Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

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European Forum for Urban Security

Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security The implementation of local actions to improve individual and collective security requires a clear and precise understanding both of crime in a given community and of the various perceptions of safety held by different groups of the population. The purpose of this guidebook is to encourage and help European local policy-makers and practitioners to build and review their security policies using reliable information and data collected on the ground.

Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> This book is published by the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus) and is an outcome of the project “Methodological tools for the definition of local security policies in Europe (AUDITS)”, which was carried out in 2013-2016. It was produced by Carla Napolano and Sebastian Sperber, Programme Managers, under the direction of Elizabeth Johnston, Executive Director, and with the contribution of the project experts, Sohail Husain, Francesc Guillén Lasierra, as well as the project partners. The use and reproduction are royalty free if for non-commercial ends and on condition that the source be specified. Translation: Nathalie Bourgeois Layout: Michel & Michel – Printing: Cloître Imprimeurs, Saint-Thonan - France ISBN: 2-913181-47-3 Legal deposit: June 2016 European Forum for Urban Security 10, rue des Montiboeufs 75020 Paris - France Tel: + 33 (0)1 40 64 49 00 -

With the financial support of the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Commission - Directorate-General Home Affairs. The content of this publication does not reflect the opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the authors.

European Forum for Urban Security

Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security



The AUDITS project was successfully carried out thanks to the commitment of the representatives of the French, German and Italian Forums for Urban Security as well as the cities of Rotterdam and Stuttgart as partners, and the representatives of the Ministry of the Interior of Belgium, the Ministry of the Interior of Portugal, the Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security and the city of Brussels as associate partners. We thank the cities of Augsburg, DĂźsseldorf, Modena, Montreuil, and their local elected officials and their teams for having shared their experience and knowledge, as well as the project experts for their valuable contribution. In addition to the European Commission and its financial support, without which this project and this publication would not have been possible, we would also like to thank all the people who received us during the field visits or who were guest speakers at the final conference held in Rotterdam, on 3 and 4 December 2015.

Project partners Ineke Nierstrasz, Robert De Vette, Suzanne Van Den Berge (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Martin Schairer, Gunter Schmidt (Stuttgart, Germany), Michel Marcus, Vanina Hallab, Emilie Petit (French Forum for Urban Security - FFSU), Samanta Arsani (Italian Forum for Urban Security - FISU), Claudia Heinzelmann (German Forum for Urban Security  - DEFUS).


Associated partners Laetitia Nolet (Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security), Véronique Ketelaer, Thierry Hendrickx (City of Brussels, Belgium), Lieven D’Hauwe, Didier Vanbesien (Belgian Ministry of the Interior), Pedro Barreto (Portuguese Ministry of the Interior).

Experts Sohail Husain (Analytica Consulting, UK), Francesc Guillén Lasierra (Generalitat of Catalonia, Spain) and Svetislav Paunovic (Council of Europe).

Other contributors André Vervooren, Afke Besselink, Rien Van Der Steenoven, Erik Snel, Margrietha 't Hart, Arjen Leerkes, Geoffrey Oliviera (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Dirk Wurm, Diana Schubert, Janina Hentschel, Andreas Gleich (Augsburg, Germany), Yvano De Biasio (Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security), Giovanna Rondinone, Vittorio Martinelli, Rosa Prete, Antonio Assirelli, Franco Chiari, Antonietta De Luca (Modena, Italy), Giovanni Sacchini (Emilia Romagna Region, Italy), Eleonora Lega (Italian Forum for Urban Security - FISU), Muriel Capet, Sophie Le Bihan (Montreuil, France), Tanja Schwarzer, Jennifer Kühnel (Düsseldorf, Germany), Mandy Mucha, Thomas Scheuchenpflug (Munich, Germany), Radim Bureš (Transparency International, Czech Republic), Alena Horáková, Adolf Polák (Czech Ministry of the Interior), Andrzej Bojanowski, Tadeusz Bukontt, Leszek Walczak, Miłosz Jurgielewicz (Gdansk, Poland), Janina Czapska, Katarzyna Jurzak-Maczka, Piotr Macynski, Jakub Maczka (Jagellonian University, Krakow, Poland), Gregor Burkhart (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, EMCDDA), Burkhard Hasenpusch, Frederick Groeger-Roth (Crime Prevention Council of Lower Saxony, Germany), Samuel Thirion (SPIRAL), Patrick Wincke (Observatoire national de la violence dans le sport, France), Gilda Farrell (CARMEN, Portugal), Regine Serra, Tommaso Vitale, Mathieu Zagrodzki (Institut d'études politiques de Paris, France), Alexandre Reznikow, Catalina Ramirez Palau, Charlie Mitchell, Ewen Frondillon, Kwame Boye Frimpong, Juliette Baron (students of the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, France), Chris Williams (Home Office, UK), Jenny Ewels (Liverpool, UK), Lizzie Peters (London, UK), Thomas Görgen (Police University, Münster, Germany), Renate Soellner (University of Hildesheim, Germany), Wolfgang Bandilla (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences, Mannheim, Germany).


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

Table of contents


Foreword.........................................................................p. 8 Introduction.................................................................p. 10 Part 1: The strategic approach to urban security.....p. 15 I. An internationally established and recognised approach........... p. 16 II. Local safety audits at the heart of a strategic approach to urban security........................................................................... p. 17

Part 2: Governance and sustainability......................p. 29 I. How to make the process manageable....................................... p. 31 II. Current challenges to the auditing process............................... p. 32

Part 3: Methods and tools for implementation........p. 35 I. Knowing and understanding...................................................... p. 37 II. Developing a strategy............................................................... p. 59 III. Taking action........................................................................... p. 64 IV. Evaluating and reviewing......................................................... p. 68 V. Mobilisation and participation.................................................. p. 71

References and bibliography.....................................p. 79



Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security



A clear and precise view of criminality and delinquency in a given community, and of the various perceptions of safety held by different groups of the population, is essential in order to implement local actions aiming to improve individual and collective security. In a context of budgetary restrictions and transparency requirements, local and regional authorities need more than ever to make their investments more efficient by basing their actions on scientific knowledge and evidence. With this second guidebook, Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security, Efus aims to provide policy-makers, particularly those at the local level, with the tools and understanding they need in order to have a clear picture of their local security situation, and thus inform their security policies. Such an approach has long been promoted by the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus). Indeed, it recalls in its Manifesto of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis (2012) that, “All policy should take into account the latest technical and scientific knowledge and promote research and development. To do this, cities need to find ways to ensure that their policies are defined and guided by both qualitative and quantitative data, and not founded on prejudice or ideological stances. They must commit to systematically assessing their prevention actions, in order to increase efficiency and therefore bring prevention to a new stage of professionalisation.� In this guidebook, which is a follow-up on the Efus 2007 publication Guidance on Local Safety Audits: A Compendium of International Practice, Efus once again stresses the necessity to strengthen the link between academic knowledge and crime prevention programmes and practices. Focused on the practical aspects of this approach, the new guidebook explains how local safety audits can and should be the cornerstone of a strategic approach to urban security targeted on the local problems and population. It shows how this can be put into practice and presents examples of methods and tools for each step of the process.


The strategic approach is not a “new method”, but an approach that puts in coherence the fundamental phases of the development and implementation of a global and local security policy. Depending on each local situation, some local authorities might need to strengthen the auditing phase whereas others will need to focus more on implementation, but what is essential is to include the strategic approach in the long term and not consider it as a “one shot exercise”. A particular challenge in the strategic, holistic approach to security is how to involve citizens. Across Europe, there are different ways to include citizens in the process, but in general those variations concern more the information given on security than the actual co-production of security between governing bodies and civil society. On the basis of the Efus Manifesto, the guidebook emphasises how such participation could be implemented: “Security policies should be designed and constructed around the individual and collective needs of citizens, and not according to public institutions. To do this, citizen participation must be universally promoted and civil society must play a role at all stages of the policy-making process, from conception, to implementation, to evaluation. Future prevention can only be designed and achieved with the full participation of young people, who are all too often stigmatised and victims of violence. Concrete goals and means of expression need to be restored to the common political project that unites European citizens. This active form of citizenship includes the involvement of citizens in security, particularly through civic education and through promoting the values of justice and democracy.” The purpose of this guidebook is to encourage and help European local policy-makers and technicians to regularly inform and review their security policies with reliable information and data collected on the ground. This approach will strengthen preventive actions and promote prevention as being the most efficient and cost-effective response to crime. Elizabeth Johnston Executive Director


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Providing a safe and secure environment for their citizens is a fundamental responsibility of governments. While historically this was widely seen as a task reserved for the police and criminal justice system, over the past 25 years ideas and approaches have evolved and in many countries a very different situation exists today. In European cities, several significant and interacting trends contributed to awareness that achieving safety and security depends on:

 implementing interventions that prevent crime by addressing the risk factors associated with offending alongside measures to deter crime and apprehend offenders;

 civic leaders providing leadership, while recognising that many stakeholders – other public service providers, citizens, businesses and civil society – have significant contributions to make alongside police and justice agencies;

 adopting a collaborative approach that is based on multi-agency partnership, is inclusive of all sections of the community, and encourages active citizen participation;

 being strategic by working towards medium/long-term goals, basing decisions on a good understanding of problems, and creating appropriate frameworks for delivery, progress monitoring, evaluating achievement and reviewing plans;

 not only reducing the actual risk of crime, violence and delinquency, but also ensuring that all citizens feel safe and comfortable in the cities where they live, work or spend their leisure time. The publication in 2007 of Local Safety Audits: A Compendium of International Practice was intended to motivate and empower both city managers and community safety practitioners to take forward these ideas. Set within the process of developing a prevention strategy, it focused on the gathering, analysing and use of a range of information to inform the selection of priorities and interventions, while building


consensus and commitment among stakeholders. Although much of its content remains highly relevant today, important changes have occurred that have a bearing on the importance of prevention in general and the audit process in particular. Ensuring citizens feel safe and secure is increasingly recognised as crucial in a wider policy context. It is a significant component in an individual’s and a community’s sense of well-being, which in turn impacts on neighbourhood stability, economic development, social integration, general quality of life and social justice. With growing recognition that social justice is as important as effective environmental management in achieving sustainable development, tackling crime and disorder effectively should be a priority for all city managers and city authorities. The economic climate has also changed. The global financial crisis of 2007-08 and subsequent prolonged recession resulted in many European cities being severely affected by high unemployment, housing market crises and reduced income from taxation. Demand for services has increased, but revenue has fallen, which led to cutbacks in public expenditure. Surprisingly, recorded crime in most European countries has also fallen over this period, weakening the case for further investment. The combination of these circumstances is that resources for prevention have become much more difficult to secure and budgets are lower. There is therefore a need to find ways to conduct audits more cost-effectively and demonstrate value for money. Technological advances in the past decade have created huge new opportunities for prevention. Social media, and phone apps in particular, facilitate public participation and enable real-time data capture (including through crowd sourcing). Satellite imagery, which for example can be used to identify the level of illumination in cities, has opened up new avenues for investigating crime patterns and causes. Lastly, it is evident that certain topics warrant much greater attention today than at the time the first publication came out. Most importantly, various forms of hidden violence, including interpersonal violence (and especially violence against women and girls), sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking are now much more widely recognised


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

as pervasive problems. They need careful attention but are particularly difficult to investigate and assess. Methods and Tools for A Strategic Approach to Urban Security analyses European experience and practices in strategic approaches to urban security, providing local practitioners with an overview and description of methods and tools at their disposal. This guidebook is an instrument to disseminate and mainstream a strategic approach to urban security and to strengthen the capacity of local and regional European authorities to implement it. This new European guide builds on and complements the Efus 2007 publication Guidance on Local Safety Audits: A Compendium of International Practice, which has become a reference tool and was key in divulging the local security audits approach to an international audience. The new publication Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security is the result of work carried out between 2013 and 2016 in the framework of the European project “Methodological tools for the definition of local security policies in Europe (AUDITS)â€?. This project was co-financed by the European Commission and brought together the European, French, German and Italian Forums for Urban Security as well as the cities of Rotterdam and Stuttgart as partners. They were supported by the Ministry of the Interior of Belgium, the Ministry of the Interior of Portugal, the Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security and the city of Brussels as associate partners, as well as the experts Sohail Husain, Francesc GuillĂŠn Lasierra and Svetislav Paunovic. This publication is in part the result of research carried out in the framework of this project on methods and tools implemented in Europe, as well as local activities set up by the five partners in four European countries. It is also an invitation to cities to appropriate and improve upon the results by adapting them to their local context. The work comprised a research on European methodologies and tools; several seminars bringing together the project partners and experts; implementation of five local audits or surveys; support visits in each city involved in the project to reinforce and reorient their local work, and finally dissemination of the results, notably through this publication.


