent

Adjacent—45 percent decrease in overall crime. A 66 percent decrease in violent crimes. A 20 percent decrease in residential burglary

Some evidence of diffusion of benefits

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—victim surveys and police records

Level on SMS—3

Quinet and Nunn (1998) in Welsh and Farrington (2007a)

Target crime—property and violent crime

Target location—residential neighbourhood in Indianapolis, United States.

Street lighting—improved street lighting in high-crime areas

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Null effect)

Intervention v comparison—over the seven to 10 month post-intervention period, violent crime increased in both intervention and control areas, although this increase was lower in the intervention area

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

Wright et al. (1974)

Target crime—robbery, assault, larceny and auto theft

Nature of problem—Increasing rates of street crime in the United States

Target location—Kansas City, United States. Included commercial downtown business district and residential pods

Street lighting—improved street lighting in high-crime areas

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—during the post-intervention period (April 1972–March 1973) a 48 percent decrease in violent street crime (robbery and assault)

Adjacent—some minor evidence of displacement of crime to non-relit areas

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, some control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—2

Inskeep & Goff (1974) in Welsh & Farrington (2007a)

Target crime—robbery, assault and residential burglary

Nature of problem—residential neighbourhood with high crime rates

Target location—Portland, United States

Street lighting—improved street lighting in high-crime areas

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Null effect)

Intervention v comparison—no significant different between crime rates in the intervention and control areas

No evidence of displacement or diffusion of benefits

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

Atlanta Regional Commission (1974) in Welsh & Farrington (2007a)

Target crime—residential burglary, vehicle theft and assault

Target location—city centre Atlanta, United States

Street lighting—improved street lighting in high-crime areas

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—significant reduction in crime rates (over 12 month post-intervention period) in the intervention area, relative to control

No evidence of displacement

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

Sternhell (1977) in Welsh & Farrington (2007a)

Target crime—robbery, assault and residential burglary

Nature of problem—residential neighbourhood with high crime rates

Target location—Portland, United States

Street lighting—improved street lighting in high-crime areas

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Null effect)

Intervention v comparison—no significant different between crime rates (over 29 month post-intervention period) in the intervention and control areas

No evidence of displacement or diffusion of benefits

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—police records

Level on SMS—3

O’Donnell et al. (1998) Reach for Health Community Youth Service

Target crime—assault, threatened assault and possession of a weapon

Nature of problem—increasing rates of violence among students, especially within African-American and Hispanic populations

Target group or beneficiaries–at-risk youths

Target location—large, public and urban middle school. Serves an economically disadvantaged community. School noted for large minority population, high health risk factors and low academic achievement. NYC, United States

Education-type project—curriculum teaches students to deal with risky situations in constructive and peaceful ways

Diversionary activities—community services provides at-risk students with opportunities to develop community bonds

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations where there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

(Desirable effect)

Intervention—children who participated in the community services program and Reach for Health curriculum were less likely to self-report exhibiting violent behaviours at six month follow up

Risk-reduction curriculum in combination with community service was more effective at changing behaviours than education by itself

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—surveys

Level on SMS—3

Grossman and Tierney (1998)

Big Brothers and Big Sisters

Target crime—crime and antisocial behaviour

Nature of problem—high rates of offending amongst at-risk youths eg those coming from single parent households

Target group or beneficiaries—program aimed at youths—generally 10–16 years

Target location—BBBS is available in most US states

Mentoring—at-risk youths are connected with an unrelated adult. Mentors support clients and teach them to cope with peer pressure, think through the consequences of their actions, to stay in school and help them to become involved in socially acceptable activities

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—in the 12 month post-intervention period, matched youths were:

  • 32 percent less likely to report hitting someone
  • less likely to resort to violence
  • 46 percent less likely to have used drugs
  • 27 percent less likely to have used alcohol

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—randomised experiment, control

Research methods and source of data—participant surveys

Level on SMS—5

Drake and Barnoski (2006)

Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration’s mentoring program

Target crime—crime and antisocial behaviour

Nature of problem—high rates of reoffending amongst youths leaving JRA facilities

