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Practitioners' Perceptions of the Role of Neighbourhood Crime and Justice Co-Ordinators

NCJ Number
Michelle Charlton; Jane Lawrence; Sarah Morton
Date Published
May 2012
20 pages
This study solicited perceptions of the work of Neighborhood Crime and Justice (NCJ) coordinators in the United Kingdom (UK), based on 56 semistructured interviews (9 with NCJ coordinators and 47 with their key community safety, crime, and justice partners).
In November 2008, the British Home Office and the Ministry of Justice assigned 60 NCJ coordinators to solicit and respond to public safety concerns at the neighborhood level, working in partnership with criminal justice practitioners. Generally, the NCJ coordinators were perceived as having a positive effect in the communities they served, even though this was not a universal view. Although central funding for NCJ coordinators is no longer available, some partners suggested that the most useful aspects of the role could continue by being absorbed into other posts. One recommendation from this study is that the objectives, parameters, and focus of the role should be clearly defined, in consultation with partners, and be tailored to the community. Another recommendation is that the job of NCJ coordinators be an appropriate grade level, since they are required to direct resources and influence strategic decisions. NCJ coordinators should be proactive, dynamic, empathetic, and good communicators. This report also recommends that NCJ coordinators focus on specific locations in the community identified as having the greatest security needs, so resources will be appropriately allocated according to need. In addition, NCJ coordinators should manage the involvement of multiple agencies whose roles are relevant to identified public safety issues. Those interviewed for this study generally believe that NCJ coordinators can play an important role in identifying local safety issues in consultation with community leaders, developing appropriate responses, and coordinating the resources of criminal justice partners in implementing problem solving plans. 6 references