Local Policing in Europe - CPL (11) 3 Part II

Pascal MANGIN, France
Chamber of Local Authorities
Political Group: EPP/CD

Sandra BARNES, United Kingdom
Chamber of Local Authorities
Political Group: EPP/CD



1. The Congress welcomes the current Resolution on Local Policing in Europe.

The Bureau of the Chamber of Local Authorities, at its last meeting in 2002, decided to prepare a Resolution, Recommendation, together with an Explanatory Memorandum on local policing in Europe.

Impelled by the results of the Charleroi Round Table, (see below item 4) such a decision was in line with different objectives of the Chamber, i.e. the reinforcement of local democracy and a diversification of its work on crime prevention.

The Bureau felt that this work should be carried out, both by its Committee on Social Cohesion, in terms of the role of local police on the ground, in their communities; and by its Institutional Committee, given the need to discuss the inter-relationships of local police with other levels of police, particularly national and with the local political authority.

Accordingly and subsequently, the two Committees designated respectively Mrs. Sandra Barnes, (UK) and Mr. Pascal Mangin (France) as their Rapporteurs.

2. Recalling the reports and the series of annual conferences held on different aspects of crime prevention; and the Manual on Urban Crime Prevention.

The Chamber, over recent years, has developed an intensive work programme on crime prevention.

This has been characterised by a number of annual conferences as follows:

- Crime and Urban Security in Europe: The Role and Responsibilities of Local and Regional Authorities; 26-28 February 1997, Erfurt (Germany)

- Tackling Crime and Urban Security in Europe through co-operation between Local Authorities and the Police; 29 April – 1 May 1998, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK)

- The Role of Local Authorities in Combating Crime, 16-48 September 1999, Petrozavodsk (Russian Federation)

- The Relationship between the Physical Urban Environment and Crime Education and Prevention; 19-21 October 2000, Szczecin (Poland)

- Local Authorities and Transfrontier Crime, 20-22 September 2001, Enschede (The Netherlands)

- Tackling Terrorism – The Role and Responsibilities of Local Authorities; 20-21 September, Luxembourg

The Final Declarations of these conferences have been brought together into a single compendium, available upon request to the Congress Secretariat.

In addition, reports have been presented to the Plenary Sessions of the Chamber by, respectively
Mr Jan Mans (Netherlands) and Mrs Luisa Laurelli (Italy).

The results of this work have been brought together into a Manual on Urban Crime Prevention, now widely translated and circulated.

The above work programme has been carried out in co-operation with relevant outside bodies, including the European Forum for Urban Safety, itself a product of the Chamber.

3. Recalling the Round Table in Charleroi (22-23 November 2002) which examined the role of local police in Europe.

The Bureau of the Chamber accepted an invitation by the town of Charleroi and the Head of its Local Police to organise a meeting, with targeted participants, on the role and the responsibilities on local police in Europe.

The choice of Charleroi was determined by a political interest in the recent police reform in Belgium and the success of its local police, headed by Mrs Francine Biot.

The statements and debates of the Round-Table are available on request and constitute very much the starting point of this current focus by the Chamber.

4. Recording its satisfaction and gratitude for the support of the Council of Europe’s Integrated Project II (Responses to violence in everyday life in a democratic society).

The work of the Chamber on local policing was greatly facilitated by the conceptual and financial assistance of the Integrated Project II of the Council of Europe, designed by the Secretary General to bring together the different sectors and strands of the Council of Europe working on related subjects.

5. Records its thanks to the group of consultants.

In order to assist the Rapporteurs, the Secretariat identified and convened a number of acknowledged experts for the meeting

These are: Mme Francine Biot (Belgium); Mr Dirk van Nuffel (Belgium); Mr Radim Bures (Czech Republic); Mr Jean-Louis Renier (France); Mr Krists Leiskalas (Latvia), Mr Josie Brincat (Malta); Mr Jan Swaan (The Netherlands); Mr Ole Johan Stromann, (Norway); Mr Robert Rybicki (Poland); Prof Adrian Beck (UK)

6. Wishing to underline the following preliminary considerations:

The draft Resolution, following customary practice, brings together a number of initial considerations on different aspects of the subject, before making policy proposals directly to local authorities and the Congress itself.


7. Policing in Europe is characterised by considerable differences, reflecting local policing traditions.

8. In some countries, national police forces exist alone; in others, they are accompanied by regional and/or local police. In some countries, there are even variations in local policing from town to town.

Laws, styles of policing, methods of working, organisational structures, means of civilian and governmental oversight, control and power relations, all vary dramatically across the European continent. This is even more the case since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the gradual integration into the Council of Europe and, now, EU of new countries that have inherited Soviet-style criminal justice systems.

Many European countries such as France, Italy and Spain have a long tradition of a highly centralised structure, whereas the UK, Germany and more recently the Netherlands and Belgium have adopted a more decentralised policing system, with a more localised service, oriented towards providing services to the public, not only crime control and order maintenance.

As a result of the differences in types of policing within Europe, some models of local policing are more formal and centrally controlled while others are more informal and locally organised. In some Member States, for example, it has been decided centrally (at government level) to put co-operation between the police and other non-governmental organisations on the agenda and to introduce security plans and/or contracts, setting out detailed guidelines for local co-operation.

Some examples:-


The new police system introduced in January 2001 comprises two levels, the local police and the federal police.

The local police span 196 districts covering 589 municipal authorities, where they provide all the basic administrative and criminal police services, ie all the administrative and law enforcement tasks needed to deal with local events and phenomena occurring within the police district. These may range from promoting road safety and preventing anti-social behaviour to taking evidence and investigating murder cases, for example. They also assist with certain federal-type police tasks, such as keeping the peace at major demonstrations or football matches outside their usual territory.

The federal police carry out special administrative and criminal police duties and co-ordinate international co-operation efforts. They also provide back-up for the local police in certain circumstances.

The two levels are independent and answer to different authorities.

- At the federal level the Ministry of the Interior is responsible for general police management and routine police tasks, such as keeping the peace, while the more specialised criminal police operations, concerning money laundering or organised crime, for example, are carried out under the authority of the Ministry of Justice. The force is headed by a general police superintendent who co-ordinates five general directorates (criminal police, administrative police, operational support, human resources and logistics). He is appointed for a five-year term.

- At the local level the police force is broken down into districts, each covering one or more municipalities. The local police provide basic policing under the authority of the ‘burgomaster’ or, when several municipalities are included in the same district, the police board. Each local force is headed by a police chief, appointed for five years, who is responsible for carrying out local police policy and, more specifically, implementing the district security plan.

The system may seem complicated, but its aim is to guarantee maximum and equal security for all citizens, under a “comprehensive security policy”.

To underscore the integrated nature of the system, all police officers are governed by the same rules, receive the same training and have the same code of ethics, and police information is managed jointly. Maximum circulation of information is provided for within each level and between levels.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands is divided into 25 regional police forces and the National Police Services Agency (KLPD), which carries out national and specialist police tasks. It collects, files, processes, manages, analyses and distributes information, and carries out other support tasks. The KLPD is headed by the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (since 1st January 2000). Each of the regional forces is responsible for a geographical part of Holland and is headed by a regional police board, consisting of mayors and a chief public prosecutor. The latter is responsible (with the Minister of Justice) for the overall quality of policing in the Netherlands. They also head each of the regional police forces ‘at arm’s length’ – meaning that their interventions are limited to what is strictly necessary. Each force is divided into a number of districts, most of which are divided into (neighbourhood) teams responsible for smaller geographical area. A lot of neighbourhood teams are divided into smaller neighbourhoods in which one police officer is responsible for safety and security. Each force has one chief commissioner.