Target location—Seattle, US

Mentoring—youths returning from JRA facility are connected with a trusted adult who volunteers to meet weekly with the young person in the community and assists setting and fulfilling educational and vocational goals, provides support to prevent drug use and crime

Intervene to address the underlying factors that contributed to an offender’s behaviour in the first place, and support their transition back into the community

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Null effect)

Intervention v comparison—at 12 month follow up, the mentored group reoffended at a lower rate than comparison group for violent felonies. However the gap converges by 24 and 36 months. Difference was not significant at any point

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation of design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—recidivism data

Level on SMS—3

O’Donnell, Lydgate and Fo (1979)

The Buddy System

Target crime—crime and antisocial behaviour

Target group or beneficiaries–multi-ethnic children, teens and youth (10 to 17 years) with academic or behavioural problems

Target location—United States

Mentoring—promotes interaction between youth and older role models. Provides a mentor from the community to multi-ethnic older children, teens and youth children who have been referred to the program by schools, police, courts, social welfare agencies, or community residents

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Uncertain effect)

Intervention v comparison—participants who had committed major offences prior to enrolment in the program were less likely to commit such offences during or after having participated in the program

Intervention v comparison—participants who had never committed major offences before entering the program were significantly more likely to do so than were youth in the control group

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—randomised experiment, control

Research methods and source of data—arrest records

Level on SMS—5

Schirm, Stuart and McKie (2006)

The Quantum Opportunity Program Demonstration

Target crime—crime and antisocial behaviour

Nature of problem—youths with low grades entering high schools with high dropout rates

Target location—community-based organisations in seven US sites operated QOP demonstration programs

Mentoring—afterschool program providing case management and mentoring, supplemental education, developmental activities, community service activities, supportive services and financial incentives

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

(Undesirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—program did not improve educational outcomes and employment-related outcomes, and did not reduce crime (including violent crime) in late teens or early twenties

Intervention v comparison—long-term follow-up suggested program appeared to have some detrimental effects on crime and involvement with the criminal justice system

Evaluation focus: Outcome

Evaluation design: Randomised experiment, control

Research methods and source of data: Survey, achievement tests and school administrative records

Level on SMS—5

St James-Roberts et al. (2005)

Youth Justice Board Mentoring Schemes 2001–2004

Target crime—crime and antisocial behaviour Nature of problem—hard to reach young people and young people with literacy and numeracy needs, and who had offended or who were at risk of offending

Target location—80 community mentor projects across England and Wales

Mentoring—involves establishing a trusting relationship in which a more experienced person helps and provides a role model for someone who is less experienced. Competency focused, in that they set out to teach basic literacy, numeracy, social, or life skills in the hope that such skills will help the young people to interact better with their social and physical environments and so improve their prospects

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors

OR

Address the underlying factors that contributed to an offender’s behaviour in the first place and support their transition back into the community

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations where their risk of offending might be increased

(Null effect)

Intervention v comparison—some evidence that the program was successful in reintegrating targeted young people into education, training and community

Intervention v comparison—depth study showed that there was a small reduction in self-reported violent offending during the 12 month post-intervention period, but this was consistent across intervention and control group

Intervention v comparison—according to reconviction data, there was a reduction in the rate of offending, consistent across intervention and control group

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—administrative data, interviews with sample of participants and control group and reconviction data

Level on SMS—3

...beyond (2004)

Panyappi

Target crime—crime and antisocial behaviour

Nature of problem—increasing rates of Indigenous young people frequenting the inner city area of Adelaide and becoming involved in offending behaviour

Target group or beneficiaries—aimed at young Indigenous people (10–14 years) who are identified as being at risk of offending and have begun to, or already have, disengaged from education

Mentoring project—connected at-risk youths with an unrelated adult. Mentors support clients and teach them to cope with peer pressure, think through the consequences of their actions, to stay in school and help them to become involved in socially acceptable activities

Support services—mentors would connect clients and their families with support services such as welfare and unemployment

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Uncertain effect)

Intervention—the likelihood of offending decreased for participants, even for children who had had an extensive offending history. Majority of children (80%) decreased their rate of offending by at least 25 percent