This publication is divided in three parts. Part 1: The strategic approach to urban security This part presents the strategic approach to urban security and why it is important. It explains what constitutes a local security audit and why it is necessary to widen the analytical field beyond a simple assessment of criminal acts or the absence thereof. It also demonstrates how a strategic approach to urban security can contribute to the sustainable development of European cities and regions. Moreover, this chapter presents a historical perspective on audits and analyses what it means to work on crime prevention today. It gives concrete examples of problems and presents current trends and challenges, such as: the translation of the results of the audit into concrete actions; the use of new information and communication technologies; the opportunities offered by open data, and the obstacles to overcome in order to implement a strategic approach in the current climate of budgetary reductions.

Part 2: Governance and sustainability The second part is particularly aimed at policy-makers and presents recommendations for implementing the strategic approach. It focuses on making this approach manageable and sustainable and looks at how to create partnerships between different stakeholders and how to involve citizens. The questions raised here concern: political leadership; the relationship between prevention policies and other long-term strategic policies; the necessary conditions for information-sharing; the communication of security policies; the necessary means for ensuring long-term support for this approach, and the evaluation procedures.

Part 3: Methods and tools for implementation The third part aims to give an overview of the available methods and tools in terms of the envisaged objective, focusing on how to: learn about and understand the context; mobilise the stakeholders; construct a strategy; implement relevant actions and lead an evaluation.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

The advantages and disadvantages of each are also presented in order to allow local actors to identify the methods and tools which are most relevant to them, according to the local context.

The online version of the publication (available at or for Efus' members) presents also a clear and concise description of the methods and tools presented in part three, as well as case studies in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and some central European countries. Bibliographic references and a glossary define and explain key terms and concepts used in this guidebook.




Part 1


The strategic approach to urban security



Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

I. An internationally established and recognised approach

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> “There is clear evidence that well-planned crime prevention strategies not only prevent crime and victimisation, but also promote community safety and contribute to the sustainable development of countries.”1 This first sentence of the UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Crime clearly states the strategic approach to urban security and crime prevention that is now internationally established and recognised: It is about tackling the root causes of insecurity. Strategic approaches to urban security complement law enforcement with social/ developmental, community and situational prevention.2 “A coherent security and crime prevention policy must be based on prevention, law enforcement and mutual support.”3 This strategic approach to urban security has developed over the last 30 years in many countries and international institutions, for example through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the Council of Europe, the European Union, the World Bank, the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) and, last but not least, the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus).4 A strategic approach means following a plan to achieve agreed highlevel goals in the medium/long term, rather than making ad hoc decisions to pursue short-term objectives. It also requires being knowledge- and evidence-based, taking decisions that are informed by

1-UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Crime: UN Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC Resolution 2002/13. 2-See for example: Michael Tonry and David P. Farrington (1995): Strategic Approaches to Crime Prevention. In: Crime and Justice, Vol. 19, p. 1-20. 3-Council of Europe (1992): European Urban Charter; “More than ever before, security policies should be built on the balance between sanction and prevention.” European Forum for Urban Security (2012): Security, Democracy and Cities. The Manifesto of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis. 4-European Forum for Urban Security (2007): Guidance to local safety audits. A compendium of international practice.


sound information about local circumstances, as well as research on the effectiveness of alternative interventions. According to the UN Guidelines, “Crime prevention strategies, policies, programmes and actions should be based on a broad, multi-disciplinary foundation of knowledge about crime problems, their multiple causes and promising and proven practices.” They underline the importance of strategic responses based on a “systematic analysis of crime problems, their causes, risk factors and consequences, in particular at the local level.” Reference texts such as the basic principles of the UN Guidelines or Efus' “Security, democracy and cities” manifestos further underline that a strategic approach to urban security is human rights-based and holistic and builds on a central role of local authorities, multi-agency partnership and citizen participation. It is widely recognised that being strategic and evidence-based will help ensure that just and justifiable choices are made as well as good use of available resources – a particularly important consideration in difficult economic times. A local safety audit should be the starting point for the implementation of such an approach. Audits take many forms and go under a variety of names, but the basic concept has been widely applied. And although it can be demanding in terms of the skills, technology and other resources required, audits have been undertaken in cities inside and outside Europe, in both developed and developing countries.

II. Local safety audits at the heart of a strategic approach to urban security

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 1. What is a safety audit? A safety audit is a systematic analysis undertaken to gain an understanding of the crime and victimisation-related problems in a city; to identify assets and resources for preventive activity; to enable priorities to be identified; and to help shape a strategy that will enable those priorities to be tackled. A citywide audit will usually involve:


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 setting the context with an overview of the city’s demographic, economic and other characteristics, and comparing these with regional or national information;

 analysing crime and violence, as well as related problems such as disorder and incivilities, including the scale, trend, distribution and impact of incidents;

 profiling victims and offenders, including the gender, age, ethno-cultural and socio-economic patterns of these groups;

 investigating patterns of risk factors that are likely to contribute to the occurrence of crime and violence;

 appraising the effectiveness of projects and services – such as health, housing, welfare and education ­– in relation to prevention;

 assessing the political and institutional environment to identify opportunities for developing preventive action;

 identifying the opportunities, strengths and potential of the area, including social capital, civil society and existing projects on which a future strategy may be built.5 Achieving this coverage should always be the objective, but audits need to be customised to local circumstances and so will vary in their design, complexity and methods. They will reflect the geographical, institutional, cultural and developmental contexts in which they are being conducted; the availability of resources and expertise to undertake the work, and the adequacy of relevant data from official and other sources.6 5-The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines social capital as “the degree of social cohesion which exists in communities. It refers to the processes between people which establish networks, norms, and social trust, and facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit. It is created from the myriad of everyday interactions between people, and is embodied in such structures as civic and religious groups, family membership, informal community networks, and in norms of voluntarism, altruism and trust. The stronger these networks and bonds, the more likely it is that members of a community will cooperate for mutual benefit.” The main elements of social capital are citizenship, neighbourliness, trust and shared values, community involvement, volunteering, social networks and civic participation. WHO. Health promotion glossary. Geneva: WHO, 1998. 6-For a comparative study of approaches in France, New Zealand, Australia and the UK, see Alvarez J. Les diagnostics locaux de sécurité. Une étude comparée, pour mieux comprendre et mieux agir. Québec: Institut national de santé publique du Québec/Centre international pour la prévention de la criminalité, 2006.


>>>>>>>> Safety Audit: Quick Wins Undertaking an audit does not mean action cannot be taken until its results are known. There is much to be gained from responding quickly to problems for which there are obvious and relatively straightforward solutions in order to secure ‘quick wins’ that build confidence and a sense of achievement.

2. Ten principles underpinning good practice When embarking on a safety audit, the process should be underpinned by principles that are agreed by the group overseeing the project. These should be drafted to ensure that it is a fair, inclusive and formative process, and that it contributes to higher-level strategic priorities and policies. Without explicit recognition of these principles, there is a risk that marginalised and excluded sections of society will not be adequately included. Principles may vary with local circumstances, but it is suggested that the following have universal validity.

 The purpose of the audit should be to gain an understanding of crime, related problems and their causes to inform development of a prevention strategy.

 The audit should be based on recognition that crime results from a complex interaction of social, economic, legislative, environmental and other circumstances.

 The audit should adopt practices that model and contribute to good urban governance and sustainable development.

 The audit should be undertaken with respect to the law and human rights, and used to promote a culture of lawfulness.

 Strong commitment of stakeholders with competence in relevant policy areas is critical, since success depends on their ability to respond to the findings.

 A participative approach that involves engagement with civil society and community interests is critical throughout the audit process.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 Positive action is needed to ensure the voices of the poor, marginalised and most victimised people are heard, recognising that official data will not adequately reflect their experiences.

 The audit should be gender sensitive and incorporate the distinctive perspectives related to minorities and young people.

 The audit should identify relevant assets in an area, including social capital and successful projects, which may provide the basis for building effective responses.

 The audit should not be used as a tool to encourage or justify vigilantism or punitive activity, but should be solely used as part of the preventive process.

3. The benefits of auditing Safety audits make demands on the time and resources of crime prevention partners, but that investment can generate multiple benefits. Specifically, safety audits can:

 enable the information, energy and resources of different organisations and communities to be pooled to build a comprehensive composite picture;

 help organisations with differing perspectives to reach agreement about which problems should be given the highest priority;

 reveal the complex linkages between social, economic and other factors and mobilise agencies to participate in preventive action;

 provide the basis for effective problem solving, enabling the right balance to be struck between alternative approaches and activities;

 promote partnership working and community involvement, so contributing to good urban governance;

 build the capacity of local stakeholders through development of skills and knowledge;

 reveal the distinctive characteristics of crime problems in a particular area, enabling solutions to be tailored to local needs;


 shed light on which measures and services have previously worked well and provide a baseline against which change and achievement can be measured. Most importantly, safety audits provide the foundation for strategies that are effective in preventing crime and improving the quality of life for citizens.

4. Preparing to audit What information needs to be collected? A safety audit must bring together information on several subjects. It needs to include contextual data about the city and its population; information about crime and related activity; the impacts and costs of crime; factors linked to offending and victimisation; assets, services and initiatives that could reduce the occurrence of problems, and the views of local citizens. As a starting point, those responsible for the audit should draw up a list of topics which they want to investigate. They can then explore what information is readily available and what might need to be collected (Table 1). Table 1 - Information to include in a safety audit Context

Size of city, land use, economic structure, political situation


Total population, gender balance, age structure, ethno-cultural diversity, employment/unemployment

Crime and disorder

Offence types, occurrences, offenders, victims, targets, distribution

Impact and economic costs of crime

On individuals and communities (such as violence-related injuries), demand on hospital emergency services, value of property stolen, cost of security and justice


Of risk, vulnerability, police, justice, other services

Risk factors

Such as relative poverty, violence, growing up in care, dropping out of school, mental illness

Services and initiatives

Providers, range, quality, access, usage, projects and programmes, effective practices


Social capital, civil society, buildings, land, other resources


Interests, capacities, resources

Derived from UN-Habitat Safer Cities Toolkit


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

An audit will ideally draw together both quantitative and qualitative information. Each can throw light on a subject and one without the other is likely to leave the picture incomplete. Numerical data (from victimisation surveys, for example) can powerfully convey the dimensions of a particular problem or issue, providing answers to questions about ‘what’ and ‘how much’ is happening. But qualitative or descriptive data, drawn for example from interviews, is likely to generate a richer ‘three dimensional’ account that answers important ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Bias towards information that can be easily measured, rather than more complex material that can only be gleaned through engagement and discussion, could lead to misleading conclusions. It needs to be recognised that a single source is unlikely to answer all the questions posed and that the usefulness of police and justice agency data is often limited. Drawing on several independent information sources enables ‘triangulation’ to ensure that the picture is as accurate and comprehensive as possible.