The government sets requirements, but the police forces themselves are accountable for their operational management. The Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations also provides guidance by setting policy issues. In addition, the Minister sets management guidelines such as aiming for transparency, quality, and goal-directed efficiency. Operational management increasingly focuses on performance and improved transparency, both within the Dutch police as a whole and the regional force in particular.


Norway has only one police force, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice and Police. The National Police Directorate, headed by the National Police Commissioner, is responsible for managing and co-ordinating the police in order to ensure a predictable, efficient and flexible service. The organisation of the local police is based on clear principles of local policing. There are 27 police districts, each under the command of a Chief of Police. The Chief of Police has full responsibility for every aspect of policing in the district. Each district has its own headquarters, as well as several local police stations. The districts are divided into sub-districts, under the command of a lensmann (‘rural police’), or local police stations. The sub-districts usually have only one station, giving a total of 410 locations nationwide.
United Kingdom

There are 52 police forces in the UK, mainly organised on a local basis. The Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police are responsible for policing London, whilst 43 forces carry out the territorial policing of England and Wales and eight regional forces police Scotland. The Police Service of Northern Ireland, which replaced the Royal Ulster Constabulary, came into being in November 2001. In addition, there are specialised police forces such as the British Transport Police, the Ministry of Defence Police, and the UK Atomic Energy Authority Constabulary.

In England and Wales, each police force is headed by a Chief Constable, who is responsible for the management and operation of the force. The Chief Constable reports to the Police Authority, which normally consists of 3 magistrates, 9 local councillors and 5 independent members. The Home Office is the central government department responsible for policing in England and Wales. In Scotland, each force is headed by a Chief Constable who reports to a police authority made up of Scottish regional councillors. The Secretary of State for Scotland has the same role as the Home Secretary in England and Wales. In Northern Ireland, the Police Authority was replaced in November 2001 by the Policing Board, which is an independent public body made up of 19 political and independent members, established to secure an effective, efficient and impartial police service for all the people of Northern Ireland.

9. There is nonetheless an increase in the establishment of local, neighbourhood or community policing in many countries, answerable to the local political authority, because of their familiarity with neighbourhoods; their responsiveness to local needs; their closeness to citizens; and the need to reinforce national police.

10. The experience has shown positive results, in terms of reduction of crime and in the strengthening of social cohesion.

In some European countries in recent years, local police forces have been established, often under control of the local political authority. Reasons for this include the democratic imperative of having police forces close to the community; that they can be more responsive than national police forces to a local situation; and sometimes simply to reinforce other levels of police, helping them out with traditional, but nonetheless important tasks.

Some of the newer member countries of the Council of Europe are also looking closely into the establishment of local police forces, given the successful experience in countries where they have been established.

The results are promising. It has been shown, for example, in Belgium that crime has been reduced significantly in some cities. Because local police are seen as partners in a local community, working alongside other professionals, there is often a heightened sense of social cohesion in the communities in which they serve.


11. There is a growing importance of local government-led multi-agency strategies to meeting the community safety needs of increasingly heterogeneous societies.

A key component of this approach is recognition that community safety and security is not merely the preserve of agencies within the criminal justice system, focused upon preventing and detecting crime, but that it is a function of a multitude of inter-related social, economic and political factors requiring a more co-ordinated approach. It also highlights the importance of prioritising local developing strategies that reflect and respect the needs of local communities and minority groups within society.

12. Local communities are now considered as co-producers of their own safety, through working together with local authorities and the police in partnerships.

Local authorities have played a pivotal lead role in co-ordinating and organising this work, sometimes as part of a statutory government requirement.1 In a number of European countries formalised mechanisms of co-operation have been developing between the police and local authorities at a strategic level, for example through preparing common security plans, or at a more operational level through participation in community-based boards and committees, targeting specific population groups, geographic areas or crime categories. Associations and non-governmental organisations have also started to get involved in community crime prevention and security planning efforts. For instance, in 1987, the European Forum for Urban Safety (EFUS) was set up linking mayors across Europe to develop community safety through strong city partnerships.

13. Local policing is an approach that recognises the importance of seeing issues of crime and community safety within a broader social, economic and political setting.

Perhaps the most dominant policy option, developed in recent years for tackling and reducing crime has been the establishment of partnerships, in which the different sectors of society, having an impact on the social and built environment, are brought together into a co-production for reducing crime.

Crime prevention is no longer seen as purely a police function. Crime is a community challenge which must find a comprehensive community response, bringing together partners in a transparent manner, and often accountably principally to the local political authority.

14. For the police this has increasingly meant a move away from a highly centralised and largely reactive model to one that encourages them to be physically and philosophically closer to local communities.

They involve dismantling large geographic areas into smaller units, stationing police officers in community police stations, organising more foot patrols and making the police an integrated, visible and natural element of the public space of local communities.


15. For some of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, particularly those currently entering the EU, developing models of local policing will be a significant challenge and opportunity.

For the most part such countries inherited highly centralised, militarised policing systems oriented towards serving the interests of the state rather than the public. Long traditions of repression and political control have left serious obstacles to developing local accountability and trust. Indeed, some of the existing policing systems seem to demonstrate a high degree of inertia and resistance to democratic change.2

16. Their ability to learn from the experience and expertise of the European societies with established traditions of local policing is of considerable importance.

This, in turn, raises the issues of transferability of policing practices and solutions from one country to another; and of the consequences of implementing various policies, strategies, and tactics in particular contexts. Transitional societies’ own traditions of citizen involvement in crime prevention3 also need to be addressed, although it would require careful consideration as to what practices would be appropriate or indeed possible in the new Europe.

17. Irrational Fear of Crime and Insecurity.

The perception of crime by the public is often subjective, based not so much on actual statistics, but rather on the series of daily incidents, often dramatic, which appear in the media.

Whilst irrational, this tendency nonetheless, needs to be understood and tackled by local authorities and police forces in order not only to avoid unnecessary anxiety, but also inflated expenditure, in measures which may not be strictly necessary, e.g. the excessive development of private security forces, sometime operating outside democratic control.


18. In most European countries, recent crime statistics show a relatively stable situation;

Detailed below is some indicative recorded crime data covering the years from 1995 to 2000 taken from the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics, which helps to provide an overview of the problem of crime as it varies across a number of European countries (Table 1).
Table 1 Total Criminal Offences per 100,000 Population4








% change

























































Czech Republic
































































































































































































































UK: England & Wales








UK: Northern Ireland








UK: Scotland
























The overall picture is one of relative stability in the number of recorded offences per 100,000 over the five-year period – the average rate has remained virtually the same at approximately 4,300 offences per 100,000 people. Of the 15 countries that have seen a significant increase, 9 are countries in Central and Eastern Europe (Armenia, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovenia), a further three are predominately Southern European (Greece, Turkey and Portugal), while the remaining three are Northern European (Austria, Northern Ireland and Norway). Certainly the preponderance of Central and Eastern European countries can be partly explained by their recent history and the legacy of the Soviet Union, which had a policing style and culture that did not encourage a strong affinity between the public and the police and undoubtedly led to significant under reporting of crime. The increases over the past 5 years, therefore, may partly be as a consequence of a greater willingness to report crime under the new regime, although recent research suggests that most of these countries have genuinely experienced a considerable increase in crime since 1991 due to economic and social dysfunction5. The increases in other countries are more difficult to explain and would require detailed country-specific analysis.
What is also interesting in the context of this report, is that in terms of the countries experiencing the greatest rates of crime per 100,000 population in the most recent year for which data is available (2000), the top 12 are all countries located in Western Europe (Austria, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK). They are also the countries that either have a long tradition of delivering or have recently begun to develop local policing strategies.

