Crime Prevention Strategies
Dr. Radhika Kapur
The prevalence of crime is common in all the societies, whether it is rural or urban.
The individuals who get involved into criminal acts belong to various categories such as, they
may be educated or uneducated, they may be wealthy or reside in destitute and poverty
stricken conditions, they are engaged in different types of occupations such as, white collar
jobs, blue collar jobs, minority jobs or they may be unemployed. They differ on the basis of
family backgrounds, religious groups, caste, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic
backgrounds. In most cases, people who get involved into criminal and violent acts belong to
disadvantaged and marginalized sections of the society, they are not educated enough and are
usually engaged in minority jobs. These individuals have only one main objective, that is to
improve their financial positions and living conditions, in order to fulfil this objective, they
usually get involved into criminal acts such as, stealing, robbery, theft and burglary. There
have been formulation of crime prevention strategies, which have the main objective to
prevent the occurrence of criminal acts. In this research paper, the following areas that have
been taken into account are, models of crime prevention, development of crime prevention
strategies, kinds of criminal acts, and crime prevention approaches. The primary aspect that
leads to the prevention of crime is following the path of morality, virtue and ethics by all the
individuals. The morals and values would enable a person to focus on the achievement of his
life and career goals and abstain from conducting any kinds of criminal and violent acts.
Keywords: Crime, Prevention, Strategies, Development, Community, Approaches
It is important to implement operative crime prevention strategies, there are certain
points that need to be understood when a person is observing crime prevention strategies.
These are, all the levels of the government should contribute a leadership role. The
Government of the country as well as the states are required to contribute towards the
prevention of crime by formulating proper rules and policies. The crime prevention strategies
should be integrated in a cross-cutting manner, into a social, economic, educational,
employment, health, housing, urban planning and justice. In all these areas, there is
prevalence of crime, hence, prevention strategies are required to get incorporated in a cross-
cutting manner. Strategies are required to be built upon cooperative partnerships between
government institutions and ministries, community and non-governmental organizations and
the business sector and civil society (Shaw & Travers, 2007).
Finances is also considered to be an important area, when one is formulating policies
and strategies that lead to the prevention of crime; adequate funding should be there and
availability of other resources and clear accountability to ensure the operative implementation
of strategies. The strategies should be formulated on the basis of sound knowledge and
accurate information that lead to the occurrence of crimes. The crime prevention strategies
should respect all human rights; every human beings have equal opportunities and there is no
discrimination on the basis of factors such as caste, class, creed, race, religion, gender or
socio-economic background. There are certain causes and situations that every individual
undergoes, due to which they get engaged into crime and violent acts, hence, causes should
be ascertained due to which there is prevalence of crime (Shaw & Travers, 2007).
Models of Crime Prevention
There are four key models of crime prevention and each model illustrates different
approaches to prevent the occurrence of criminal acts: (Clancey, n.d.).
Developmental Model – This model is often known as early intervention,
developmental crime prevention aims to address the early causes of criminal behaviour.
Causing a decline in community and individual risk factors and increasing protective factors,
assisting to prevent crime later within the lives of the individuals. The most distinguished
examples of developmental crime prevention include: parenting programs, school upgrading
initiatives, pre-school administrations and improvements in changes to the school procedures.
Social Model – This model contributes in the reinforcement of the neighbourhoods, so
that people incorporate and help each other in the prevention of crime. Local communities
that have resilient bonds and where people know each other are less prone to experience
crime. When an individual has a strong social circle, he may experience less of criminal and
violent acts. Augmenting social capital or the relationships between people can be
advantageous in protecting people from crime. Operative social crime prevention is difficult
to achieve because it can comprise of many different aspects. Community building activities,
provision of welfare services and increasing community support groups all assist to improve
the sense of community and prevent crime.
Situational Model – Putting a restraint upon the instances for crime is an active way
of preventing crime. Increasing the risks of discovery, reducing the rewards for insulting and
offending individuals and increasing the efforts of supporting and helping individuals are all
ways to prevent crime. Situational crime prevention can be as modest as installation locks
and alarms, increasing investigation through lighting and making buildings harder to enter,
damage or hide near. The houses and buildings should be constructed in such a manner, that
they cannot be destroyed and during the night time, one should keep the windows and the
doors of the house locked.