Quantitative vs. qualitative information “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

What knowledge and skills are needed? A citywide safety audit will benefit from careful planning, good management and rigorous implementation. Information on a wide range of subjects will need to be collected from multiple sources using different methods. It will need to be collated and appraised in order to draw conclusions that inform the selection of priorities and the shaping of responses. Throughout the process, there needs to be good communication with stakeholders and opportunities for effective participation. The range of issues, tasks and techniques involved will require the following knowledge and skills:



 Local context - the geographic, economic, cultural, political and demographic environment.

 Key agencies - the priorities, policies, cultures and organisational arrangements of relevant local service providers, especially in the public and non-profit sectors.

 Policing and justice system - agency roles, police organisation, offence and incident recording practices, strengths and weaknesses of justice system data.

 Crime prevention - an understanding of offending and fear of crime, especially including gender-related issues; research evidence about effective responses; and how audits can be used to develop a preventive strategy.

Technical Skills

 Research design - formulation of objectives, selection of methods, specification of outputs.

 Project management - scheduling of work, allocation of resources, risk management and quality assurance.

 Stakeholder analysis - identification of all stakeholders, assessment of their stake and determining how they should be involved.

 Community engagement - use of activities that encourage broad participation, especially to facilitate the engagement of women, youth and ‘hard-to-reach’ groups.

 Consultative techniques - interviews, meetings and focus groups to elicit information from service providers and community interests.

 Victimisation surveys - questionnaire design, population sampling, database construction and interrogation.

 Social media - using technology in innovative ways that promote citizen participation and gather information in new ways.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 Statistical analysis - identifying, collecting and analysing relevant data held by agencies, possibly using geographical information systems.

 Communication - report writing, giving presentations and other activities to keep stakeholders involved and to get feedback from research findings. It is important to recognise that the specified knowledge and skills will be needed at different stages in the audit process.


Engaging communities To maximise participation, it is important to match the methods used to individual groups or communities. Consideration of the age, gender, ethnic identity, cultural norms and other characteristics will help determine what will work best. Engagement will be increased through the use of appropriate:

 visioning and consensus building  language and terminology  forms of communication (for example, oral, written, pictorial, drama)  composition of groups (for example, single gender or youth only)  techniques and tools, including social media  locations, timings and settings  facilitators and researchers And by considering issues relevant to the stakeholders. The ‘auditors’ need to have or be able to draw on individuals who have the necessary skills, knowledge and credibility to engage diverse communities effectively.

5. Who should conduct the audit? A small team that brings together the required knowledge and skills will need to be set up to carry out the research with one person having


managerial responsibility. There are several possible sources of personnel, including public sector agencies, civil society, academic institutions and the private sector. Each option has advantages, but there are a number of weaknesses that could affect any of them (Table 2).

Table 2 - Staffing the safety audit team Source

Public sector agency

Potential advantages > Understanding of context > Understanding of local policies and services > Access to information > Public acceptance > Build expertise and partnerships > Lower costs

> Grassroots knowledge Civil society > Credibility with citizens7 organisation > Lower costs Academic institution

> Research skills > Objectivity/independence > Moderate costs

Private sector

> Strong project management > Research skills and technology > Objectivity/independence > Dedicated personnel

Potential disadvantages

The following could weaken any of the staffing options: > Inadequate research expertise > Lack of expertise on crime and prevention issues > Difficulty freeing up appropriate staff to assign to the project > Lack of influence/credibility with key agencies > Lack of community credibility and involvement > Lack of understanding of policy context

It is unlikely that any one source will provide a ‘complete’ team to meet all requirements. Most audits are best carried out using a combination of resources. For example, an academic institution may be best equipped to provide advice on research methodology. A private company may be best able to organise a citywide survey. Crime prevention specialists might provide subject advice. Civil society organisations

7-Whilst civil society may generally be considered to have more credibility with communities than public sector agencies, caution is needed. A study by the World Bank found that “NGOs do not figure prominently in poor people’s lives” and “The poor also get excluded from many groups because of their limited assets and inability to pay fees.” See Narayan D with Patel R, Schafft K, Rademacher A and Koch-Schulte S. Can anyone hear us? Voices of the Poor Volume 1. World Bank, 1999.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

could be strongly positioned to facilitate linkages with communities. Moreover, different people will need to be involved at different stages of the audit. There is however much to be gained from public sector personnel having a significant involvement, rather than ‘outsourcing’ the whole project. Public sector involvement will bring to the research good local insight but, equally important, the work will help build skills and strengthen partnership working amongst participating agencies.

6. How long will an audit take? When carried out citywide for the first time, an audit may take 6-12 months, depending on the size of the city, ease of access to reliable information and resources to do the work. An indication of the possible duration of different phases is shown in Table 3.

Table 3 - Example of an audit timetable Month 1

Set up Audit Steering Group Planning

Appoint audit team and agree on a work programme Initial appraisal of problems, risk factors and responses (Stage 1)


Researching topics requiring further investigation (Stage 2) Identifying priorities for action and opportunities (Stage 3) Consulting stakeholders and communicating findings (Stage 4)













7. National and international comparisons A city audit will inevitably concentrate on what is going on within the city boundary, but it can be difficult to assess the seriousness of a problem without reference to an ‘external’ benchmark. Comparison with other cities in a country or even further afield can help put local patterns in context and be useful in other ways. For example, public anxiety may be assuaged if a city’s crime rate is shown to be well below the national average. Conversely, a relatively high crime rate may be helpful in securing additional resources for prevention from regional or national governments. Of course, when comparing cities, it is desirable to take account of social and other factors. For instance, comparisons will be most meaningful when they involve cities which have similar socio-economic profiles. And the compilation of ‘league tables’ should be avoided, since they can be stigmatising and counter-productive. Making national comparisons will be difficult in countries without standardised information systems and data will always need to be interpreted carefully. Even greater caution must be applied to international comparisons since definitions of offences, reporting and recording procedures, and counting rules vary between countries. This inconsistency can be overcome with a ‘multi-city assessment’. That would involve a group of comparable cities co-operating and conducting audits at approximately the same time using the same methodology. This could be undertaken within a country or across international borders and would go a long way towards generating consistent data. This approach could also be financially advantageous, if economies of scale can be achieved.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security


Part 2 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Governance and sustainability >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

It is particularly important that urban security policies be based on an objective diagnosis. There are some basic reasons for this:

 Current problems must be tackled and this can only be done with a thorough knowledge of the current situation and its context. Otherwise, it will prove very difficult to improve public safety.

 In a context in which the issue of security is increasingly politicised, it is paramount that policies be constructed using objective sources that are free from any subjective or biased influence.

 When resources are limited, it is important that diagnoses be based on concrete, scientific evidence in order to ensure that decisions are taken and priorities identified based on a precise overview of the situation.

 There is a wealth of research on audit methodologies that provides ample information and inspiration for local elected officials wishing to carry out a proper diagnosis of the local urban security situation.

 It is important to involve in the audit all stakeholders working in the different fields of security in order to create positive partnerships, which will later facilitate the implementation of the resulting action plan. Security issues are complex and it is crucial that the problems and conflicts underlying these issues be identified in order for stakeholders to effectively improve security. Otherwise, only the symptoms will be treated, as opposed to the disease itself. We should think of security policy as a discipline no different from, for example, medicine or architecture: we detect the causes of an illness before treating it; we assess the characteristics of a terrain before building on it; we should therefore do the same and establish a diagnostic of security before acting to treat the problems.


I. How to make the process manageable

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> It is important that the diagnosis process, the development of the action plan and its consequent monitoring and evaluation be manageable. In this sense it is crucial to:

 Establish who will lead the process: The municipal staff and others working for the municipality (or region) should be aware that the audit is a high priority for the authorities in charge of security. They should also be aware that it does not belong to an individual and that it is the collective responsibility of all members of the municipality, led by their hierarchy.

 Carefully select the personnel involved in the audit: They should have influence within the organisation in order to mobilise key actors and resources. If this is ensured, fewer people will be needed to successfully manage the audit, avoiding the risk of bureaucracy and lower reactivity.

 Carefully plan the attribution of tasks: The tasks that are necessary to complete the audit and implement the resulting action plan should be linked to the usual tasks carried out by the staff. The audit should capitalise on the existing skills of local stakeholders.

 Use all available resources in the municipality: In most cases, there is a considerable amount of information in municipal registers that can be used for the diagnosis. External resources should also be used, notably to ensure that the audit receives external input, free from administrative bias.

 External stakeholders should provide insights with a neutral perspective and carry out complementary actions in coordination with public stakeholders.

 If it ain't broke, don't fix it: Solutions and programmes that already exist and work well should be kept.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 Resources should be focused on priority areas and other, less urgent areas, should be addressed at a later stage. Audits should focus on setting objectives in areas where there will be enough resources to achieve them.

 The execution of the action plan resulting from the audit should make the usual work of involved stakeholders easier and complement it, and be considered by them as their own project. Otherwise, they might be reluctant to cooperate, which will make the management of the plan more difficult. Conducting an audit and establishing an action plan to remedy the deficiencies identified through the audit require an organisational effort to improve the quality of services provided to the public. In other words, we should not repeat past actions. The audit is an opportunity to change our approach and act in a different way, improving areas of difficulty whilst retaining existing actions that work well. However, every community, city or region should be aware of their limitations. If a city creates a structure that it cannot afford, the effort will obviously be unsustainable. In most cases, once a project has been implemented and received public attention, resources are reallocated to other areas and targets. This can cause disappointment and frustration, as well as damage the credibility and prestige of the audit. Cities should also resist the temptation to resort to their “usual” actions, which are often ineffective.

II. Current challenges to the auditing process

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In order for the audit to be genuinely useful and easily updated, the following criteria must be met:

 Normalisation: Audits need to be “normalised” and integrated into the local authorities' planning processes. Regardless of their political views, local and regional governments should be committed to the audits, which can fuel the political debate about security issues.


 Relevance and usefulness: Audits should really facilitate the management of urban security. The gap between the strict audit phase and the execution of the consequent action plan should be filled. Audits should be seen as a practical and operative tool.

 New technologies: They should be used as much as possible during an audit, in particular to gather all available information from open data sources. There is a considerable amount of information on the web that provides key details about state-of-the-art security audits. For example, it could be extremely useful to have a deeper knowledge of particular areas, such as subjective security. Moreover, the action plan resulting from the audit should take into account the possible use of new technologies in implementing measures to tackle the problems that will have been identified. One of the fundamental challenges of auditing is citizen participation. Everybody agrees on the need for public participation in security audits but there is a tendency to view it as difficult, possible in theory but not in practice. Although a number of municipalities do incorporate public participation in their processes, others do not even try because they find it too time-consuming and difficult to organise. (Which representatives of civil society will be invited to participate? How to invite them? At what stage?) Also, municipalities might balk at the unforeseen consequences of doing so. (How to manage unfair or contradictory demands? To what degree is civil society actually represented in our panel?) Managing citizen participation is doable by involving existing civil society organisations:

 Some municipalities already have urban security councils in which the public participates.

 In the field of education, there are numerous parent-teacher associations (PTAs) that can be consulted.

 In the field of healthcare, there are numerous local councils that deal with aspects of the healthcare system. They gather doctors, authorities and citizens to discuss the functioning of the system and their corresponding concerns.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 There are numerous youth and senior associations that meet regularly and are in fairly regular contact with municipalities. All these existing bodies should be involved in the auditing process. It should be relatively easy to consult them on security issues, to debate with them, and to invite them to participate in the audit. It is thus not necessary for local authorities to create a new instance of representation of civil society to gain insights into the public's concerns and demands about security. Furthermore, using existing civil society groups is more cost- and time-effective.


