Criminologists such as Gottfredson, McKenzie, Eck, Farrington, Sherman, Waller and others have been at the forefront of analyzing what works for crime prevention. Commissions and research bodies such as the World Health Organization, United Nations, the United States National Research Council, the UK Audit Commission have analyzed their and others’ research on what lowers rates of interpersonal crime prevention.
They agree that governments must go beyond law enforcement and criminal justice to tackle the risk factors that cause crime because it is more cost effective and leads to greater social benefits than the standard ways of responding to crime. Multiple opinion polls also confirm public support for investment in prevention. Waller uses these materials in Less Law, More Order to propose specific measures to reduce crime as well as a crime.
Some of the highlights of these authorities are set out below with some sources for further reading. The World Health Organization Guide (2004) complements the World Report on Violence and Health (2002) and the 2003 World Health Assembly Resolution 56-24 for governments to implement nine recommendations, which were:
Create, implement and monitor a national action plan for violence prevention.
Enhance capacity for collecting data on violence.
Define priorities for, and support research on, the causes, consequences, costs and prevention of violence.
Promote primary prevention responses.
Strengthen responses for victims of violence.
Integrate violence prevention into social and educational policies, and thereby promote gender and social equality.
Increase collaboration and exchange of information on violence prevention.
Promote and monitor adherence to international treaties, laws and other mechanisms to protect human rights.
Seek practical, internationally agreed responses to the global drugs and global arms trade.
The commissions agree on the role of municipalities, because they are best able to organize the strategies to tackle the risk factors that cause crime. The European Forum for Urban Safety and the United States Conference of Mayors have stressed that municipalities must target the programs to meet the needs of youth at risk and women who are vulnerable to violence.
To succeed, they need to establish a coalition of key agencies such as schools, job creation, social services, housing and law enforcement around a diagnosis.