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—interviews, focus groups, program statistics and administrative data

Level on SMS—2

Hanlon et al. (2002)

Baltimore City Youth Bureaus

Target crime—crime and antisocial behaviour

Nature of problem—previous surveys had found that these communities had high rates of drug use, poverty, financial dependence, teenage pregnancies and health problems

Target group or beneficiaries—inner city, primarily African American, youth at risk for the development and progression of a deviant lifestyle because of drug use, delinquent behaviour or expulsion from school

Target location—Baltimore, United States

Support services—individual counselling by clinic personnel involving individual case management and improving access to essential services by way of referrals

Mentoring—structured group approach involving representative role models from the community (college students) delivering both individual help and structured activities/presentations in areas such as social and life skills, cultural heritage, enhancement of self-esteem and conflict resolution. Also sponsored holiday celebration activities and field trips

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—evidence of a significant reduction in violent and non-violent delinquent activity among intervention group when compared with control group

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—interviews with participants and control group, arrest records

Level on SMS—4

Walton et al. (2010)

SafERteens

Target crime—violence and alcohol misuse

Nature of problem—emergency department setting identified as an important point of contact with young people at increased risk of problems with violence and alcohol

Target group or beneficiaries—adolescents (aged 14–18 years) seeking care in emergency department

Target location—Michigan, United States

Personal development—brief intervention combining motivational interviewing with skills training, included a review of goals, tailored feedback, decisional balance exercise, role plays (conflict resolution and anger management) and referrals. Included therapist delivered brief intervention, computer delivered brief intervention (interactive animated program) or brochure with community resources (control)

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations where their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Desirable effect)

Intervention v comparison—participants receiving therapist-based intervention less likely to experience peer violence three months after their emergency department visit. Alcohol consequences also less common among therapist and computer brief intervention groups at six months follow up

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—self-administered questionnaire by participants and control group

Level on SMS—5

Cheng et al. (2008)

Target crime—aggression, fighting and injury

Nature of problem—high rates of homicide and violence, emergency department setting identified as an important point of contact with young people to intervene to reduce violence

Target group or beneficiaries—adolescents (aged 10–15 years) seeking care in emergency department for peer-related assaults and their family

Target location—Washington, United States

Personal development—experienced mentors implemented a six session problem solving curriculum with youth (including conflict management, role playing and goal setting) in their home and community. Parents received three home visits with health educator to discuss family needs and facilitate service use and parental monitoring. Control group received community resources and two follow-up calls to facilitate service

Intervene at key developmental stages to alleviate risk factors and enhance protective factors

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Alleviate (or minimise the impact of) stressors (relating to the individual or environment) that may influence the behaviour of potential offenders or that might be used as an excuse for offending

(Uncertain effect)

Intervention v comparison—youths receiving the higher number of intervention sessions reported reduced aggression and misdemeanour activity. No significant impact on youth reports of fighting or carrying weapons

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—interviewer administered questionnaire with youths and parents in intervention and control group

Level on SMS—5

Chantrill (1998). Kowanyama Aboriginal Community Justice Group

Target crime—assault and homicide

Nature of problem—high rates of crime and violence in isolated Indigenous communities and high rates of victimisation within Indigenous populations generally

Target location—Kowanyama (near Cape York, Queensland). Characterised by large Indigenous population, alcohol-related violence, community isolation and strained interfamilial relationships

Community patrol—Indigenous elders patrolled high-crime areas, particularly around canteens

Diversionary activities—cultural and sporting activities introduced in the community

Personal development—workshops held to teach conflict management techniques, employment skills etc

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Build a person’s resilience to offending by providing them with the resources, skills, knowledge and ability to avoid situations in which their risk of offending might be increased

Prevent potential offenders from being able to access locations in which there are potential targets (property or people) or where provocation may occur

(Uncertain effect)

Intervention—initial decrease in offences against the person (47 to 31 offences). Two years after its introduction (1996) offending rates increased almost to pre-intervention levels (42). However, offending rates had dropped again by the end of 1996 (33)

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—administrative data and police records