Part 3 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Methods and tools for implementation >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

Logically, different tasks require the use of different tools or combinations of tools. The challenge is to recognise and understand the diversity of tasks and tools in the process of implementing a strategic approach to urban security, and to match them. This is particularly true concerning an issue as complex as urban security, which requires interdisciplinary analysis and thus a multitude of tools and approaches. Otherwise, there is a risk of being stuck in a particular vision of the world: “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”8 This European guidebook focuses on implementation rather than on the strategic approach itself, i.e. how the different elements of the approach can be put into practice. For this, methods and tools are paramount. In order to provide orientation about which tool can be used for which purpose, it is useful to examine the different tasks of the strategic approach. For each of the elements of the approach illustrated in graphic 1, it is necessary to decide which methods and tools can help implement them. Graphic 1 - The strategic approach to urban security

How to mobilise

How to know & understand

Mobilisation Audit

How to evaluate

Inclusion Participation Evaluation Review Action

How to take action


How to translate analysis into strategic planning

8- Abraham Maslow’s law of the instrument; Abraham H. Maslow (1966). The Psychology of Science.


1. The first element and a central pillar of the strategic approach is the local safety audit. The challenge is how to know and understand the local security situation, the situation of citizens, the underlying causes, and the risk and protective factors. 2. The second element in implementing a strategic approach is to develop a strategy. The challenge is how to translate this analysis into goals and objectives and to identify priorities. 3. The third element is to take action. The challenge is how to identify and develop the adequate action, and how to ensure correct implementation and sustainability of the measure. 4. The fourth element is evaluation. The challenge is how to assess the implementation and the impact of an action, but also the institutions and procedures, and the strategy it is embedded in. 5. The fifth element is mobilisation and participation. The challenge is how to identify and win all relevant stakeholders for urban security and how to ensure their participation.

I. Knowing and understanding

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A key feature of a strategic approach to urban security is that “crime prevention strategies, policies, programmes and actions should be based on a broad, multi-disciplinary foundation of knowledge about crime problems [...], a systematic analysis of crime problems, their causes, risk factors and consequences, in particular at the local level.�9 Methods and tools to know and understand the local situation are at the heart of the strategic approach and constitute the local safety audit. These methods and tools are necessary to shed light on three dimensions: the actual local security situation, the situation and feeling of the citizens, and the (social, economic, environmental, urban) context

9- UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Crime: UN Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC Resolution 2002/13.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

of risk and protective factors. All three dimensions are important to create the knowledge base to help decision makers understand urban security problems, and to understand why they are occurring. Such a multidimensional analysis allows to examine factors in a given territory that have been identified as explanatory variables for crime and insecurity in criminological research. All this is indispensable to actually address the underlying causes rather than only the symptoms.

1. The local security situation Getting to know a local security situation seems to be a straightforward exercise. However, thinking about what, for example, actually constitutes crime can show quickly that things are not that simple. Everybody certainly has a natural idea of what is criminal. And while there are certainly many crimes most people, countries and cultures would agree upon, it is clear that there is also a lot of divergence. It would actually be quite hard to measure crime in a given territory with such “natural” definition. What about less serious offences such as nuisances, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour? Should they be counted? They also affect the security situation, but the context of social norms and conventions is paramount to understand their importance. Sociologically, one would therefore define crime and delinquency as socially deviant behaviour. A legal perspective makes it certainly easier to define crime: it is what is defined as crime by the law. But it also shows that crime statistics, by definition, only describe parts of the local security situation, let alone how it is perceived. It thus appears that understanding a local security situation is a more complex endeavour, and that it depends a great deal on using the right methods and tools.10

Police crime statistics only as a starting point The occurrence of crime is central to describing the local security situation. Police crime statistics are therefore an essential source of information. They will often be an initial source of data about various

10- See for example Herzog, B (2016). “Entender crimen y justicia. Métodos y técnicas de investigación social cualitativa en criminología”. Valencia. Ed. Tirant lo Blanch.- Abraham Maslow’s law of the instrument; Abraham H. Maslow (1966). The Psychology of Science.


aspects of criminal activity, which are regularly produced. Crime statistics allow the security analyst to assess:

 the amount of crime that has been recorded  the types of recorded offence – and how much of it is violence  the places where crime took place  the rates of total recorded crime and specific crime types  the trends over time – whether recorded crime is going up or down  the differences between the city, comparable areas and the national average

 the proportion of recorded crime that gets ‘solved’. The problem with police crime statistics is the dark figure of crime — the fact that they do not provide the whole picture of crime as it is occurring. In almost every country, a significant proportion of offences is not reported or recorded. This counting shortfall would not be a problem if it were evenly spread across offence types and population groups. But it is not the case. Certain types of crime have extremely low reporting rates, including some of the most serious (Table 4). And it is often the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society whose victimisation goes unrecorded because they do not know how to make a report; do not perceive their experience to have been a crime; are fearful of the police; are avoiding police contact or because their allegations are just not taken seriously. Moreover, available data will vary greatly between and even within countries. In particular, available crime statistics are often not sufficiently fine-grained to be really useful at the neighbourhood level. A good example of data availability and preparation is the service provided by the police in the United Kingdom, whereby crime maps at the neighbourhood level can be consulted online.11 At the same time, more fine-tuned data bares risks of privacy intrusion and risks of stigmatisation of certain neighbourhoods. 11- On you simply need to enter a postcode (or browse the different police forces) to see a map of all local recorded crime. You can dig deeper by clicking on the circles, and select different date periods or types of crime.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

Finally, even when data is available, it might not be easy or even possible to analyse it for reasons such as formatting. Table 4 - Crimes that are often under-reported to police12 Violence

Sexual violence, domestic violence, violence against women

Victimisation of children and youth

Child abuse, bullying, assault, theft

‘Victimless’ crime

Use of illicit drugs



Crime by and against business

White-collar crime, fraud, shop theft

Organised crime

Human trafficking, drugs trafficking, sexual exploitation, extortion

Less serious offences

Petty theft, vandalism, anti-social behaviour

Cyber crime

Online deception, phishing, bullying, hate speech

Victimisation surveys The by now classical tool that has been developed to shed light on the dark number is the victimisation survey. It asks a sample of people which crimes have been committed against them over a given period of time. Victimisation surveys have been found to provide a better quantitative assessment of the number and nature of offences than police data because they provide information about a sample of people that was not self-selected by police reports. Victimisation surveys can identify experiences which are normally not identified by administrative sources. They can cover a range of incidences and experiences that can in theory include all types of crime, but also incidents beyond or below the level of crime as well as perceptions. In this way they can very well complement crime statistics by providing information on other relevant security-related events. For all these reasons, victimisa-

12- Based on Efus (2007): Guidance on Local Safety Audits: A Compendium of International Practice, p.85.


tion surveys have become a workhorse for policy and research in the fields of criminal justice, crime prevention and criminology. Victimisation surveys have been set up in many European countries, usually at the national level. Examples are the Crime Survey for England & Wales (former British Crime Survey), the Dutch Victim Survey, the Belgian Security Monitor, the French national Victimisation Survey or the Italian Citizens' Safety Survey, which are also included in the country profiles in the online annex to this guide. At the international level, a group of European criminologists (Jan van Dijk, Pat Mayhew, Martin Killias) started an international victimisation study with the purpose of generating international comparative crime and victimisation data. The project is now known as the International Crime Victims Survey (ICVS). After the first round in 1989, the surveys were repeated under the aegis of the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in 1992, 1996, 2000 2004/2005 and 2010. By using a standardised methodology, variations in definitions and practices are minimised and comparisons can be made across national boundaries. Surveys have been done in 80 countries and provide information about criminal victimisation in 41 countries and 66 main or capital cities from all continents. A European Crime and Safety Survey (EU ICS) was launched in 2004 as part of an EU-financed FP6 research project. This ICS-based European Survey of Crime and Safety compared levels of victimisation in the then 15 Member States of the European Union and Estonia, Poland and Hungary, but was not continued at the end of the project.13 The idea of measuring victimisation rates and safety feelings in a common EU survey was picked up in the European Commission’s Action Plan on Crime Statistics 2011-2015 but was stopped in 2012 due to lack of support in the European parliament. A Business Victimisation Survey was conducted in 2013.14 Work at the EU level in recent years focused on improving the comparability of the data makes it possible to analyse trends in crime and criminal justice.15 13- van Dijk, J., R. Manchin, J. van Kesteren, S. Nevala, and G. Hideg. (2005). The Burden of Crime in the EU – Research Report: Comparative Analysis of the European Crime and Safety Survey (EU ICS), 2005. 14- EU action plan on crime statistics, mid-term review, 2011-2015, Commission staff working document, 2014.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

There are also regular regional and local victimisation surveys, such as the Catalan crime Victimisation Survey (ESPC) and the Survey on Victimisation and opinions on Security of Barcelona (SVB), both in Spain, and a variety of occasional surveys at various levels. Questions on security, victimisation and (most of the time) sense of insecurity, are also included in general population surveys in several European cities (e.g. Hannover and Augsburg) or have been focused on in general population surveys, as for example in Stuttgart (Stuttgarter Sicherheitsbefragung). Other victimisation surveys target specific audiences or territories, such as youth and particular neighbourhoods. Example of the use of victimisation surveys: a study drawing on the findings of the 2000 ICVS in 17 industrialised countries found that discrepancy between police recorded crime and crime reported in the survey varied widely according to the type of crime. For instance, 91% of car thefts were reported to the police, 78% of burglaries and 55% of robberies. These figures contrasted with reporting rates of 29% for threats, 28% for sexual assaults and 10% for offensive sexual behaviour. While victimisation surveys are a central tool to understand insecurity, they are no panacea. Due to certain methodological constraints, crime victimisation surveys cannot provide a definitive measure of the total number of illegal acts that occur in society. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's (UNODC) Manual on Victimisation Surveys16 provides detailed knowledge on developing victimisation surveys. The annex to this publication will present in greater detail examples of victimisation surveys. The following paragraphs and Table 5 provide some take away points on victimisation surveys.

15- See for example, Eurostat, Clarke Steve, Trends in crime and criminal justice, 2010, Eurostat statistics in focus, 2013 Eurostat, Tavares Cynthia, Thomas Geoffrey, Bulut Fethullah, Crime and Criminal Justice 2006-2009, Eurostat statistics in focus, 2012; Eurostat, Tavares Cynthia, Thomas Geoffrey, Crime and Criminal Justice, Eurostat statistics in focus, 2010. 16- UNODC Manual on Victimisation Surveys, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010.



>>>>>>>> Caveats of victimisation surveys  Victimisation surveys can be a powerful tool in as much as they are based on a representative sample, which allows to extrapolate their results to the population as a whole. The challenge is to obtain a representative sample, and to avoid sampling and non-sampling errors known from social sciences research.

 Not all the victimisation reported represent crimes precisely as defined by the law or as recognised by criminal justice agencies.

 The way a questionnaire is delivered has an influence on the responses. The interview method is important and different methods (see table 5) have their strengths and weaknesses and need to be chosen according to what needs to be analysed. While for example face-to-face interviews allow for closely interacting with the interviewees, they are costly and precisely this personal presence might bias answers in terms of social desirability or limit what might have been entrusted in a more anonymous way in a survey. It is for example difficult to get good data in answers to questions about sensitive issues such as domestic violence or sexual abuse. These topics depend on interviewers building the trust and confidence of the interviewees, which takes time.

 The way questions are phrased is key. Questions therefore need to be pre-tested to verify if they are understood in the desired way. Tools like the ICVS provide long lists of tried and tested questions around the world.

 The accuracy of statistics is influenced by the ability of people to recall past victimisations. Surveys of past experience depend on individual memory, an effect called ‘telescoping’. Serious incidents are not likely to be forgotten; they are kept in the memory as if they happened recently (forward telescoping). Less serious incidents are more likely to be forgotten or remembered as if they happened longer ago than was actually the case (backward telescoping).


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 There is victimless crime, which by definition is not counted in a victimisation survey. ‘Victimless’ crimes are for example drug offences or acts forbidden by law but carried out by agreement between the ‘offender’ and the ‘victim’ (for example, sex with a minor or the payment of a bribe), or crimes that go unnoticed by victims as is the case in some forms of fraud. To cover this gap of victimless crime, offender surveys can be an interesting complement.