Criminal Justice - This model of crime prevention is most universally understood and
is associated with the criminal justice system. Research tends to provide ideas and
suggestions, that these measures are only partly efficacious. These measures work to the best
of abilities when accompanied by the other models. The criminal justice system is associated
with imposition of severe penalties upon the individuals for the serious criminal acts that they
have committed. Progressively, there is acknowledgment that there are sharper ways to curb
crime, this model and the other models of crime prevention work together, in order to
implement the crime prevention strategies in an operative manner.
Development of Crime Prevention Strategies
There are five main stages in the development of crime prevention strategies:
(Guidelines for Developing a Crime Prevention Strategy, n.d.).
Develop a Crime Profile – The formulation of a crime profile enables a person to
obtain clear ideas on the types of crimes that are prevalent within the areas. These profiles
also assists in the determination of the types of crime that would be the focus of the strategy.
The crime profile should categorize the level and types of the crime; where it takes place and
the causes that effect the occurrence of the crime within a local setting. Understanding of the
why factors, behind the occurrence of the crime, who are the individuals that are involved
into it, and who are the victims of it will contribute in the development of the strategies that
can precisely lead to a reduction in crime.
Research Crime Prevention Approaches – Once an individual or a group of
individuals are able to detect the occurrence of various types of criminal and violent acts
within the community. The second step is the formulation of approaches that would look into
the factors that lead to the prevention of crime. Crimes are committed usually when an
individual has to attain something, hence, the most vital approach is hardening of the targets.
When the targets become difficult to achieve, then the individuals have to move back from
getting engaged in any types of criminal acts.
Negotiate Support – When there has been formulation of strategies and approaches
regarding the prevention of crimes; then an individual or group of individuals need to
negotiate the support of the agencies and other organizations that have an influence over the
factors that are causing crime. For example, if consumption of alcohol has proved to be
disruptive within the community, then support would be negotiated with local licensees and
Develop an Action Plan – An action plan should concisely summarize the actions and
the activities that are selected to lead to a reduction in the specific target crime. The main
areas in the case of formulation of action plan should include, the target crime, formulation of
objectives, what will be the goals of the strategies, the rationale for the selected actions, the
contribution of the agencies and organizations and clear performance measures and setting up
of the timeframe.
Implement and Monitor the Crime Prevention Strategy – In this case, one should
enable the actions and the projects that are to be appropriately targeted. Enable the selection
of the appropriate participants and locations for carrying out the plan, and assist with the
measurement of the project outcomes. The actions and activities that are required to be
initiated is an imperative concern in the case of implementation and monitoring of the crime
prevention strategy. Evaluation of the crime prevention strategy is considered vital, the reason
being that evaluation system should primarily focus upon the consequences and the results.
Kinds of Criminal Acts
The various kinds of criminal and violent acts that are prevalent within the
Verbal Abuse – This is making use of harsh and obscene language to the individuals
and insulting them severely. This kind of abuse harms an individual in a psychological
manner. This abuse is prevalent at homes and even within the societies and public places. In
order to prevent this kind of crime, either a person who often abuses verbally is provided with
explanation and warning of not to do this or he loses his communication terms and people
discontinue their interactions with him.
Physical Abuse – This is abuse of an individual by causing any kind of physical harm.
This is done in the form of beating, pushing, punching or throwing of objects at the person
merely to hurt him. The physical abuse is mostly suffered by vulnerable groups of individuals
who are not able to speak out for themselves, these individuals are domestic helpers who
belong to poverty stricken families and migrate to urban areas in search for job opportunities,
or they can be children who are mostly physically abused by their step mothers or they can be
elderly individuals who are exploited and sometimes physically abused by their own family
Theft – Theft includes acts such as, stealing, burglary, robbery and shop-lifting. In this
case, the person is usually subjected to the system of criminal justice. There are number of
reasons, when people are involved into theft cases, such as, when an individual is poverty
stricken and does not have food to eat, then too, he steals food to satisfy his hunger. In order
to prevent theft, the environmental design needs to get improved, such as street lightning,
controlling access to buildings, restricting traffic and pedestrian flow and dividing of
residential spaces into identifiable areas (Geason & Wilson, 1988).
