Hirschfield, Alex, Johnson, Shane D. and Bowers, Kate J. (2001) Review of major policy developments and evidence base: crime domain. Project Report. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield. (Unpublished)

The evidence base review for the Crime Domain examined some of the leading theories
used to explain the manifestation of crime (i.e. what makes some neighbourhoods and
places more vulnerable to crime than others), presented information on levels of reported
and unreported crime and discussed current policy initiatives aimed at preventing and
reducing crime. Particular attention was paid to developments relevant to Area Based
Initiatives (ABIs).
The extent of the evidence base on ‘what works’ in crime prevention was then examined.
Variations in the quality and robustness of the evidence base was discussed and examples
of best practice were identified drawing upon the Home Office’s ‘Toolkits’ for crime
prevention and a comprehensive review of crime prevention evaluation studies carried
out for the US National Institute of Justice. The latter identified crime prevention
strategies that work, those that are promising and those that demonstrably do not work
(Sherman et al 1998).
Current and forthcoming evaluations of crime prevention initiatives that NDC
Partnerships might draw lessons from were identified and efforts to build a
comprehensive evidence base on effective crime prevention measures (the Campbell
Collaboration – www.campbell.gse.upenn.edu) were outlined.
Lessons were identified for the NDC evaluation teams in terms of known problems and
pitfalls in conducting crime prevention evaluations and in obtaining consistent crime
data. Lessons for partnerships were also defined, particularly, in relation to project
management, maximising the positive impacts of crime prevention interventions and
partnership working.
Where feasible and appropriate, the review also sought to identify the extent to which
local authority areas with NDC programmes had been successful in securing funds
through the Home Office’s Crime Reduction Programme. Particular attention was paid to
the Reducing Burglary Initiative, Targeted Policing and the CCTV programme

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