 Victimisation surveys are costly. They require considerable time, expertise and resources if they are to produce meaningful results. They need to be designed; a significant amount of people need to be surveyed, possibly by an interviewer; the data needs to be collected and analysed. While the possibility to survey online has decreased costs for printing, sending questionnaires and entering data, pure online surveys are likely to cause loss in the sample and the loss of one or more key features of the survey. Solutions can for example be mixed-mode methods of combining paper and online surveys or telephone and online interviews.17 Table 5 - Victimisation survey delivery options18 Method





Remote interview

Questions asked over the phone. May be computer-assisted, allowing answers to be keyed by interviewer directly into the computer. (Computerassisted telephone interviewing, CATI).

Sample can be selected randomly. Can quickly contact many people over a wide area at low cost.

Will produce biased sample in areas with fewer telephones. Likely to impact most on participation by poor people.


Respondent reads and answers questions on paper, laptop computer or online questionnaire, normally at home. Answers not seen by interviewer. May be conducted by post.

Sample can be selected randomly. More likely to elicit information about sensitive experiences, such as abuse, provided responses can be given in private.

Excludes people with poor literacy or who lack access to technology. Low response rates. Higher risk of misunderstanding.

17- See for example at national level Switzerland or at local level Rotterdam or Barcelona. 18- Based on Efus (2007): Guidance on Local Safety Audits: A Compendium of International Practice, p.103.



Face-to-face in the home

Street interviews


Significantly cheaper, in terms of design, distribution, data collection.

Sample cannot be controlled. Excludes people with poor literacy or who lack access to technology.

Traditional self-completion survey (especially postal) that additionally allows respondents to answer online. (Can even be combined with telephone survey).

Sample can be selected randomly. Less printing costs, less data entry costs.

Excludes people with poor literacy or who lack access to technology. Only some economies due to Internet.

Questions asked by an interviewer, who also records the answers.

Sample can be selected randomly. Can explain questions and probe for more information to clarify answers. Can reveal incidents not perceived to be crimes. Can be used in conjunction with PDAs with respondent entering own data on sensitive topics.

Likely to be costly and slow. May inhibit disclosure of sensitive information.

Individuals selected in public places by interviewer who also enters answers.

Interviewer may aim to fill ‘quotas’ of sub-groups to achieve a representative sample. Quite easy, fast and cost effective.

Sensitive information unlikely to be disclosed. Sample will not be random. Individuals who spend more time at home will be under-represented.

Specific form of self-completion where Online survey the questionnaire is on the Internet.

Mixed-mode survey


Methods and tools to build on secondary data sources Information on insecurity and crime is not limited to police crime statistics and can be obtained in other ways than by directly asking people. In fact, there is a multitude of useful secondary data. In many cities, a wide range of statistics is collected by agencies for their own purposes, which are directly or indirectly about crime, victimisation, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour. These data sources include of course other criminal justice agencies: courts, corrections, prisons and victim assistance services. But also education services, including schools and colleges, social care services, healthcare providers, including clinics


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

and hospitals, research institutions, including universities and institutes, fire services, community groups, civil society/non-profit organisations and private security and insurance companies have a lot to say about the occurrence of criminality and victimisation. Where such ‘secondary’ data is reasonably accurate, useful and accessible, it should be taken into account. What methods and tools can be used to make use of this information? This is about collecting or surveying quantitative and qualitative data and bringing it all together. This is precisely what local safety audits are about. Whereas their general functioning was outlined in chapter 2, specific audits as developed for example by the French Forum for Urban Security (FFSU) or the Heidelberg Audit Concept (HAKUS), propose particular combinations of tools and procedures. While these specific audit systems are presented in chapter 4 of the online version, this chapter will present methods and tools that are common key components of local safety audits. Accessing secondary data and open data Secondary data is by definition already available, but was created for other purposes. The key challenge here is to know what relevant information is available and who holds it, and to negotiate access to this data, to obtain it in usable form, and to respect norms of data confidentiality and privacy protection. This access to existing data is currently being facilitated by the trend towards open data. Open Government Data (OGD) is a philosophy — and increasingly a set of policies — that promotes transparency, accountability and value creation by making government data available to all.19 Public bodies produce and commission huge quantities of data and information. By making their datasets available, public institutions become more transparent and accountable to citizens. By encouraging the use, reuse and free distribution of datasets, governments promote business creation and innovative, citizen-centric services. Not only 19- See for example: World Bank Open Government Data Toolkit http://opendatatoolkit.worldbank. org The United Nations Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development (IEAG) (2014): A world that counts.; Ubaldi, B. (2013), “Open Government Data: Towards Empirical Analysis of Open Government Data Initiatives”, OECD Working Papers on Public Governance, No. 22, OECD.


many European countries and the European Union have created open data portals, also several local authorities provide them.20 Data observatories A strategic and evidence-based approach to urban security requires gathering information from multiple sources to gain a good understanding of problems and causal factors affecting crime and related problems. Although this might initially be viewed as a stand-alone task, in reality it needs to be repeated periodically and, ideally, prevention practitioners and strategists should monitor change systematically and continually. This type of requirement is not unique to crime prevention; it is now applicable to most policy areas and data observatories have been established in a growing number of cities in response to this need. An observatory is a facility that draws in information from a wide range of agencies and analyses it to inform public policy and programme development. It may be necessary to negotiate with data providers on issues of confidentiality, definitions and format, so that compatibility and relevance are maximised. The observatory’s work may include constructing integrated databases or Geographical Information Systems (GIS), data mining techniques and big data (see below). Most importantly, the information is collected on an ongoing basis so that there is regular updating and continuous monitoring. Observatories may be generic, covering a wide range of public policy agendas, or focused on specific issues, such as urban safety. Several examples of observatories can be found in West European countries (i.e. French National Observatory on Drugs and Drug Addiction, Observatoire national des drogues et des toxicomanies - OFDT), but also at the European (i.e. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addictions) and cross-border (i.e. Meuse-Rhine Euroregion Crime Observatory – EMROD) level, as well as at local21 and regional level.22 While this form of institutionalising is an important part of the strate-

20- See for example Amsterdam, Berlin, Bonn, Barcelona, Brussels, Cologne, Copenhagen, The Hague, Helsinki, Linz, London, Madrid, Oslo, Paris, Rennes, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Vienna, ZĂźrich.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

gic and evidence-based approach, its elevated costs have significantly hampered their generalisation.23

Collecting qualitative data Quantitative data is hardly sufficient on its own. Dry statistics need to be complemented by qualitative information, drawn from interviews, meetings and other forms of consultation. It is the material gathered through these contacts that will shed light not just on what is happening, but also how and why, which is crucial to gain a real understanding. And it will reveal perceptions and concerns, priorities and opportunities, which should inform the development of the future prevention strategy. These are issues that do not easily translate into simple numbers and are much more effectively addressed through exploratory discussion and other forms of participative activity. Below are examples of methods and tools for the mobilisation and participation of citizens: Focus groups ‘Focus group’ is a term nowadays loosely applied to almost any group discussion. But, more correctly, it applies to a special type of meeting, organised and conducted in a particular way, to obtain perceptions on a specific topic that will be useful to decision makers (see Chapter 4). A typical focus group gathers six to ten participants selected because they have in common certain characteristics that relate to the topic. The discussion is conducted by a skilled facilitator who must create a permissive non-threatening environment for debate over two or three

21-See for example the “Observatory on Security” of the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, or the Venice, Italy, Anti-discrimination observatory. 22-In Italy, urban security observatories have been established in Tuscany, Veneto, Umbria and Liguria. In France, observatories were also created at the regional level such as the Observatory on crime and social context of the PACA region (Observatoire régional de la délinquance et des contextes sociaux, ORDCS), the Observatory on violence against women (Observatoire des violences envers les femmes in 2002) of the county of Seine-Saint-Denis, the Regional observatory on violence against women of the Île de France region (Observatoire régional des violences faites aux femmes in 2013), and the Observatory on discrimination of the county of Essone (Observatoire départemental des discriminations in 2011). 23-See for example ICPC (2009): Crime Observatories: Review of international experiences, August 2009.


hours. The topic is briefly introduced by the facilitator, who then poses questions for the group to explore. A focus group differs from conventional meetings in several ways, and has advantages over both meetings and face-to-face interviews. It usually involves concentrated attention being given to a tightly defined subject, which is examined in depth. The primary emphasis is on discussion and interaction within the group to develop thinking, rather than on any formal presentations or ‘top table’ arrangement. A study based on focus groups will normally include several groups with similar participants, not just one, to get a better understanding of attitudes and feelings. At the end of the process, there should be a good insight to the topic but, because only a small number of people will have been involved, it cannot be assumed that the views expressed are applicable to the wider population. Where possible, other methods should be used to check whether the ideas and opinions have wider support. Visioning Visioning is an exercise to build a shared vision of the future, which may relate to an area, an organisation or a service. In the context of crime prevention, the vision will be what it is like to grow up, live and work in a place that is safe, where people can be free from fear, violence, victimisation and intolerance. It is very important to have a common vision, since this will unite people and secure their commitment to working together. A visioning event can be useful for different tasks related to the implementation of a strategic approach. It can be carried out at citywide level with key stakeholders, such as in a roundtable setting. It can also be limited to neighbourhoods, communities of interest and the hard-toreach groups. The simplicity of the concept makes it suitable for consultation with many different types of group, including young people, and its forward-looking nature encourages constructive engagement. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of some limitations. Without careful management, unrealistic expectations can be raised, leading to disillusion when hopes are dashed. Different visions are not always easily


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

reconciled, which can be divisive and weaken partnerships. Visioning can lead to poor results because people ‘can’t want what they don't know’; sometimes it is better to offer a range of choices rather than a blank piece of paper. It can however be an interesting tool to help innovative and locally relevant ideas emerge.24 Exploratory walks This activity is usually associated with concerns about particular geographical areas and involves meeting on site to discuss those concerns and explore ideas about how they could be addressed. It is now a major tool for auditing issues related to women's safety and examples of practices and “how to” resources can be found in chapter 4. Participants might be a cross-section of local people, a particular interest group or a mixed group that includes agency representatives. Ideas are developed during the walkabout and can then be communicated to the audit team. Using disposable cameras to capture information can help groups to communicate their views and concerns to a wider audience.23 The walkabout is particularly suited to examine issues linked to the physical environment, such as building design or street lighting, or the use of an area, for example by street drinkers, speeding traffic or youth gangs. Walking about in the location and at the time when problems are evident can be very effective in raising awareness, clarifying what is wrong, increasing engagement and developing responses. Its practical nature gives realism to the process, something that local people tend to find more appealing than when gathered in a meeting room, and participants seem to move naturally from problems to responses. Walkabouts have been used very effectively as part of women’s safety audits and, more generally, to assess safety issues along routes to and from transport nodes. The process should begin with a clarification of the objectives and methods to be used. The group then observes or walks through the area, discussing and recording points along the way.

24- See for example Barbara Holtman (2011): What it looks like when it's fixed. 25- See for example Comité interministériel des villes (2012). Guide méthodologique des marches exploratoires.