19. Nonetheless the public is directly affected and concerned by assault, drug offences, burglary and car theft.

Table 2 below provides data on the most frequent types of criminal offence occurring in Europe. Two different sets of data have been used: the first is data from the European Criminal Source Book, which is based upon crimes recorded by the police and calculated per 100,000 population; the second is based upon survey data collected as part of the International Crime Victim Survey. The latter is often considered to be a more reliable indicator as it generally removes the problems of non-reporting to, and non-recording by the police (see below).

Table 2 Most Frequent Crimes in Europe


    Per 100,000 Population6

    Victimisation Rates7


    Burglary (including domestic)

Car vandalism


    Traffic offences

Theft from a car


    Theft of a motor vehicle

Personal theft



Bicycle theft


    Drug offences

Assaults and threats

20. Using police statistics to make comparisons of the rates of crime in different countries can be misleading, because of differences in definition and methods of reporting and recording crime and the impact of the social and cultural context within which the police operate.

For instance, levels of public confidence and trust in the police can have a dramatic effect on their willingness to report crime to the police. It is now widely recognised that official police statistics provide not only an incomplete (because of the absence of unreported crime data) but also a potentially biased (because of police priorities and political influence) picture of crime. Indeed, recorded crime figures are often more a measure of the efficiency of the policing organisations than a true reflection of crime within particular societies.8

21. Noting that there are differences between police recorded data and victim-provided data;

Police priorities are often very much driven by targets derived from recorded crime data:
For victims, car related offences (car vandalism and theft from a car) are ranked the highest followed by personal theft and bicycle theft.
The crimes most frequently recorded by the police are burglary (including domestic burglary), followed by traffic offences, theft of a motor vehicle, assault and drug offences.
One of the key differences is the degree of seriousness of the offences: in terms of victims, most of their crime experiences would be regarded by the police as relatively trivial – minor thefts and vandalism – whereas the police recorded data is dominated by what the police would often regard as more serious offences – theft of vehicles, burglary, assault and drugs.


22. Victimisation surveys are often considered a more reliable indicator of crime, given that that they include crimes that have not been reported to the police and are unaffected by changes in police recording practices.

23. Particularly, victim surveys provide the local context and specific detail that national crime data cannot offer, act as a conduit channelling local needs and concerns; and can play a valuable role in achieving local accountability and transparency.

Victim surveys provide more detail about the circumstances within which crime occurs and include questions on how the public feel about issues of crime and community safety. Victim surveys enable differences in experience and attitudes of different social groups to be identified (gender, ethnicity, location, economic status etc). In this respect, they are extremely useful in developing priorities for local policing as they provide data on the specific concerns of particular groups within society. They can also be used to gather data on the way in which the public view the role of local agencies, such as the police, local authority services and victim support schemes.9

The International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS) is considered to be one of the most reliable sources for cross-country analysis of victimisation rates. The first survey was carried out in 1989 and since then several more surveys have been conducted (1992-94, 1996-97, 2000) covering almost 60 countries throughout the world, including industrialised countries, countries in transition and developing countries. The latest ICVS (2000) included 17 industrialised countries, of which 13 are European. According to the 2000 ICVS, prevalence rates (the percentage of respondents victimised once or more) were highest in England and Wales (26%), the Netherlands (25%), Sweden (25%) Scotland (23%), Denmark (23%) and Poland (23%). Lower prevalence rates were found in Belgium (21%), France (21%), Finland (19%), Catalonia (Spain) (19%) and Switzerland (18%). Countries with the lowest rates were Portugal (15%) and Northern Ireland (15%).10

In the UK the various sweeps of the British Crime Survey (BCS) have provided extensive data on the extent and nature of crime in local communities. Findings from the BCS show that the public are particularly concerned about local disorder and anti-social behaviour (teenagers hanging around, rubbish or litter in the street, and people being drunk or rowdy in public places); ethnic minority groups are especially concerned about racially motivated assaults; and problems of crime and community safety differed significantly depending upon the type of area in which respondents live.11

Victim surveys can therefore play a critical role not only in developing priorities for local policing, but also providing the relevant agencies with valuable feedback on the extent to which they are meeting the community safety needs of local populations.

In the light of the above considerations, the Chamber,

24. Encourages local authorities in Europe to establish local police forces and, in so doing, to recognise the following principles:-

a. Ensure that local police forces are directly answerable to the local authority of the community they serve.

It is essential that local police forces, where they exist, must be answerable, at least partly, to the local political authority. In some countries, this answerability is guaranteed in that the Mayor is also head of the local police. Although this unity of direction need not be followed everywhere, the Mayor and the local Council must act side by side with the local police, have a constant dialogue to ensure that local police are responsive to the requirements of the community.

b. In order to establish good relations with the local population, the police need to be able to show their commitment to responding to the expectations and views of a broad cross-section of the local population.

Police are requested to respond to the varying intensity and nature of their needs and requirements; demonstrate a depth of understanding of varying social situations and service needs; treat them with due civility and respect; and recognise the key supporting role played by that particular group in solving crime and maintaining quality of life.’12

In a relatively recent qualitative study of public expectations and perceptions of policing conducted in the UK, it was shown that service needs vary substantially between different social groups (age/lifestage, socio-economic class and ethnicity).13 One of the key conclusions was that because of such differences, there is a need to understand the social context that produces specific demands and to develop guidelines on how these needs should be addressed.

In this report, ICVS data is used to illustrate what members of the public in Europe expect from their police forces and to what extent their expectations are being met. Although these data are not able to provide an insight into specific local differences, they do enable general comparisons to be drawn about how public demands and expectations vary across different European countries. The ICVS asks a range of questions, including reasons for reporting/not reporting crime to the police, their satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the police and perceived victim support needs. The survey also asks respondents to rate police performance (whether they are doing a good job) and to evaluate their helpfulness.

Levels of Public Satisfaction

The ICVS data show that levels of public satisfaction with the police are generally much higher in Western Europe compared to countries in transition: 54 per cent of respondents in Western European countries felt the police were doing a good job, while only 23 per cent of citizens in countries in transition held this view.14 Among the citizens of transition countries, a feeling that ‘the police won’t do anything’ was much more widespread as a reason for not reporting crime to the police.

While the differences between Western countries and those in Central and Eastern Europe are the most striking, there are also considerable differences in the ratings of police performance and helpfulness across Western European countries. For instance, police helpfulness was rated relatively highly in Finland (85%) and Sweden (84%), and relatively poorly in Netherlands (43%) and Poland (52%). Police performance was rated highly in Scotland (77%), while in Portugal (45%), Poland (46%), the Netherlands (52%), and Catalonia (53%) it was much lower.15

c. Specifically, there is a need for policing agencies to be aware of public expectations in reporting crime and, where possible, develop their services to meet them.

A key factor in understanding the relationship between the police and the public is the expectation the public have when reporting crime. The ICVS provides useful data on the key reasons why the public report particular types of crime (Table 3 below).