Acid Attack – Mainly women have been victims of acid attack. Acid attack means
throwing of acid on the face or any of the body parts of a person, with the objective to deface,
mutilate or to kill. There has been prevalence of acid attacks which have been regarded as the
most dreadful criminal acts. Research has indicated that women have been acid attack victims
at the hands of men, because they merely turned down their marriage proposal, to focus on
their careers, hence, in anger and in order to seek revenge they threw acid on their faces and
ruined their lives.
Female Foeticide and Female Infanticide - Female foeticide means the abortion of the
female baby in the mother’s womb. Whereas female infanticide is homicide of a baby girl
after she has been born. The practice of homicide of the female child after her birth has been
prevalent within the Indian society for most of the years. These practices are considered to be
crimes. In the present existence, a law has come into existence that female children should be
allowed to live and they should be provided with good education. Female children are also to
be considered as valuable as the male children by the family members.
Murder – This is the crime, which has been prevalent within the society not only in
India but in other countries as well, individuals get involved into committing of murder
mostly out of the feelings of anger, rage and resentment. There have been instances, when
domestic helpers or workers get involved into the murder of their employers; it takes place
within the household, spouses murder each other, parents murder their children and even
children get involved into the murder of their parents and so forth. Therefore, this criminal
act takes place between known as well as unknown individuals; there is prevalence of this
crime, which usually subjects an individual to the criminal justice system.
Exploitation – The act of exploitation usually takes place amongst the households in
acquisition of finances, wealth and property. The elderly individuals of the house are usually
exploited by their family members for want of money and property. They are either exploited,
abused or neglected. In some of the cases, they are sent to old age homes, so that individuals
are able to obtain what they desire. There have been establishment of organizations that look
after the needs and requirements of the elderly individuals, as it is apparent that in one’s old
age, the health conditions of an individual deteriorates and he is not as energetic as compared
to the individuals of young or middle age.
Sexual Harassment – This is a crime within the society. When individuals are
involved into pestering, irritation or annoyance of other individuals, then it is termed as
harassment. Within the Indian society, women are usually subject to harassment by men, who
sometimes pester and irritate them. In this case, women who are victims either approach the
criminal justice or they give warning to the men who are involved in such kinds of acts. This
is one of the prevalent crimes, which normally women belonging to marginalized and socio-
economic backward sections of the society are subjected to.
Crime Prevention Approaches
The crime prevention approaches refer to the range of strategies that have been
implemented by the individuals, communities, businesses and non-governmental
organizations in order to target various social and environmental factors. The various kinds of
crime prevention approaches have been stated as follows: (Morgan, Boxall, Lindeman, &
Environmental Crime Prevention – The environmental approach has an objective of
changing certain conditions within the environment that may lead crime to take place. This
includes both situational approaches and comprehensive planning initiatives. The most
important aim is to bring about modifications and changes within the environment to lead to a
decline in the opportunities that may cause crime to take place. The approaches are concerned
with identifying, manipulating and controlling the situational or the environmental factors
that lead to the occurrence of crime. For instance, there is a society, which is mostly prone to
the occurrence of stealing and theft, hence, in this case, there should be provision of street
lightning, utilization of locks and alarms, durable construction of buildings and also a
security guard should be appointed in order to keep a check on the people making an entry.
Urban Design and Planning – This includes formulation of the strategies that
comprise of transformation of the built in environment to create safer places that are less
prone to crime or can make people feel safe. The main points that are to be taken into
consideration are the designing of public spaces in such a manner that encourage large
numbers of people and provide greater natural investigation, or by designing pedestrian
thoroughfares that are well lighted and there should not be any places for potential offenders
Developmental Crime Prevention – Developmental crime prevention is based on the
premise that intervening early in the development of the young person, in order to produce
significant long term social and economic benefits. The main purpose of developmental crime
prevention is to intervene in any of the points that lead to an individual’s development, so that
he does not get involved into any kind of criminal acts. There have been cases, when
individuals get involved into criminal acts from the early stage, therefore, he has to be guided
in such a manner that he should follow the right path and do not offend anybody.