This can be made more systematic with a checklist of questions to consider, and it may be useful to repeat the process at different times, days or months, and even with different groups. Ethnological studies What people say, for example in interviews, may not match what they actually do. It is therefore interesting to take into account observational data. For example, observing, watching and counting how people behave, what categories of people use public spaces, how they act in those spaces and how this varies over time can be very revealing. Observation being a central method of any science, studying and collecting data on human societies and cultures belong to the realm of ethnography. The typical ethnography is a holistic study of social life that can therefore be a very interesting tool to understand urban security in a given territory. The French Forum for Urban Security, which has been for years undertaking local safety audits, has added an ethnographic component to its toolkit, thanks to the Efus EU project AUDITS. It has shown in particular that the qualitative data gained this way can very well complement other data sources (see practice chapter 4). Social media and apps to gather information Social media and apps provide new tools to reach out to citizens and involve them in policy making, which can include the collection of relevant data on security and perceived security. These tools provide direct communication channels to citizens and the wealth of information that can be gathered may be validated through crowdsourcing. Smartphone apps are particularly interesting tools because they can usually attach geo-data to reports of incidents or to map perceptions. In many European cities, there are now apps that allow users to report minor and non-urgent incidents to the authorities. Citizens can use hotlines26, municipal websites27 or smartphone apps28 to report problem such as vandalism or littering, which are relevant when ana-

26- See for example the 3-1-1 special telephone number that provides access to non-emergency municipal services in many communities in Canada and the United States, or similar hotlines in European cities, for example Rotterdam's 14 010 number. 27- Many local authorities have set up “report-it websites”, such as or 28- See for example: “Dans ma rue” in Paris or the Riga municipal police app for the apps of local authorities, or commercial app such as in the Netherlands.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

lysing the security situation of a given community. Other apps go further and directly address issues of insecurity and delinquency. The SafetiPin app (presented in chapter 4) allows users, mainly women, to share their perception of neighbourhoods and even to provide a smallscale safety audit by mapping the territory and its unsafe and safe areas, as seen by users. In cities such as Riga (Latvia), apps actually allow to directly report incidents.

2. The perspective of citizens Looking at how insecurity affects citizens is another, complementary way to understand the local security situation. By including the perspective of those affected, victimisation can be analysed, as well as the subjective dimensions of insecurity, such as the feeling of insecurity and fear of crime. The previous paragraph already explained how actual victimisation does not necessarily match the information authorities have about crime, and we showed how victimisation surveys can be a tool of choice in order to learn about actual victimisation in a given territory over a certain period of time. Now we want to focus particularly on the subjective dimension of insecurity and on how to measure it. Taking as a starting point the situation in which citizens find themselves, we will now discuss other target variables and policy goals apart from the absence of crime and feeling of insecurity. And in particular the more holistic idea of feeling secure or safe, the freedom of movement/being able to move about or stay undisturbed and safely in public spaces, and the opportunities for individual development, well-being or happiness. This section will examine which methods and tools would be necessary to operationalise and measure these concepts.

Getting knowledge on the feeling of insecurity The feeling of insecurity is of importance for its impact on the individual and collective well-being as well as for its economic and political consequences. While of course influenced by actual victimisation, the


feeling of insecurity is actually a relatively independent variable. It can develop differently than victimisation. Several countries have registered in the past few years a trend whereby crime is decreasing while the feeling of insecurity and fear of crime is going up.29 The fact that those who are least victimised (senior citizens and women) are most fearful is known in criminological literature as ‘the fear of crime paradox’.30 It is for that reason that local authorities attach great importance to the feeling of insecurity or, positively phrased, the sense of security of their citizens. Criminologists distinguish three dimensions of fear of crime31:

 an affective dimension, the general perceived potential  a cognitive dimension, the more specific judgment of the probability of becoming a victim of crime

 a conative or behavioural dimension, the impact of the fear of crime on behaviour. This understanding of fear of crime allows to operationalise and measure a concept that is not easily observable. Surveys are key tools to measure the feeling of insecurity. Most of the large victimisation surveys include modules on perceived security. As the issue is of particular political interest, questions on the sense of security have occasionally been added to local, general population surveys, although they often measure only one aspect of the perceived insecurity. Tools such as the DEFUS sense of security monitor (see practice sheets in chapter 4) have designed and tested research questions to measure all three dimensions of the fear of crime. These tools with examples of tested questions are of importance as the accuracy of the measure

29- See for example Laurent Borredon (2012): Le sentiment d'insécurité augmente malgré la baisse du nombre de délits. In: Le Monde, 20.11.2012. 30- See for example Hale, C. (1996). Fear of crime: A review of the literature. International Review of Victimology, 4, 79-150. 31- See for example Skogan 1993.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

depends on the wording.32 The monitor can be used as an independent tool or added as a module to a general population survey.33 A detailed analysis of the feeling of insecurity as part of a comprehensive safety audit, as for example the ‘Rotterdam neighbourhood profile’, can inform more precise policy advice, and allows to actually test hypotheses from the academic literature (see practice sheets in chapter 4).

Operationalising and measuring other target variables such as well-being The generalisation of evidence-based policy-making and holistic approaches to social problems have driven demand for social indicators that support the measurement of progress, well-being and social inclusion.34 If crime is no longer seen as an isolated problem and policy-makers, researchers and service providers view crime as relational to other social and economic conditions, then it also seems appropriate to consider other target variables than the absence of crime or fear of crime. One way of addressing the issue is to look at the well-being of citizens. The question is then how to define, operationalise and measure such a concept. The Council of Europe’s work on social cohesion indicators35 considers individual well-being and welfare as the target of a cohesive society and that well-being has four main components: equity in access to rights, the dignity and recognition of each person, autonomy and personal fulfilment and the possibility of participating as a full member of society (see graphic 2).

32- Even the most traditionally used question, the standard item, was much discussed and criticised. See for example J. M. Hough, J.M. and Renée Zauberman (2008): Victimisation and Insecurity in Europe: A Review of Surveys and Their Use, p. 115. 33- See for example the work of the city of Düsseldorf in the framework of the AUDITS project (they added an entire module on the feeling of insecurity) or the Stuttgart Security Survey. 34- UNODC (2010): Manual on victimisation surveys, p. 4. 35- Council of Europe (2005): Methodological Guide to the Concerted Development of Social Cohesion Indicators. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Press, p. 28.


Graphic 2 - The four elements of citizens’ well-being (Council of Europe 2004)

Equity Non-discrimination

Dignity Recognition Stability in modern societies

Autonomy Personal development

Participation Commitment

In its guidebook on social cohesion indicators, the Council of Europe deals with the question of devising methodological tools on the basis of the information collected and processed, in order to meet the knowledge requirements identified. Moreover, it proposes a database of indicators to actually measure these components of well-being in general, its trends and as a whole with respect to certain areas of life as well as for vulnerable groups. While it does not directly address issues of security, it can nevertheless provide guidance on how this area of life could be analysed and on how to analyse well-being more broadly. Perhaps even more important for this approach than examples of indicators is the method to collectively define well-being and subsequently design indicators. This has been developed in the SPIRAL method, which stands for ‘Societal Progress Indicators for the Responsibility of All’. SPIRAL is an approach of collective learning aimed at gradually building the ability of society to ensure the well-being of all through co-responsibility among its different stakeholders: citizens and public and private actors. Its starting point is the local level, where the SPIRAL method and its tools help build a shared vision of well-being and the goals towards which the community should move.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

3. Context, underlying causes, risk and protective factors In order to go beyond knowing the state of security and to understand the situation and the underlying causes of insecurity, it is indispensable to take into account other variables that describe the context against which urban security is developing. These factors are of particular importance from a prevention perspective, as its ultimate goal is not only to solve an existing problem by treating its causes but to prevent the problem from appearing by working on these variables beforehand. It is therefore important to have methods and tools that provide this description of a given territory. As explained in chapter 1, auditing tools are setting the context with an overview of the city’s demographic, economic and other characteristics, investigating patterns of risk factors that are likely to contribute to the occurrence of crime and violence, profiling victims and offenders, including their gender, age, ethno-cultural and socio-economic patterns. The tools that can provide this information are similar to those that gather information on crime itself from different sources.

Risk and protective factors Methods such as Communities That Care (CTC)36 provide guidance on which variables to consider and how to measure them. CTC is a science-based prevention system that gives communities the tools to address the health and behaviour problems of their teenage population through a focus on empirically-identified risk and protective factors. CTC also provides tools for assessing levels of risk and protection in communities, and processes for prioritising risk and protective factors and setting specific and measurable community goals. CTC is based on academic insight on the importance of a series of risks and protective factors as listed in the following page. They are analysed with the CTC youth survey administered in schools. It is important to note that the CTC tools do not look at the actual state of insecurity or perceived



security but focus on obtaining knowledge (and subsequently providing guidance) to develop prevention programmes for youth behaviour and health problems.


Risk and protective factors for youth behaviour problems of the CTC programme37

Risk factors

 Individual: antisocial/aggressive behaviour, early initiation of antisocial behaviour, early initiation of drug use, favourable attitudes towards antisocial behaviour, favourable attitudes towards drug use, gang involvement, physical violence, rebelliousness, stress, substance use

Peer: interaction with antisocial peers, peer substance use  Family: family conflict/violence, family history of problem behaviour, parental attitudes favourable to antisocial behaviour, parental attitudes favourable to drug use, poor family management

 School: low school commitment and attachment, poor academic performance

 Neighbourhood/Community: community disorganisation, laws and norms favourable to drug use/crime, low neighbourhood attachment, perceived availability of drugs, perceived availability of handguns, transitions and mobility

Protective factors

 Individual: clear standards for behaviour, coping skills, perceived risk of drug use, prosocial involvement, refusal skills, religious service attendance, rewards for prosocial involvement, skills for social interaction 37- Hawkins, David and Richard Catalano (2002): Building Protection: The Social Development Strategy. Seattle: University of Washington, Social Development Research Group (SDRG), Center for Communities That Care.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 Peer: interaction with prosocial peers  Family: attachment to parents, opportunities for prosocial involvement with parents, rewards for prosocial involvement with parents

 School: opportunities for prosocial involvement in education, rewards for prosocial involvement in school

 Neighbourhood/community: opportunities for prosocial involvement, rewards for prosocial involvement

Social cohesion Social cohesion is often considered as the manifestation of an intact, solidarity-based society. It is clearly an important concept when it comes to understanding, controlling and preventing crime and the feeling of insecurity. The concept also allows to situate the prevention of crime within a larger and positively formulated social goal. Measuring social cohesion is in itself a complex exercise. Social cohesion is first and foremost a qualitative concept and reflects the consistency and quality of the social and institutional bonds necessary to ensure the well-being of everyone. The first question is then which methods and tools can help to know about the state of social cohesion, in order to work afterwards on social cohesion. International organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or the Council of Europe, or private initiatives, have been working on operationalising the concept and proposing methods and tools to measure it.38 The OECD social cohesion indicators39, the Council of Europe methodological guide on social cohesion indicators40 or the social cohesion radar of the Bertelsmann foundation41 propose methods and tools to measure it. 38- See also Acket, S. et al. (2011): Measuring and validating social cohesion. Luxembourg: CEPS/ Instead, Luxembourg. 39- As published in OECD (2014): Societies at a glance. OECD social indicators, p.132. 40- Council of Europe (2005): Methodological Guide to the Concerted Development of Social Cohesion Indicators. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Press. 41-


The Council of Europe defines social cohesion as society’s ability to secure the long-term well-being of all its members, including equitable access to available resources, respect for human dignity with due regard for diversity, personal and collective autonomy and responsible participation. It directly establishes a link between individual well-being and social cohesion. The above-mentioned social cohesion indicators and the SPIRAL method42 presented in chapter 4 can be used not only to measure but also to develop policies aimed at strengthening social cohesion.

II. Developing a strategy

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A local safety strategy is the key document of a strategic approach to urban security. It consists in preparing and organising the adequate response to the identified problems. It is in this document that conclusions need to be drawn from the knowledge and understanding of the urban security situation, that a common understanding needs to be developed on the issues at stake, and that envisaged measures must be listed.

Creating a common understanding “In itself, an isolated statistic does not mean much; we need to be able to understand what the figures mean.�43 While the manner in which data is presented is important in order to be understood, it is always by linking it to and comparing it with other data that it becomes meaningful. Data comparisons can be made at various points in time (analysing trends), or between geographical areas, or in relation to a reference standard, etc.