Table 3 Reasons for Reporting Crime to the Police16:

Type of offence

Reason for reporting

Sexual incidents and assaults/threats

To stop what happened being repeated

Property offences and robbery

Assistance sought in recovering property

Burglary or theft from a car

Insurance reasons

Victims of all crimes

Obligation to notify the police, either because they felt a crime such as theirs should be reported, or because what happened had been serious
The hope that offenders would be caught and punished

Not surprisingly, the expectations of the public varied depending upon the type of offence they had been a victim of – serious assaults producing a desire to catch the offender to stop future offending, while reporting of incidents of theft were driven by a desire to recover lost property or obtain the necessary paperwork to make an insurance claim. At a more general level, the public were concerned that offenders should be caught and punished for their actions and that it was morally the right thing to do to report crime to the police. These data highlight the need for policing agencies to be aware of public expectations in relation to why they report crime and where possible develop their services to meet them.

d. It is essential for police to understand and respond to public dissatisfaction.

The ICVS survey is also important because it asks the public to reflect upon their dissatisfaction with the police: the three most frequently mentioned concerns were:

Detailed in Table 4 are some of the specific complaints the public had in some of the countries taking part in the survey (Table 4).
Table 4 Country-Specific Complaints



Catalonia, England and Wales and Finland

The police were not sufficiently interested


Dissatisfied with the police effort

Northern Ireland

Dissatisfied with the amount of information given

Catalonia and Sweden

Police impoliteness

Sweden and Northern Ireland

Police slow to arrive

While it is not necessarily appropriate to make generalised comparisons between the countries highlighted in the table, the data does highlight the importance of developing knowledge of country-specific concerns and a comprehensive understanding of why such concerns arise. This in turn can then be used to develop more effective strategies for meeting the needs of local communities.

Public Expectations of Victim Support

The overall ICVS data found that a significant proportion of victims of crime in Europe expect the police to provide some sort of support to them: one in three burglary victims felt it would have been useful with an even higher proportion (four in ten) for contact crimes such as assault. Respondents in Catalonia, Poland, Portugal, and Northern Ireland expressed the greatest desire for more help while victims in Portugal and Poland were those who felt they got the least support – evidencing a considerable gap in these countries between public expectations and available victim support services.

e. Local Police must be key partners in a multi-agency approach for community safety which recognises crime and safety as quality-of-life issues; working across jurisdictional boundaries both horizontally and vertically; recognising the vital role of political leadership; adapting strategies to local needs on the basis of good analysis and targeted plans; building capacity; developing tools and measurements of success.

Police alone are incapable of addressing the broader, macro social setting within which crime occurs.

Achieving community safety is now being recognised as requiring a multi-agency approach, where a range of organisations work together with the public to develop context-sensitive solutions to particular problems (only some of which may be specifically crime related). The concept of a ‘multi agency partnership’ approach was developed in the UK,17 where it has been promoted by the government during the last decade,18 although similar approaches (more often called ‘problem-oriented policing’) were simultaneously emerging in North America and gaining popularity in other European countries.19

According to such an approach, the police and other local partners become active co-producers of crime prevention and public safety. A partnership approach allows the coordination of expertise and the pooling of information and resources. It is ‘favoured in that it affords a holistic approach to crime which is problem-oriented rather than organisationally-led’.20 Such developments are usually supported through funding provided by central governments. The intention behind the multi-agency approach is to maximise the contribution of all the key partners to crime prevention and community safety and give local people an opportunity to contribute to the process. It recognises that it is ‘inappropriate for the police to ‘own’ the crime problem, and with it information about crime and disorder’.21 There is also a growing recognition that issues relating to public security should be viewed from a holistic perspective, which includes a certain measure of shared responsibility for the quality of life of the community and individual citizens.

Local authorities, police, probation services, health and educational authorities, NGOs and other local agencies, as well as members of the public, all play a potentially important role within such partnerships.

Some examples of developing a Multi Agency Approach


The present organisation of the police in Belgium is the result of a law passed in 1998 and an agreement signed that same year by all the political parties of the majority and four democratic opposition parties. This agreement was reached after various parliamentary committees, such as those set up after the “Brabant murders” and “Dutroux” affairs, had found that the existing arrangements were no longer sufficient for the police to carry out their numerous duties in the most effective way. The aim was to provide a police service closer to the citizens and their expectations, with two independent levels working together and better information circulation and management.

In the new organisation the lawmakers made an effort to define the tasks of the police more clearly and to give an accurate description of the powers vested in the police for the accomplishment of their mission. The legal texts highlight the principle of solidarity and subsidiarity between police services and the local function performed by the local police. Various circulars describe the principles to be applied, in particular concerning “community policing” and the importance of partnership in management of a comprehensive security policy with three main thrusts (objective or real insecurity, subjective or perceived insecurity, and the risks of insecurity).

Since 1992 Belgium has had “municipal prevention and security committees” made up of ordinary citizens and representatives of political circles, voluntary associations, the courts, the police and the ministries concerned, who meet at least once a year to discuss security problems.

In Charleroi the development of a partnership between local and federal police, the judiciary, groups involved in the “prevention and security contract”, shopkeepers’ associations, neighbourhood committees, the general public and the media has helped to achieve a substantial reduction in violent crime (especially in 2000 and early 2001) and, albeit to a lesser extent, in urban crime.

The Netherlands

More than half of the Dutch municipalities are developing their own public safety policies, in order to respond directly to local issues. To achieve this policy, the municipality as a ‘director’ deploys a number of ‘players’, including the police and social partners (business community, hotel and catering industry, schools, housing associations, etc.)
One of the key principles of policing in Holland is working in ‘chains’: neighbourhood => school => police => law enforcement departments, etc. A ‘crossroad-model’ used in Amsterdam is based upon four forms of policing: ‘close’ police; criminal investigation police; public safety police and control police.
The country has had positive experiences of implementing community safety projects involving the public and other partners within neighbourhoods by using watch groups like the “Moroccan fathers’ watch group”. The goal is to stimulate local commitment to neighbourhood safety, communication and mutual respect.


Norway’s government and ministries now attach greater significance to inter-professional and inter-agency co-operation for the purpose of crime prevention. The Police Act instructs the police to co-operate with other agencies to prevent the development of crime. The aim of inter-agency activity is to co-ordinate, set definite goals for and increase the efficiency and quality of crime prevention in the local community. The Police Instructions list child welfare, schools and social departments in particular as important partners for police cooperation.
The Norwegian National Crime Prevention Unit (KRAD) has experimented with the organisation of inter-agency co-operation through the ‘SLT’ concept (co-ordination of local crime prevention measures). Based on experience, several elements have been identified as significant in the development and establishment of SLT co-operation, including:

United Kingdom

Under the Crime and Disorder Act (1998) Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) were set up to bring together local police services and police authorities with other agencies such as local government, probation, health, education and social services, local businesses and the wider local community. For example, efforts to tackle youth crime should involve schools, local council services and the community to address the wider problems of young people and provide legitimate opportunities for them. Rather than simply tackling drug-related crime, the police should work with health and probation services through Drug Action Teams (DATs) to reduce addiction and thus the impetus to commit crimes to buy drugs. Responsibility for developing partnerships lies jointly with the police and local authority. Partnerships are required by the legislation to carry out crime audits in local areas, to consult with the public and to devise, implement and monitor local strategies based on audit and consultation.22

Partnership work as set out in the legislation governing Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRP) must include consultation and action. This is achieved through formal and informal networking via various communication channels: verbal, written and electronic. In reality, such communication is not uncomplicated: problems invariably arise given the variety of agencies with different approaches and agendas. A central question is therefore how these diverse agencies and actors can be effectively managed. The reality of partnership working is often one of conflicting ideologies, aims and purposes.23 Other common problems associated with partnerships include a high ratio of talk to action, lengthy delays between decisions to act and action, and varying enthusiasm for partnership working among local authority departments.24

f. Police must be both accountable and answerable to the local community; be responsive to local needs and develop local solutions.