Social Crime Prevention – Social crime prevention is most commonly trying to
influence the principal social and economic causes of crime. This approach includes crime
prevention measures, that are usually time consuming in producing of the desired outcomes.
This may include action to improve the health, housing and educational achievement as well
as improved community cohesion through the community development measures. The main
focus of social crime prevention is to formulate certain means and measures that would
enhance the social living conditions of the individuals. For instance, education makes
provision of knowledge and information to the individuals that crime should be prevented
and they should follow the path of righteousness and truth.
Community Development - Community development is stated on the concept that
varying the physical or social organisation of communities may have an impact on the
conduct of individuals who reside there. The risk of getting involved in crime or violence, or
being ill-treated, is greater in those communities that practice high levels of social elimination
or where there is lack of social cohesion. Also the community development approach is
essential, it is certainty that crime in a particular community is not principally or exclusively
the result of the actions of a small number of disposed individuals. The development of the
community is development of areas such as education, employment, provision of facilities,
health care, civic amenities and harmony and peace amongst the individuals.
Individuals get involved in the performance of criminal acts out of some reasons or
causes. Even when an individual is illiterate, belongs to a poverty stricken family and works
as a cleaner, he may get involved into stealing, robbery or burglary out of some reason, the
main reason is to enhance his financial position and living conditions. Elderly individuals
within the households are exploited and mistreated for finances and wealth. Female foeticide
and infanticide is practiced out of the viewpoints that only male children can bring wealth
and enhance the status of the family, whereas females are considered to be liabilities and
would yield no returns. Criminal acts such as, verbal abuse, physical abuse, acid attacks,
murder and sexual harassment are practiced by the individuals upon their family members,
within the workplaces, in public places out of the feelings of anger, rage and antagonism.
There are not any valid reasons that would lead to the occurrence of crime, the reasons
behind the occurrence of criminal and violent acts are always inappropriate.
There are four models of crime prevention, developmental, social, situational models
and criminal justice. The main crime prevention strategies are, develop a crime profile,
research crime prevention approaches, negotiate support, develop an action plan and
implement and monitor the crime prevention strategy. The main crime prevention approaches
are, environmental crime prevention, urban design and planning, developmental crime
prevention, social crime prevention and community development. The strategies and the
approaches that are formulated in order to lead to the prevention of crime should be specific
and the main focus should be that every individual should follow them as rules.
The main objective of every individual is to enhance his financial position and living
conditions; in order to achieve this purpose, a person should adopt the path of accuracy and
uprightness. He should render his contribution towards the enhancement of literacy skills and
other training qualifications, so that he is able to acquire employment in order to improve his
abilities and sustain his living. Majority of individuals have recognized the significance of
education and have generated this viewpoint amongst themselves that education will make
provision of good job opportunities for them so that they will be able to acquire self-
sufficiency and abstain from the performance of criminal and violent acts.
Clancey, G. (n.d.). Models of Crime Prevention. Retrieved May 9, 2017 from
Geason, S., & Wilson, P.R. (1988). Crime Prevention Theory and Practice. Australian
Institute of Criminology. Retrieved May 9, 2017 from
Guidelines for Developing a Crime Prevention Strategy. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2017
Morgan, A., Boxall, H., Lindeman, K., & Anderson, J. (1968). Effective Crime Prevention
Interventions for Implementation by Local Government. Australian Institute of
Criminology. Retrieved May 10, 2017 from
Shaw, M., & Travers, K. (Ed.). (2007). Strategies and Best Practices in Crime Prevention in
particular in relation to Urban Areas and Youth at Risk. International Centre for the
Prevention of Crime. Retrieved May 10, 2017 from http://www.crime-prevention-