42- 43- Council of Europe 2005, p.84.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

The types of methods and tools presented here help understanding data and the path from statistics (both quantitative and qualitative) to knowledge in the strict sense of the word, which is itself linked to the action that needs to be taken. It is true that these tools could also be included in the previous section with all the tools that help to know and understand. Some are deliberately presented here to underline that understanding and especially creating a common, shared understanding among all stakeholders is an important process on the way to reaching a common agreement on what should be done and how, and what should be prioritised as specified in the strategy. While a safety audit needs to conclude with first suggestions on what should be done, there is still a political process to build a strategy on the audit insights, which has often shown in reality to be less obvious than it seems. The argument is that methods and tools that help make sense of information, deepen the understanding and that allow to easily share this understanding are also relevant for this last phase, which is creating a common understanding.

Safety index A key issue of actually understanding data is what to make of it. An important question is that of synthesis and overall conclusion. In this respect, indexes are a powerful tool, which can also be used to summarise urban security analysis in a safety index. A safety index brings together data on a series of relevant variables and weighs different aspects into an overall score that can serve as a reference and comparison point. The city of Rotterdam for example has developed and used a safety index from 2002 to 2014. This index inspired a national methodology for local safety indexes in the Netherlands and was further developed to continue from 2015 as an even more comprehensive neighbourhood profile. This tool is presented in chapter 4. A key feature of such an index is that once its design is agreed upon it can be directly used to target and monitor policy measures.


Geographic information systems An important dimension of urban security is spatial. How is crime and (perceived) insecurity distributed over the territory? How is the urban landscape marked by risk and protective factors? An important way to visualise and subsequently analyse this information geographically is to use Geographical Information Systems. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have become widely used tools to assess the levels of criminality in cities. This information is highly valuable for law enforcement agencies and local authorities because they offer an intelligence-led approach to crime prevention. Although for many years, law enforcement agencies have used paper maps with pins representing the reported crimes, the accessibility of GIS tools enabled to further the spatial analysis of crime. Since the 1990s, this domain has been constantly improving following the technological advances in information technologies. Geographical Information Systems allow to map out insecurity and illustrate relationships between different variables, showing particular places where crimes are more frequent and spatially concentrated (hot spots). Technically speaking, the production of such maps requires very precise geographical data on reported crime (geocoding), but also tools to aggregate these data (nearest neighbour analysis, kernel density analysis, LISA spatial autocorrelation). In this sense, GIS analysis remains a very technical issue, where a lack of knowledge can lead to misleading or flawed analysis. These tools are used extensively today in the United Kingdom and in Scandinavia, but Central and Eastern European cities are increasingly using them as well.

Big data and crime prediction Looking for correlations, patterns and ultimately meaning in data is what empirical research does with statistical methods. Data mining is the computational process of discovering patterns in large data sets without any original theoretical hypothesis. While this type of inductive reasoning can only provide correlations and not causal relationship as for the lack of theoretical underpinning, it can show correlations


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

that have not yet been identified (and that might not yet have been studied and understood). Data mining takes a particular importance in the context of big data because of the availability of enormous data sets and the computing power and algorithms used to analyse them. With big data, it is the increase in quantity that translates into an increase in quality, for example for the picture that can be obtained on the local security situation. Exploration of large data sets with algorithms is the logical next step of combining different sources of data as described above. The digital accumulation of data, this digital data observatory, is often developed on the basis of Geographical Information Systems that bring together digital geo-data and all types of other local data. Ultimately, such a digital data observatory can be used with powerful computing capacity and smart algorithms to extrapolate into the future. Several big data tools have therefore crime prediction features44, indicating in places and times of the day where crime is likely to happen.45 Big data applications will probably play an increasing role in auditing local safety as they become less expensive and more accurate compared to traditional surveys. Some research projects are currently studying how big data can help better understand security.

Specify priorities, goals and objectives A strategy needs to identify priorities and translate the analysis of the situation into policy goal(s) and specific objectives. In order for progress to be measured and the strategy to be evaluated and reviewed, these objectives should be “SMART”, meaning:

 Specific – target a specific area for improvement; Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress; Assignable – specify who will do it;  Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources;

 Time-related – specify when the result(s), milestones can be achieved.


44- One of the first systems to propose crime predictions was PredPol. Predictive analytics are now proposed by many IT companies. 45- See for example Perry et al. (2013): Predictive Policing. The Role of Crime Forecasting in Law Enforcement. RAND Safety and Justice Programme ; "Don’t even think about it". The Economist. 20.07.2013.

A prevention strategy cannot address all the problems in a city. It is indispensable to identify priorities. Concentrating scarce resources on a limited number of priorities will bring greater success than spreading them too thinly. This selection is a critical and difficult decision. Priorities may be formulated in several ways — individual offences, specific locations, certain population groups or particular risk factors — and there should be explicit agreement about the criteria. The criteria can then be used to shape questions that will help determine the most pressing issues, such as:

 What are the main concerns of local communities?  W hat problems should be tackled in order to best contribute to wider policy priorities?

 F or which issues are there available resources?  W hat risk factors need to be addressed most urgently?  W hat problems have the greatest impact on the disadvantaged and vulnerable?

 W hat neighbourhoods and commercial areas are most damaged by crime?

 W hat crimes have the greatest volume and incidence rate?  W hat crime types show the highest rate of increase?

What to make of the analysis of the local urban security situation provided in a safety audit is less obvious than it might seem. Discussions with practitioners in the framework of Efus' EU project AUDITS have identified this stage as a bottleneck. A thorough analysis of the local security situation, the perception of citizens and the context of risk and protective factors, as described, is crucial to objectify the conclusions. At the end of the day figures do not necessarily speak by themselves; they need to be interpreted and the interpretation is often biased by the specific interest of the interpreter. Building a strategy is therefore a crucial time to develop a common understanding, an explanation that can be shared by all stakeholders and


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

on which they can together build a common vision of their ideal city. This can be done by providing an arena for democratic decision-making and means of aggregating various interests, or by trying to maximise the degree of objectivity of conclusions. In terms of methods and tools, the first can be achieved by using those outlined in the section on mobilisation and participation. The second can be achieved by developing indexes and benchmarks that — once agreed upon — almost arithmetically deduct what needs to be done, based on what was measured. (See for example the Rotterdam Safety Index in chapter 4). The strategy should not only be built around problems, but also be based on the assets, strengths and opportunities of the local community. Finally, developing a strategy requires to identify methods and tools to achieve the desired objectives. The considerations of adequate action are the subject of the next section.

III. Taking action

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The question of what to do about a particular issue of urban security is of course crucial. Once a local situation is understood and priorities are identified in terms of the most urgent security needs, the question arises of what to do about the different problems. In a strategic approach to urban security, the goal is to try to identify as objectively as possible what could be the best policy option, the response that is most likely to lead to effectively tackling the problem. Ideally, it should also identify the method and tools to achieve this goal in the most efficient way. Efficiency should not only take into account cost-effectiveness but also other social costs such as fundamental rights intrusions.46

46- See for example European Forum for Urban Security (2015): Resolution of the Executive Committee on technologies and urban security.


Moreover, an intervention logic model should be developed to explain why the proposed action should lead to the desired result.47

The processes as part of the solution As regards taking action, the process of dealing with a problem should not be underestimated. Mobilising and involving all the stakeholders in the entire process of dealing with a problem is in many cases an important part of the solution.48 The participative processes described in the section above provide good basis for identifying the adequate action. Once the information everyone holds on the state of urban security has become a common understanding of the problems by all stakeholders, and once priorities have been agreed upon, there is not necessarily a long way to go between correctly identifying a problem and dealing with it. For certain types of problems, and especially if underlying factors can be well identified, the solution can be quite straightforward. If people feel insecure because certain public spaces are not well lit or if there is litter or a clearly identified conflict in the use of public spaces, the solution can be quite simple: improving public lighting, cleaning up, initiate a mediation between conflicting interests. If solutions are the conclusions of a shared understanding and a democratic process, they will more likely be considered legitimate and local stakeholders will appropriate them and contribute to implement them. Once mobilised, a local partnership can be an important vehicle to develop locally the adequate solution.

Evidence-based crime prevention If scientific evidence guides policy-making in many fields, such as medicine and engineering, why should a policy field such as urban security rely on prevention activities and programmes that may or may not work or even worse, possibly create harmful results? While this is

47- The importance of building action on an intervention logic has been underlined by the Theory of Change (ToC). ToC does this by first identifying the desired long-term goals and then works back from these to identify all the conditions (outcomes) that must be in place (and how these relate to one another causally) for the goals to be reached. See 48- See for example Irwin Waller (2008): Less law, more order. The truth about reducing crime. Ontario, Canada: Manor House Publishing, p. 114.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

certainly a high goal, its importance as guidance towards better policy-making becomes apparent when considering that much of the practice is shaped by local customs, opinions, theories and subjective impressions. “Anecdotal evidence, programme favourites of the month, and political ideology seemingly drive much of the crime policy agenda.”49 The Sherman report on “what works” was a milestone50 almost 20 years ago, establishing the idea that security policy and practice should be based on scientific evidence. In recent years, the scientific debate concerning methodological instruments to benchmark crime prevention has produced various concepts, methods and programmes. Despite the (necessary) academic debate about the approach and the terms of its successful implementation51, progress has been made. However, there is still a long way to make use of the available knowledge, many local strategies still do not build on scientific evidence.52 The Efus Manifesto “Security, Democracy and Cities” therefore called to further strengthen the evidence base in crime prevention and to make better use of existing knowledge and know-how: “All policy should take into account the latest technical and scientific knowledge.”53 It is important that crime prevention programmes contribute to creating and developing this evidence base, but also to make this body of knowledge available to policy-makers and practitioners. Important tools in this respect are initiatives that provide evaluation methodologies and databases, listing evaluated projects and programmes. Initiatives such as the Crime Solution of the U.S. National Institute of Justice


49- Sherman et al. (2002) : Evidence-based crime prevention. New York: Routledge. p. 7. 50- Sherman at al. (1997): Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Promising. Washington DC: NIJ. 51- See for example different contributions and particularly Tim Hope in Philippe Robert (ed.) (2009): Evaluating Safety and Crime Prevention Policies in Europe, Brussels: VUB Press. 52- Many of the crime prevention practices collected by the European Forum for Urban Security have deficits in terms of evaluation, especially with respect to rigorous evaluation design using randomised controlled trials or quasi-experimental designs. The recent Canadian Guide for Selecting an Effective Crime Prevention Program published by Public Safety Canada (Julie Savignac and Laura Dunbar, 2015) says that nearly 60% of programmes have never been evaluated (p. 6). 53- European Forum for Urban Security (2012): Security, Democracy and Cities. The Manifesto of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis, p.7. 54- 55-

(NIJ)54; Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development55; the WHO Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA)56; the Centre for Problem Oriented Policing57; the website; the Canadian Best Practices Portal58; the German Wegweiser Prävention Entwicklungsförderung und Gewaltprävention59, and the Grüne Liste Prävention60, to name a few, all contribute to the crime prevention evidence base developed internationally over the last years. Lists with these types of resources are provided in the online annex of this guide. Networks such as the European Forum for Urban Security can contribute to implementing a strategic and evidence-based approach by organising peer exchanges of practice and know-how, by bringing together research and practice and by providing space for discussing the challenges to implementation. The next step for policy-makers and practitioners is then how to choose an adequate project or programme from those lists. The Guide for Selecting an Effective Crime Prevention Program published61 by public safety Canada in 2015 gives useful advice on the questions policy-makers need to ask themselves in this respect: What programme works for the identified priorities and issues? What programme will best match the characteristics and needs of the identified population? What evidence and research are available to support the programme? Is the programme rated in any registry/database? What is the level of effectiveness? How many impact evaluation studies have been conducted? Is cost-effectiveness information available? Is the programme ready for dissemination? Other key factors are the suitability and alignment of the programme with the implementation organisation, the identified local risk factors, the identified local target group and the organisational resources and capacities the project requires.