Level on SMS—2

Crime Research Centre, University of Western Australia (2008)

Eyes on the Street Program

Target crime—residential burglary, theft, vandalism, vehicle theft and assault

Nature of problem—high rates of residential burglary rates in the South East Metropolitan Police District

Target location—Metropolitan Western Australia

Natural surveillance—people in the community were encouraged to keep an eye out and report any suspicious incidents

Awareness campaign—community awareness of program facilitated through media campaign and easily recognisable insignia

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence

(Null effect)

Intervention—incidences of offences against the person remained constant. Property offences decreased, but this trend was present prior to program introduction

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—stakeholder interviews, administrative data (crime statistics and reports submitted by EOTS participants)

Level on SMS—2

Kenney (1986) and Pennel, Curtis and Henderson (1989)

The Guardian Angels

Target crime—homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, larceny, residential burglary, auto theft and pick-pocketing

Nature of problem—perceptions that street crime in major US cities was out of control and that the police were impotent to stop escalating crime rates

Target location: NYC, San Diego, United States

Community patrol—formation of easily recognisable community ‘security guards’ that patrolled crime hotspots

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

(Undesirable effect)

Intervention—22 percent decrease in violent crime in the six month post-intervention period. Simple assaults increased by 26 percent. Property crime decreased by 25 percent

Comparison—42 percent decrease in violent crime rates. Simple assaults increased by 27 percent. Property crime by 15 percent

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—transit police records, surveys and interviews

Level on SMS—3

Veno and Veno (1993)

Target crime—assault

Nature of problem—high levels of violent crime at motorcycle festivals

Target group or beneficiaries and location—attendees at Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Phillip Island, Victoria

Community engagement and mobilisation—festival camping sites managed using a marshalling system run by representatives from the bikie community

CPTED—upgraded festival camping facilities eg bathrooms

Awareness campaign—encouraged festival attendees and media representatives to not start fights

Police enforcement—less obtrusive policing tactics and working with the bikie community

Introduce or improve formal or informal surveillance to increase the perceived risk that committing an offence will result in identification or capture

Manipulate the physical environment (built or landscape) to improve surveillance, define ownership of spaces and minimise conflict between users

Increase an offender’s perceived risk of crime, the perceived effort of crime or reduce the anticipated rewards of crime to discourage them from committing an offence.

(Uncertain effect)

Intervention—fewer arrests made at Phillip Island when compared with previous Grand Prix site in Sydney. Thirty-six spectators arrested from a crowd of almost 241,000

Evaluation focus—process and outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, some control

Research methods and source of data—administrative data, attendee surveys and police records.

Level on SMS—2

Callahan, Rivara and Koepsell (1996). Seattle Gun Buy-Back Program

Target crime—gun-related assaults, robberies and homicides

Nature of problem—ready availability of guns and escalating levels of gun-related violence in United States

Target location—Seattle

Weapon restrictions/control—community organisations bought guns back from the community in exchange for money

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence

(Null effect)

Intervention—during the six month post-intervention period there were no significant changes in gun-related homicides, assaults and robberies. However, firearm related admissions to hospital decreased, but not significantly

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after

Research methods and source of data—administrative data, surveys and interviews

Level on SMS—2

Warburton and Shepherd (2000)

Target crime—alcohol-related assault

Nature of problem—bar glassware is responsible for about 10 percent of assault injuries that present to UK emergency units and usually lead to permanent disfiguring scars

Target location—series of bars and pubs in South Wales, West Midlands and West of England

Weapon restrictions/control—introduced toughened bar glasses, which are six times more impact resistant than regular glasses. When they break usually disintegrate into ‘lumps’, which are less likely to cause lacerations

Prevent offenders from being able to access the resources they need in order to commit an offence

(Null effect)

No statistical difference between groups in terms of number or severity of injuries inflicted on staff by bar glasses

Intervention—during six month post-intervention period, injuries as a result of spontaneous shattering of glasses increased

Evaluation focus—outcome

Evaluation design—before–after, control

Research methods and source of data—staff surveys and interviews, and pub records

Level on SMS—3