Such accountability is enhanced through police involvement in a partnership built on mutual trust, disclosure and shared values, and reinforced through regular interaction, critique and discussion.25 It is necessary to ensure that mechanisms are in place to enable the public to raise questions and monitor the extent to which local policing agencies are responding to identified needs. Moreover, efforts should be made to avoid undue influence by local politicians or other special interest groups.

Some examples:


The new police aligns its action, priorities and resources with the security plans, which serve as a common frame of reference for the police, the authorities and the ordinary citizen. These security plans are supplemented by action plans, which define the objectives, means, measurable targets and action of each of the parties involved.

Each police district has a district security council where systematic consultation is organised between the burgomaster, the crown prosecutor, the local police chief and the federal police coordinating and administrative director for that particular area. The frequency of these meetings varies with the size of the districts. The task of the district councils is to discuss and approve the district security plan, to foster and co-ordinate the performance of administrative and criminal police duties at the two levels and to assess the implementation of the district security plan. This means that the police chief responsible for implementing local police policy must submit regular official reports on how priorities were established and routine police activities carried out and generally answer any questions concerning the work done by the police.

It is in this spirit that the district security plans are drawn up. They are the result of an efficient process of preparation, definition, execution and assessment of police policy. In addition to statistical data, consultation with the local population is necessary to determine its needs. At the initiative of the Ministry of the Interior, telephone surveys are organised at regular intervals to identify the most disturbing types of offence and attempt to measure the feeling of insecurity among the local population and the rate of satisfaction with the efforts made by the police to tackle the problems identified.

In Charleroi, neighbourhood meetings held in the evening are attended by the burgomaster, the local police, representatives of municipal departments and the “security and prevention contract” and local residents.

Closeness to the citizen can be expressed in terms of space, time and relations with the local population. Each police district is accordingly required to provide a round-the-clock emergency intervention service and to have one or more police stations (at least one per municipality) open to the public at least 12 hours a day, manned by staff trained to listen. In the more densely populated districts, police stations are open to the public round the clock.

In each judicial district and local police district, help desks provide assistance to victims or direct them towards more specialised agencies.

The Netherlands

The Municipal Council controls the Mayor – the administrative official responsible for the regional police. The police force publishes its results in the public domain and survey results are available to public. Audits and inspections/benchmarking with other police forces and other organisations is also conducted.

At the heart of local policing is the prioritisation of local needs, many of which will be highly context specific and influenced by the socio economic circumstances within which they occur. For some police forces with a strong tradition of a centralised structure, this can cause tensions between governmental and institutional set targets (often premised upon official crime statistics) and the particular requirements of communities. For instance, a national target for reducing car crime may be at odds with a community that has low rates of car crime but does have a particular problem with inter-ethnic conflict.
Moreover, the development of solutions to particular problems also needs to take account of the context within which they are to be implemented. Undoubtedly lessons can be learnt from the experience of others and from successful interventions used elsewhere, but many will need to be adapted to the circumstances of the socio economic environment within which they are to be used. For instance, the use of surveillance technologies such as closed circuit television may be perfectly acceptable in some communities, but for others it may be seen as wholly inappropriate and excessively intrusive.


Close ties with local communities are seen as an important principle of policing in Norway. There are opportunities for public involvement in priority setting and problem-solving through watch groups, citizen-police and police-citizen communication channels (‘neighbourhood scans’, courses for citizens, etc.).

A network of services exists to respond to the needs of certain particularly vulnerable members of local communities. For instance, the Advisory Services for Victims of Crime, which are local cross-professional/inter-agency organisations, provide support, advice and practical guidance to individuals who have experienced crime, as well as to next-of-kin, friends, colleagues and others who are in some way affected by the incident. They are mainly available in major cities and provide assistance free of charge to the victims of crime. The Advisory Services are also dedicated to improving conditions for victims of crime in the long term by creating a network of relevant partners with the aim of raising awareness about victims of crime and helping them to access the help they need and educating the general public about victims of crime.
In the 1990s community policing became a significant issue identified with key characteristics, such as a small-scale approach, an orientation towards crime prevention, co-operation with other partners and the involvement of the public in determining which issues the police should focus on. Many neighbourhoods and target groups know their police officer personally and police officers working in close contact with the community, with more responsibility, tend to have a strong belief in the concept.

It is recognised that responsibility for safety issues does not lie exclusively with the police, but with society as a whole. Safety issues are approached by involving the public in tackling the problems they encounter, providing neighbourhood platforms and developing neighbourhood safety plans. Local knowledge is seen to be of crucial importance in solving crimes. Local problems are investigated by the local authorities, the housing authorities and residents from ‘neighbourhood inspection’ groups.

United Kingdom
In recent years, policing in the UK has been under pressure from contradictory demands for increased responsiveness both to central government and to local citizens. There are now a number of mechanisms through which local accountability can be promoted in principle, although it is widely understood that there is much room for improvement.
Local police authorities are part of the tripartite structure of police accountability as outlined above. As locally elected bodies, they are an essential component of local accountability and hold the chief officer and force to account for how well they deliver local policing services by, for example, consulting with local communities. It has been argued, however, that the ability of the police authorities to function as locally elected representative bodies has been declining recently as a result of central government reforms giving priority to achieving effective and efficient service delivery.26

An increasing trend towards distribution of power over service provision may also have an effect on local accountability. Alternative providers of police services may be more directly accountable to the communities they serve.27 At the same time, the ‘pluralisation’ of policing (the use of community support officers or neighbourhood wardens in some areas) may even further polarise the provision of police services.28 On the other hand, Crime and Disorder Partnerships are seen as potentially capable of improving the local co-ordination of policing and community safety activities.29 In particular, consultation may be seen as a potentially important way to ensure local accountability, although so far there is mixed evidence of the success of consultation mechanisms.30
The Home Office has recently announced its plan ‘…to clarify and strengthen accountability arrangements in a number of areas – the police service itself, police authorities and the work of other partners involved in helping keep communities safe’.31 This is to be achieved by developing a ‘bottom-up’ approach, a key role in which will be played by Neighbourhood Panels (comprised of volunteers from the local community, representatives from Neighbourhood Watch, Special Constables, neighbourhood wardens, representatives of local tenants’ associations and other local voluntary bodies involved in community safety issues); partnership work; and Police Authorities.

As far as police transparency is concerned, there has been an increase in the level of information about the work of the police available to the public, and a number of mechanisms make police procedures more transparent and open. Most police forces maintain web sites with information about their organisation, activities and local performance, and distribute newsletters setting out their work. All police forces produce an Annual Report of their activities, which is available to the public. While the development of information technologies and the strengthening of local police accountability tend to promote greater transparency, the traditional reluctance of some forces to share information, together with the unreliability and inaccuracy of some of the data produced, may run counterproductive to this. Moreover, too much information or information of the wrong kind could prove unhelpful and confusing to members of the public.32

Increasing emphasis on consultation in recent decades is argued to have led to increased responsiveness to local needs in England and Wales.33 Consultation is not only a way of explaining what the police are doing, but can also be used to investigate local people’s problems and concerns. Police-consultative committees have existed in the UK for 20 years. A more recent approach has involved consultation with the public about policing plans to help develop a local policing agenda, but concerns have been raised about a possible devaluation of local consultation on policing plans within the context of the growing influence of a National Policing Plan to define what the police should be doing.34

The Patten Report (1999) on policing in Northern Ireland proposed Local Partnership Boards aimed at contributing to local policing strategies and assisting the police in planning the delivery of local services.35 Local meetings between police officers and police authorities are also seen as a way to ensure that the local police are more responsive and engage with local communities.36
An improved response to the needs of particular groups is sometimes enabled by new information technologies. For instance, computerised case information improves police services for victims through faster feedback on the progress of their cases.37

g. A key element of local policing is the need to use a variety of sources to collect information about the needs and concerns of specific communities, on which further action should be firmly based.

