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The Guidance on Local Safety Audits. A Compendium of International Practice

Sohail Hussain on behalf of the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS)
Year of publication2007
Languagesspanish german french english
Useful forProject and Program Manager Communities Governments Funding Agencies Evaluators
Keywordsevaluation action plan Communities

What´s it about?

A clear picture of crime and victimization in a given city is the foundation for targeted action to reduce crime and increase individual and collective security. The safety audit is a tool to acquire the necessary knowledge and to build commitment from the range of partners whose collaboration is necessary to achieve results. The safety audits analyze crime and victimization in a specific (mostly urban) context. Especially the connection between crime and socioeconomic factors, public institutions and services, as well as the political and institutional context is looked at. The purpose of this Guidance is to explain the tool and to encourage and support its use.

What´s included?

Drawing on experience in different parts of the world, case studies are used to illustrate how the concept can be applied in locations that vary in their demography, stage of development and form of governance. This Guidance is divided into three Parts. Part A is directed primarily at those responsible for policy and legislation at national level, as well as civic leaders with a mandate for crime prevention at city level. It highlights the connection between safety audits and wider social, economic and environmental issues, such as sustainable development, social inclusion and good urban governance. It illustrates the importance of the safety audit to advancing well-planned and well-executed action to reduce crime and its associated risk factors. Part B focuses on specific and important issues that pose major challenges because they are difficult to investigate. Amongst those examined here are specific populations, such as ‘at risk’ children and youth; women’s safety; human trafficking; illicit drugs; and crimes involving business. Part C will be particularly useful for practitioners who undertake audit work. It covers a range of technical subjects. It emphasizes the importance of combining quantitative and qualitative data to gain a good understanding of problems and causal factors. Guidance is also given on the use of a range of tools and techniques for collecting information. The merits and weaknesses of different secondary sources are examined and advice is provided on the conduct of surveys.

Who can use it?

It has been written for everyone who has a significant role to play in designing and funding crime prevention programs and in directing, developing or delivering crime prevention activity.

What can it be used for?

For communal and urban crime prevention.

What is the value?

The tool offers help for community crime prevention. Worldwide theoretical, practical and empirical models are shown and discussed. Especially the steps of a safety analysis are presented clearly. Along come explanations of specific crime problems as well as empirical methods.