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Short History of Crime Prevention in Australia

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 47 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2005 Pages: 355-368
Peter Homel
Date Published
April 2005
This article reviews Australia’s struggles to build a cohesive and coordinated national crime prevention strategy.
While crime prevention in Australia has been lauded for its innovation and achievement, Australia has lost its way in its ability to consolidate these successes into a national crime prevention strategy. The structural factors hampering crime prevention efforts in Australia are discussed and include the ever-widening chasm between the State/Territories and the national bodies, a lack of shared vision for crime prevention goals, frequent changes in strategic priorities across all levels of government, a too-narrow focus on short-term goals, a lack of cooperation among key agencies, and the absence of evaluation research supporting the dominant strategic approach of community-based crime prevention programming. The author addresses these issues in terms of managing crime at different levels of government and offers suggestions on how to overcome existing barriers to effective crime prevention programming. In particular, the author focuses on “whole of government” solutions for developing and implementing crime prevention strategies, the “urban renewal” model as a guide for broadening community-based crime prevention programming, the changing role of the police in preventing crime, and the development of evaluation research to support crime prevention practices. Note, references