Brussels, 30 November 2012
Report: How to prevent crime across Europe
Taking knives off our streets, addressing cyber-bullying or fostering early detection of addictions – these are among the innovative crime prevention initiatives taking place across the EU as part of the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN). In a report presented today, the European Commission evaluates the efforts of the network to enhance safety and security for European citizens. The report concludes that many projects are taking place to inspire actors at local level, but that the network can improve its impact by focusing its initiatives more and working closer with key actors in the crime prevention field.
The EUCPN is an EU-wide platform for exchanging best practices, research and information on how to prevent crime. Since 2001, the EUCPN has supported such activities, helping law enforcement officials, social and youth workers, healthcare professionals, teachers and academics, as well as policy makers at EU and national levels.
"Backed by EU funding, the EU Crime Prevention Network helps Member States make our societies more secure by their work to prevent crime. Today's report shows that the Network works well, and suggests how it can make even more of a difference on the ground in the future”, said Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström.
Among other areas, the EUCPN pays particular attention to juvenile, urban and drug-related crimes. It focuses, for example, on awareness raising via the European Crime Prevent Award (ECPA), an annual contest aiming to reward the best European crime prevention project; on drugs, for example via a preventative project for primary and secondary school children in The Netherlands; and on domestic violence through a large-scale collaborative project run by local authorities, the police and the healthcare sector in Malmö, Sweden.
A full list of the activities and good practices promoted by the EUCPN is available in the MEMO/12/925.
Today's Commission report shows that the EUCPN has been performing well over the last two and a half years. There is however scope for further improvements of the network. For instance, the EUCPN should target its products (thematic papers, reports, studies etc) more at what people working with crime prevention need, e.g. by producing good practice material for practitioners at a regional and local level.
The Commission report also recommends the EUCPN to build closer relationships with EUROSTAT (to introduce better statistical information at EU level), the European Police College, CEPOL (to reach practitioners at the local level), and the European Police Office, EUROPOL (to identify future challenges and priorities in fighting organized crime).
In most EU countries, crime levels have been decreasing for about ten years. There are however considerable differences between different types of crime. From 2006 to 2009, police recorded an increase in crimes in a number of Member States, particularly for domestic burglary and drug trafficking. At the same time, recorded numbers of theft of motor vehicles, violent crime and robbery fell substantially.
Cecilia Malmström's website
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European Crime Prevention Network website