Good decision-making relies upon a solid knowledge base – without it any attempted ameliorative actions are likely to be misconceived, misconstrued, and misplaced. Recent developments in IT systems have meant that local policing agencies now have unprecedented opportunities to collect and share information. Organisations are now able to develop a detailed understanding of highly specific crime and safety problems. Currently a number of EU Member states use a number of methods and analytical tools to collect and process information. These include: 38
· Stakeholder analyses in which all primary and secondary partners can be identified – for general purposes as well as addressing specific problems.
· Crime analysis using data from police computer systems – partly to serve as a basis for selecting problem-oriented focus areas and partly as a basis for direct dialogue with other authorities and citizens groups.
· Surveys of the public (including victims) providing information on local problems and the relationship between agencies and the public, including the quality of the service provided by organisations such as the police.
· The use of hotlines enabling the public to approach the police anonymously.
· Meetings in which agencies and citizens meet formally as well as informally to share information.


Preparing police policy involves two phases: scanning and analysis. The various available data banks are systematically scanned. Data is collated to detect phenomena occurring repeatedly over time or in the same areas. The findings are then analysed, as the figures themselves are not particularly meaningful out of context. The phenomena detected are analysed according to their frequency but also their gravity, the social damage caused, the importance the authorities attach to them on a political level and the possibility of acting on the causes. Police priorities are determined on the strength of this analysis.

Each district police force feeds information into a national data bank and, upon request and at the desired frequency, receives feedback concerning local crime trends in terms of quantity, location and time. A finer analysis pinpointing offender profiles, modi operandi and victim profiles, for example, may also be obtained, to help the police and their partners to fine-tune their crime prevention or law enforcement work. This national crime data bank is run by the federal police and the analyses are supplied by the district branches.

The Netherlands

The police conduct neighbourhood ‘scans’ to collect information about the problems in the neighbourhood facing the public. The involvement and commitment of the local government (‘gemeente’) is considered to be important.
The police try to gain insight to develop community policing, and to collect information and knowledge about the consequences of this method in terms of contacts with external partners and the perception of safety in the neighbourhood. There are plans to conduct research on the effects of community policing, but what is to be measured remains to be defined, i.e. whether it is (perceived) safety in the neighbourhoods, the use of neighbourhood knowledge in crime investigation or the greater accessibility and approachability of the police.


Problem-oriented police work (POP) is seen as an essential element of police strategy in Norway. The ‘Strategy Plan for Preventive Policing 2000–2005’ places great emphasis on the use of this model.

POP developed from the realisation that the expertise and resources of the police have too frequently been mobilised after the commission of a criminal offence, and that the allocation of resources is geared to the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences rather than attempting to prevent offences from being committed. The POP approach is seen as a method that enables the police to take measures against the causes of crime and insecurity. The strategic goal is to make the whole police organisation work more proactively and be less incident-driven, and thus reach the goal of reduced crime and a greater sense of security. POP builds on problem analysis, summarised as:

One example of intelligence-led policing is the strategy for reducing alcohol-related crime in cities, which involves identifying various problem ‘owners’ (restaurants, taxi companies, local authorities, the general public, non-governmental organisations, etc.), raising their awareness about the problem and taking appropriate measures together with the other parties involved.

United Kingdom

With the development of new approaches to policing such as problem-oriented policing (POP) and intelligence-led policing, aimed at increasing police effectiveness and efficiency, the use of information to set targets and prioritise activities has become increasingly important to UK policing. An essential element of these new approaches is the extensive use of analytical tools and information technologies to develop policing strategies.
A POP approach is concerned with systematically addressing relevant problems in the community, researching and understanding identified problems, and identifying relevant responses on the basis of this analysis.39 Intelligence-led policing is about ‘doing the practical business of policing more smartly, incorporating modern information technology and modern methods’ and involves developing a detailed picture of crime in order to deal with it more effectively.40

Approaches based on modern information technologies, POP in particular, can be used to develop a clearer view of local needs. For instance, a POP initiative in Surrey adopted the concept that ‘problems facing the area will be carefully analysed by local officers and inhabitants working together in order to tailor the basic police framework to best reflect the needs of the neighbourhood’.41

However, implementation of both POP and intelligence-led approaches has faced various cultural, analytical/cognitive, organisational and other kinds of problems.42 A common concern about the POP approach has been that specialist training is required for police officers taking part. It has also been argued that local community and external agencies need to be involved (local authorities, schools, hospitals, public utilities, local businesses and social groups, and social security and other departments), although this has not always been the case in practice.43

Despite the difficulties, the increasing use of information to develop local strategies, especially using the POP approach, seems to promise a number of improvements in terms of local policing thanks to its focus on addressing problems at community-level, thorough research and understanding of the local context and helping to design appropriate solutions.

h. Reduction of the fear of crime.

Local police are well placed to assist in reducing the fear of crime.

Examples of successful methods include, regular contact with the media, in order to ensure a more balanced coverage of the social health of a community, without undue exaggeration of criminal behaviour.

An important role is played by consultative neighbourhood councils which can keep their finger on the pulse of a community, ensuring not only that problems are identified, but also keeping them in perspective and finding solutions.

As trusted members of the community, local police can also instigate and organise meetings with social welfare officers and others whose work directly affects a community, particularly those working in difficult neighbourhoods.

i. Local policing necessitates the pre-eminence of the protection of human rights.

Respecting human rights is very much the bedrock upon which local policing operates.

The issue of respect for and protection of human rights in the work of policing agencies has become increasingly important during the last decade, partly driven by the increasing diversity of communities in Europe, and by an emerging internationally recognised body of law that now offers greater protection to the individual and makes organisations increasingly responsible for their actions.

In 1997 the Council of Europe's Directorate General of Human Rights launched the ‘Police and Human Rights 1997-2000 Programme’ with the aim of raising awareness about human rights standards in policing organisations throughout Europe. It was recognised that whilst human rights in policing was, in itself, an old subject, the goal of translating the theory of human rights protection into a set of tools for daily practice remained a challenge which required considerable attention. The Programme recognises that whenever the police ‘investigate suspected crimes, whenever they execute judicial orders and every time they come into contact with the citizens they serve, the conduct of the police symbolises how human rights are respected and protected within each country’.44 The importance that every police officer know and understand both international human rights standards and their own country’s legal provisions on human rights and understand how these should be applied in their everyday work and interaction with citizens was particularly emphasised.


The police are required to act within the law and in conformity with police ethics. The values the Belgian police are expected to uphold in the course of their work are:
- respecting and enforcing individual rights and freedoms and personal dignity, in particular by confining themselves to law enforcement measures which are carefully considered and limited to what is strictly necessary;
- loyalty towards democratic institutions;
- integrity, impartiality, respect for the law and a sense of responsibility;
- motivation and an attitude to the job characterised by:

- internal relations based on mutual respect and contributing to a pleasant atmosphere in the workplace.

