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Crime Prevention in Hungary: Why is it so Hard to Argue for the Necessity of a Community Approach? (From Crime Prevention Policies in Comparative Perspective, P 214-233, 2009, Adam Crawford, ed. - See NCJ-229306)

NCJ Number
Klara Kerezsi
Date Published
20 pages
This chapter highlights the experiences of crime prevention in Hungary.
Crime prevention policies in Hungary, as other Soviet-bloc countries have been linked with the process of political transition. The combined challenges of rising crime rates, falling perceptions of public safety, and the need to transform the criminal justice system in a more democratic and open society have shaped the Hungarian experience. The early processes and direction of criminal justice reform were dominated by the requirements of "Europeanization." Despite much governmental activity, the establishment of a National Council of Crime Prevention, and the subsequent publication of a national strategy, the continuously changing organizational structure left little clarity in terms of crime prevention definitions and responsibilities. Tensions between the roles of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of the Interior served to keep the objectives of crime prevention practices in a state of flux. Furthermore, despite the appeals to more localized provision, the strategy has predominantly been a top-down approach. Although the crime prevention strategy was oriented around the interface between criminal and social policies, in practice Hungary has experienced a proliferation of situational crime prevention methods. Despite the lack of progress and resources to implement prevention that address the social causes of crime and vulnerability, and promote social cohesion, the aims of crime prevention remain laudable and vital. Figures, tables, notes, and references