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Dream of Multi-Agency Crime Prevention: Pitfalls in Policy and Practice (From Politics and Practice of Situational Crime Prevention, P 75-96, 1996, Ross Homel, ed. -- See NCJ-167524)

NCJ Number
R Walters
Date Published
22 pages
This paper draws upon recent research in Australia to critically analyze multi-agency crime prevention and suggests agency conflicts and power struggles may be exacerbated by neo-liberal economic theory, the politics of crime prevention management, and policies that combine situational and social crime prevention techniques.
During the 1980's, terms such as interagency or multi-agency cooperation, collaboration, coordination, and interaction became permanent features of crime prevention rhetoric and government crime policies, based on the concept of the government and the community working in partnership. Multi-agency crime prevention is complex concept and should be considered with caution. At the core of multi-agency crime prevention are agency power struggles, ideological tensions, competing interests, and cultural disparities. The political climate further compounds multi-agency crime prevention in terms of demands for cost-effectiveness and accountability. Accordingly, purposes, expectations, and desired outcomes of interagency approaches should be clearly articulated. In addition, multi-agency crime prevention should be focused and allow the use of varied experts to unite information and resources. Advocates of social crime prevention policies who want to use multi-agency approaches should specify intervention aims and processes. Without grounded theory and clearly identifiable intervention targets capable of producing measurable outcomes, multi-agency crime prevention cannot be effectively operationalized. 37 references