This is important, because the police have a monopoly on law enforcement measures, such as the right of search or arrest. The police are supervised by various supervisory authorities, the main ones being the General Inspectorate of federal and local police and the permanent police monitoring committee.

The General Inspectorate answers to the Interior and Justice Ministries and supervises the functioning of the police, particularly their law enforcement work and their general efficacy. Its staff may take action on their own initiative or at the request of the competent authorities.

The permanent monitoring committee is a parliamentary committee and has no disciplinary role. Its aims are twofold:

- to protect people’s rights as guaranteed by the constitution and by law;
- to ensure the co-ordination and the efficacy of the police forces. This means looking out for ways in which politicians might improve the functioning of the police coming under their authority or for any amendments to the legislation governing the police forces that might be appropriate.

If the need arises, it may also carry out investigations.

The Netherlands

In Amsterdam there is an independent commission responsible for inspecting police cells. They have the right to speak to and interview anyone kept in a cell and their reports are available to the public. The Police Complaints’ Commission is an independent advice agency that deals with complaints from civilians.


The Police Directorate has prepared a guide to basic values, moral standards and ethics for the Norwegian police force. It is intended to aid the local police in their efforts to raise awareness about professional ethics. For the purpose of prevention, the document governing personnel policy within the police contains ethical principles for the performance of the service. The focus of these ethical principles is that officers should:

United Kingdom

The Human Rights Act was adopted in the UK in 1998. One of its main concepts is that of proportionality, or ‘the need to find a fair balance between the protection of individual rights and the interests of the community at large’.45 This new requirement has been incorporated into police training, the process of auditing policies and practices against an ethical and human rights framework and the codification of decision-making and decision logs.46 The police response to human rights is also said to have been reinforced through the removal of police immunity and the creation of a legal duty to act in a human rights compliant way.47

The police have been reviewing their practices to identify which may not be compatible with the European Convention. Each force has designated a human rights ‘champion’ – a senior officer responsible for supervising an audit of activities, some of which are of concern, including covert surveillance, stop and search, the use of firearms and CS spray, and public order policing. One of the consequences of the Human Rights Act is an obligation on the police to explain and justify their actions in a way they did not previously have to. The police may use force only where absolutely necessary.48

Although the new legal provisions create grounds for greater respect of human rights by the police, they do not produce automatic changes in police culture and behaviour. Problems with racial prejudice and discrimination persist and questions have been raised about the use of force and stop and search policies by the police, although it has been recognised that positive changes have occurred in police culture during the last few decades.49 While current reforms promote more equal and fairer policing of diverse communities and promise greater protection and respect of the human rights of all, the long-term impact of the human rights approach to law enforcement in the UK remains to be seen.

j. Local policing must be proactive in ensuring community safety through reaching out to the members of local communities, offering crime prevention advice and guidance.

Local policing agencies can use a number of channels to do this, including raising public awareness and distributing information on how members of the public can protect themselves and their property. This approach can also be important in terms of making contact with difficult to reach and vulnerable groups, who may be unlikely to make self-initiated contacts. While some may not see this as ‘proper’ policing (driving fast cars and catching criminals), it can be a critical component in developing closer links with local communities and ensuring greater levels of accountability and transparency.


Crime prevention is organised in several ways. Some towns have signed a “security and prevention contract”, entitling them to state subsidies and freeing up some of their own funds for, say:

- preventing crime by informing people about recent technological developments and contributing to the cost of installing security devices;
- recruiting car park attendants;
- co-ordinating efforts to assist drug abusers or their families;
- co-ordinating assistance to victims, etc.

The police often work hand in hand with these services in the course of their duties.

The community policing approach is also used, inter alia to combat violent crime. Police officers must be visibly present on the streets to reassure the population and deter would-be offenders, in order to avoid the proliferation of petty offences that increases the general feeling of insecurity.

In Charleroi, for example, an officer has been placed in charge of co-ordinating everyday law enforcement and police presence on the ground, and the number of patrols, road blocks and special interventions has increased fivefold thanks to better human resource management and adjustments to working hours.

Neighbourhood policing is undergoing a reorganisation aimed at increasing the availability and presence of local police officers and extending the opening hours of police stations, which will also be open at weekends; this will enable the local police to participate more fully in the life of the neighbourhood, making them better equipped to spot and defuse emerging conflict situations.

On the road safety front, a circuit has been set up for use by children from all the city’s primary schools, to teach them the proper reflexes at an early age.

The Netherlands

The implementation of public safety policy is to a large extent a police matter in the Netherlands. The police are the public’s first point of contact: police officers are visibly present in the street and therefore easily approachable, which increases the public’s sense of security.

Crime prevention advice is delivered by neighbourhood policing teams. Some police forces provide a course called ‘Police for Citizens’, which is an 8-week course during which members of the public can learn about all aspects of police work. Local police officers talk about specific topics like drugs, traffic police, crime investigation, prevention, environment-criminality etc., depending on local conditions and problems. Opportunities are also provided to see police work in practice.


Crime prevention work in Norway is very much adapted to local conditions. This means that the central authorities seldom give instructions or directives but contribute more to research, incentives and funding. The role of central government is not to instruct local communities on which problems to focus or how to conduct their crime prevention work. This does not imply that central government does nothing, but rather that the principle of local independence with regard to issues of crime prevention is firmly established.
A uniform model (‘The Nordic Model’) of crime prevention work exists in the five Nordic countries, but the main focus can vary, as can the methods employed. The Nordic Model is characterised by a strong affiliation to areas outside the justice system, and a balance between social and situational crime prevention. With regard to social policy, it is aimed at fighting marginalisation, supporting socially vulnerable people, ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities in terms of education and making a living. The model relies on informal social control, and, as is the case with social prevention aimed at children and young people, members of the public are actively involved in crime prevention work. Efforts are also made to base crime prevention measures on specific knowledge/evidence such as national and international research and so on. Finally, people’s safety concerns are also given priority by the Nordic Model.

United Kingdom

Responsibility for delivering crime prevention lies with the crime prevention officer (CPO), whose duties include security surveys, crime prevention advice to local authorities, talks on crime prevention and personal protection, advice to householders, distribution of crime prevention literature, co-operation with social agencies dealing with children and young people, encouraging activities of crime prevention panels etc.

Until recently crime prevention was not seen as a priority in police work, and the CPO role was not a preferred career choice in the police, but attitudes are changing with the advent of community safety and partnership approaches, whereby crime prevention becomes part of the community safety agenda. Increasing numbers of officers are seconded to the local authority to help co-ordinate crime reduction and community safety work. Another factor behind this change has been the introduction of the POP approach, which directs the police towards dealing with problems and/or the underlying conditions that create crime.50 As a result, the view of crime prevention as a peripheral police task is beginning to change. The police are now expected to take the lead, together with the local authorities, in local crime prevention, which signifies a considerable transformation in the perception of the role of the police from crime fighting to problem-solving and represents a significant challenge for police leadership.

25. Asks local authorities in member countries to encourage their national authorities:-

In this section, the Chamber asks national authorities, not only to establish local police but to define the legislative structure, code of practice and ensure respect for their role in crime prevention.

These requests are described in more detail in the accompanying Recommendation on Local Policing In Europe.

26. Concerning the future work of the Congress, ask the Bureau of the Chamber of Local Authorities to:

In this section, the Resolution points the way to possible items in the future work programme of the Chamber on local police – the establishment of bi-lateral contacts for training purposes; the compendium of a guide on good practice; support of networking of heads of local police; the organisation of a future conference/round table.

These proposals will be examined in detail by the Bureau and two Committees.

1 Shaw, M. (2001) The Role of Local Government in Community Safety, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice, Crime Prevention Series, Issue 2, p.XI; the UK is an example where recent government legislation requires local authorities to play a lead role in maintaining public safety.

2 Foglesong, S. and Solomon, P. (2001) Crime, Criminal Justice and Criminology in Post-Soviet Ukraine, Issues in International Crime, Washington: National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.

3 Gilinskiy, Y. (1998) ‘Crime Prevention in Russia: Theory and Practice’, Security Journal, No.11, pp. 109-114.

4 Source: European Council, Committee of Experts (2003) European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics – 2003, WODC, Hague, London, Paris: Home Office, ESC-école des sciences criminelles. When interpreting these data several issues should be taken into account. Some countries’ definitions of certain crimes differ from the ‘standard’ definition, which is important when comparing levels of recorded crime between countries; some countries reported not to have written counting rules; the point at which the data is recorded and the rules for recording both multiple and serial offences vary between countries.

5 Foglesong and Solomon (2001) op cit.

6 Council of Europe (2003) op cit.

7 This ranking is based upon average prevalence rates calculated on the basis of country prevalence rates provided by the International Crime Victim Survey. Prevalence rates refer to the number of victims who have been the victim of one or more crimes in any year. Source: Kersteren, J. Mayhew, P. and Nieuwbeerta, P. (2001) Criminal Victimisation in Seventeen Industrialised Countries, Key Findings from the 2000 International Crime Victim Survey, The Hague, WODC.

8 Maguire, M. (1997) ‘Crime Statistics, Patterns and Trends: Changing Perceptions and their Implications’, in: M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Second Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 135-188.

9 Zedner, L. (1997) ‘Victims’, in: M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, pp.577-612.

10 Kersteren et al (2001) op cit.

11 Simmons, J. and Dodd, T. (2003) Crime in England and Wales 2002/2003, London: Home Office.

12 Bradley, R. (1998) Public Expectations and Perceptions of Policing, Home Office Policing and Reducing Crime Unit, Police Research Series Paper 96, London: Home Office.

13 Bradley (1998) ibid.

14 Zvekic, U. (1998) Criminal Victimisation in Counties in Transition, UNICRI Publication N. 61, Rome: UNICRI.

15 Kesteren et al (2001) op cit.

16 Adapted from van Kesteren et al (2001) ibid.

17 See for instance: Blumstein, A. (1986) ‘Coherence, Coordination and Integration in the Administration of Criminal Justice’, in: van Dijk, J., Haffmans, C., Ruter, F., and Schutte, J. (eds.) Criminal Law in Action: An Overview of Current Issues in Western Societies, Arnhem: Gouda Quint; van Dijk, J. (1995) ‘In Search of Synergy: Coalition-Building Against Crime in the Netherlands’, Security Journal, 6, pp. 7-11; Walters, R. (1996) ‘The “Dream” of Multi-Agency Crime Prevention: Pitfalls in Policy and Practice’, Crime Prevention Studies, 5, pp. 75-96.

18 See UK’s Home Office web-site: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/

19 Scott, M. (2000) Problem-Oriented Policing: Reflections on the First 20 Years, US Department of Justice, Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, Washington DC: US Department of Justice.

20 Crawford, A. (1998) Crime Prevention and Community Safety, Longman, London and New York, p.10.

21 S. Byrne and K. Pease (2003) ‘Crime Reduction and Community Safety’, in: T. Newburn (ed.) Handbook of Policing, Cullompton: Willan Publishing, pp. 286-310.

22 Source: http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/comsafe/

23 Crawford, A. (1997) The Local Governance of Crime. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

24 Byrne, S. and Pease, K. (2003) ‘Crime Reduction and Community Safety’, in: T. Newburn (ed.) Handbook of Policing, Collumpton: Willan Publishing, pp. 286-310.

25 Greene, J. (1997) ‘The Case for Community Policing’, Issues of Democracy, USIA Electronic Journal, Vol. 2, No. 4, Retrieved on January 16 2004 from http://usinfo.state.gov/journals/itdhr/1197/ijde/green.htm

26 Jones, T. (2003) ‘The Governance and Accountability of Policing’, in: T. Newburn (ed.) Handbook of Policing, Collumpton: Willan Publishing, pp. 603-627.

27 Johnston, L. and Shearing, C. (2002) Governing Security: Explorations in Policing and Justice. London: Routledge.

28 Jones, T. (2003) et al.

29 Crawford, A. and Lister, S. (2003) ‘Plural Policing: Policing Beyond the Police in England’. Paper presented at the Canadian Law Commission Conference, ‘In search of security’, Montreal, 20 February.

30 Bowling, B. and Philips, C. ‘Policing Ethnic Minority Communities’, in: T. Newburn (ed.) Handbook of Policing, Collumpton: Willan Publishing, pp. 528-555.

31 Home Office (2003) Policing: Building Safer Communities Together. Retrieved on 5 January 2004 from: http://www.policereform.gov.uk/docs/buildingsafercommconsult.pdf

32 Jones, T. and Newburn, T. (1997) Policing after the Act: Police Governance after the Police and Magistrates’ Courts Act 1994. London: Policy Studies Institute.

33 Jones, T. and Newburn, T. (2001) Widening Access: Improving Relations with ‘Hard to Reach Groups’. London: Home Office.

34 Neyroud, P. (2003) Policing and Ethics, in: Newburn, T. (ed.) Handbook of Policing, Collumpton: Willan Publishing, pp. 578-602.

35 Neyroud, P. (2001) Public Participation in Policing. London: Institute of Public Policy Research.

36 Neyroud, P. (2001) Ibid.

37 Chan, J., Brereton, D., Legosz, M. and Doran, S. (2001) e-Policing: The Impact of Information Technology on Police Practices. Brisbane: Criminal Justice Commission.

38 The Council of the European Union (2003) Community policing – Best practice concerning neighbourhood and community policing, ENFOPOL 19, Brussels: Council of Europe, 20 March.

39 Tilley, N. (2003) ‘Community Policing, Problem-Oriented Policing and Intelligence-Led Policing’, in: Newburn, T. (ed.) Handbook of Policing, Collumpton: Willan Publishing, pp. 311-339.

40 Tilley, N. (2003) ibid.

41 Leigh, A., Read, T. and Tilley, N. (1996) Problem-Oriented Policing. Brit.POP. Crime Detection and Prevention Series, Paper 75, Home Office, p.12.

42 Read, T. and Tilley, N. (2000) Not Rocket Science: Problem-solving and Crime Reduction. Crime Reduction Research Series Paper 6. London: Home Office; Maguire, M. and John, T. (1995) Intelligence, Surveillance, and Informants: Integrated Approaches. Crime Prevention and Detection Series Paper 64. London: Home Office.

43 Leigh et al (1996) op cit.

44 Council of Europe, Police and Human Rights – Beyond 2000 Programme, Retrieved on 16 January 2004 from http://www.coe.int/T/E/Human_Rights/Police/

45 Starmer, K. (1999) European Human Rights Law: The Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights. London: Legal Action Group, p.169.

46 Neyroud (2003) op cit.

47 Neyroud (2003) ibid.

48 BBC News Friday (2000), Human Rights: Are the police prepared? 6th October.

49 Bowling, B. and Philips, C. ‘Policing Ethnic Minority Communities’, in: T. Newburn (ed.) Handbook of Policing, Collumpton: Willan Publishing.

50 Goldstein, H. (1990), Problem-Oriented Policing. New York: McGraw-Hill.