56- 57- 58- 59- 60- 61- Julie Savignac and Laura Dunbar (2015): Guide for Selecting an Effective Crime Prevention Program. Ottawa: Public Safety Canada.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

Implementation and sustainability Taking action is also about implementation, about delivering what has been planned and actually putting in place an effective crime prevention programme. It has been well established that the quality of the implementation of crime prevention programmes affects the achievement of the expected results.62 A central issue of transferring good practice is the seemingly opposing needs of adapting a project to a local context while keeping its core elements. While it is for example necessary to adapt terminology, replacing cultural references and images, it seems risky to eliminate key messages, central goals or the underlying theory of a programme. Rigorous action planning is central for successful implementation. Project management methods and planning tools (that go beyond the realm of this guide) are of particular importance here. The Guide on the Implementation of Evidence-Based Programs for example provides planning tools and check lists to help with good implementation.63 Finally, the sustainability of the action or the programme is also an important dimension of taking action. Ideally, it should be considered from the beginning, when considering the action to undertake. Here the participative approach and processes that allow for the creation of buy-in are important.

IV. Evaluating and reviewing

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Evaluation is yet another pillar of a strategic and evidence-based approach. It is indispensable in order to create and develop the evidence base to review and improve the actions taken, and ultimately all phases of policy-making and implementation. Evaluation is the

62- See Julie Savignac and Laura Dunbar (2015), p. 16; see also the global implementation initiative, i.e. Fixsen, D., et al. (2009). Core implementation components. Research on Social Work Practice, 19(5), 531-540. 63- Julie Savignac and Laura Dunbar (2014): Guide on the Implementation of Evidence-Based Programs. What Do We Know So Far? Ottawa: Public Safety Canada.


structured interpretation of the predicted or actual impacts of proposals or results. Its aims are democratic accountability, strategic, in order to validate the action to be taken, and operational, in order to analyse implementation. Two types of evaluation are common in crime prevention–process and outcome evaluation. A process evaluation aims to improve understanding of the activities that are delivered as part of a programme and assess whether they have been implemented as planned. An outcome evaluation is more concerned with the overall effectiveness of a programme. Evaluations are usually undertaken at the end of a project or a programme, but they can also take place before (ex ante), during, or after the end of an activity (ex post). How to evaluate? Evaluation needs to be as objective as possible, based on previously established criteria, a transparent process on how data is collected, the evaluation undertaken and how different appreciations are included. It should be possible to reproduce an evaluation using the same methods and data. Key questions an evaluation should provide answers to:

 P ertinence: Are the objectives of the action/project in line with the actual problems and the overall policy goals?

 I nternal coherence: Are the different objectives of the action coherent?

 E xternal coherence: Are the objectives of the action coherent with other actions?

 E ffectiveness: Did the action do what it was supposed to do?  E fficiency: At what cost was the objective achieved?  I mpact: What was the impact of the action – directly and indirectly?  I mplementation: Was it implemented as planned?  A dded value: What justifies the action that was taken by a particular stakeholder?


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

In order to analyse these questions, it is necessary to develop indicators to benchmark a given action, such as activity indicators (i.e. number of participants), result indicators (i.e. what the action has produced), impact indicators (i.e. the direct and indirect impact the action had on target variables), cost indicators (cost per participant/person helped), and context indicators (that describe relevant background variables). The tools to collect the necessary information to evaluate are the same as those described in the section "Knowing and understanding". It is now commonly agreed that urban security policy should be evaluated, not only at the end but also with a permanent monitoring mechanism that allows to directly review and adapt parts of the policy. As shown in the national examples in the Annex, urban security policies have been accompanied by evaluative measures in several European countries64 (Robert 2009). However, systematic evaluation requires significant means and resources. There is therefore a need for programme managers and central agencies to be more innovative and to rethink their approach to evaluation. Improving the standard of evaluation requires to shift away from approaches that rely solely on encouraging local organisations to undertake potentially expensive and time-consuming evaluations of their own work. The Australian Institute of Criminology provides a series of useful recommendations to evaluate crime prevention65:

 Target evaluation on the areas where it will be most beneficial  Monitor the performance of projects on a regular basis  Establish mechanisms to effectively manage and support evaluation work  Evaluate process and outcomes  Plan evaluation early and adopt a systematic approach  Aim to determine how and in what circumstances interventions work  Make better use of weak evaluations  Measure short and long term outcomes  Include an economic assessment where possible


64- Robert, Philippe (Ed) (2009) : L’évaluation des politiques de sécurité et de prévention de la délinquance en Europe. Paris: L’Harmattan. 65- Australian Institute of Criminology, Evaluating crime prevention: Lessons from large-scale community crime prevention programs, 2013.

V. Mobilisation and participation

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Information, legitimacy, buy-in: participative process as the backbone of a strategic approach to urban security Another cornerstone of the strategic approach to urban security is participation, mobilising the city as a whole for urban security. This implies a multi-agency approach, involving the stakeholders with competence in relevant policy areas as well as civil society and citizens. Involving all stakeholders, citizens and communities will improve the quality of the understanding of the state of security as well as the success of the actions taken to improve it. In fact, there will be multiple benefits from participation for both communities as well as community leaders and authorities. These benefits include access to information, a better understanding of problems, the development of more appropriate responses, and a higher level of community interest and ownership of the strategy and its implementation and evaluation. To a certain extent, the process of a strategic approach to urban security can be considered as important as the objective outcome it produces. The participative process is ultimately about the capacity of society to deal with its security issues. It is therefore important to mobilise and involve all stakeholders including citizens throughout the policy cycle. The added value of participation was already pointed out in previous sections, which underlined that it needs to be a systematic feature of all elements of a strategic approach. Involving civil society and citizens must be based on the acknowledgement that the population of a city is diverse, with many different communities with different interests and each with the right to be included in the process. A participative approach means enabling and encouraging the participation of those communities. Such a commitment should be one of the principles underpinning not just the safety audit but also all the work related to the crime prevention strategy.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

The question is what methods and tools can help mobilise the community and be used to organise participation. A key challenge is to make sure that all concerned citizens can be mobilised, especially hard-to-reach groups. The term ‘community’ is most often applied to people who live in the same area and have a common stake in the future of their city or neighbourhood. In the context of a participative approach, it should be used in an even wider sense to include ‘communities of interest’, that is groups of people who share any interest or attribute that gives them a particular perspective on crime or its prevention. This means including, for example, women, ethnic minorities, young people, homeless people and businesses. Communities of interest are often strongly represented by civil society. They form the voluntary organisations and institutions present in a city including charities, non-governmental organisations, community groups, women's organisations, faith-based organisations, professional associations, trade unions, self-help groups, business associations, coalitions, advocacy groups and many others. A participative approach will include engaging with representatives of such civil society bodies. But in every city there are also significant communities of interest that are not organised in this way. They include hard-toreach groups who have limited contact with mainstream agencies. A participative approach will include finding ways to engage with these people. This said, some caution is needed: communities are not unfailingly correct in their assessment of problems or identification of responses. It is therefore always desirable to integrate community-based perspectives with ‘external’ technical analysis. Another challenge is to identify the relevant communities and determine how best to secure their participation, especially hard-to-reach groups. By definition, they gather people who are not well represented by civil society and who have limited contact with mainstream agencies. This may be because of fears or suspicions, socio-economic deprivation, discrimination, cultural or ideological barriers, disabilities and distinctive needs, language barriers, age, size, lack of self-organisation and many other reasons. They may not be literally hard to reach but the


term has come to include all groups that are marginalised or disempowered. It is necessary to identify relevant hard-to-reach groups and be proactive in encouraging their participation.

Implementing a participative approach in practice Each city needs to decide how it can deliver a participative approach in practice. Rather than allowing it to develop on an ad hoc basis, it is sensible to agree an engagement plan setting out how communities will be involved. It is useful to look at different forms and levels of participation as described and promoted for example by international organisations such as the OECD66, the Council of Europe67, UNICEF68 or the International Association for Public Participation. The latter has developed a ‘spectrum’ of participation, which can be useful in developing such a plan. The spectrum has five levels – informing, consulting, involving, collaborating and empowering.69 Moving along the spectrum increases the level of participation and communities’ influence on decisions. At the lowest level, agencies simply provide information. Higher levels involve greater participation and closer collaboration. At the highest level, the public has delegated authority to take final decisions. Different tools and techniques need to be used to implement a participative approach at each participation level (Table 6). Some, such as newsletters, may directly engage many individuals but offer only one-way communication. Others, such as victimisation surveys, elicit information from a selected sample of people. Further along the spectrum, focus groups and joint workshops create opportunities for two-way interaction and collaboration.

66- OECD Active Participation Framework - OECD (2001): Citizens as Partners - Information, Consultation and Public Participation in Policy-Making, p. 23. 67- The CLEAR Participation Model - European Committee on local and regional democracy (2008): C.L.E.A.R tool, Strasbourg, Council of Europe, LR-DR(2008)9 (based on Lawndes & Pratchett 2006). 68- UNICEF – Strategic Approach to Participation - UNICEF (2001): The participation rights of adolescents: a strategic approach. UNICEF Working Paper Series. 69-


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

Table 6 - Forms of participation to implement different tasks of a strategic approach to urban security Participation level Task within strategic approach



Mobilising/ Planning

Community informed by newsletters, media coverage of audit plan.



Civil society representatives submit inputs or comment on plans.

Communities involved in the planning process.

Community representatives are members of the planning group.

Community representatives chair the Steering Group and agree plan.


Community informed by newsletters, media coverage of key statistics.

Interviews with citywide civil society, written submissions, surveys.

Interaction with communities to discuss issues and explore viewpoints.

Communities actively involved in audit team.

Community representatives decide which issues to study further.

‌ and understanding

Community informed by newsletters, media coverage of detailed studies.

Meetings with community groups, consultations, surveys.

Joint workshops to exchange ideas and discuss conclusions.

Communities leading audit work in certain areas.

Communities take lead in assessing significance of data collected.

Community informed by newsletters, media coverage of emerging results.

Comments on the analysed data and emerging priorities.

Communities involved in prioritisation and assessing assets.

Communities strongly influence selection of priorities.

Communities decide priorities.

Invited Distribution of community audit report with feedback on media coverage. audit report.

Discussion of draft report before publication.

Audit report written collaboratively and circulated for comment.

Community representatives decide content of final report.

Take action

Community informed of actions to be taken.

Communities consulted about actions to be taken.

Communities involved, co-deciding actions to be taken and contribute to their implementation.

Communities co-decide actions and are in charge of certain actions.

Communities take lead in the actions to be taken and their implementation.


Community informed of evaluation.

Community consulted in the evaluation processes.

Communities contribute to evaluation process.

Communities co-evaluate.

Communities take the lead in the evaluation.

Develop a strategy



Examples of methods and tools for the mobilisation and participation of citizens: Citizens’ Juries A Citizens’ Jury is a randomly selected and demographically representative panel of citizens that meets for four or five days to carefully examine an issue of public significance. The jury, usually consisting of 18-24 people who are paid a stipend for their time, serves as a microcosm of the public. They hear from a variety of expert witnesses and are able to deliberate together on the issue. On the final day of their moderated hearings, the members of the Citizens’ Jury present their recommendations to decision-makers and the public. Their role can be enhanced by good communication, possibly including a web presence and media contacts. Citizens' Juries are based on the belief that once a small sample of a population has heard the evidence, their deliberations can fairly represent the perspectives of the wider community (Table 6). This reasoning contrasts with most other common quantitative and qualitative consultative methods, which usually involve larger samples to represent the public’s views. The function of jury members is also different from that of participants in other forms of qualitative research:

 J urors are given time to reflect and deliberate freely with each other, occasionally assisted by a neutral advisor.

 T hey are given the opportunity to scrutinise the information they receive from witnesses, whom they interrogate themselves.

 T hey are expected to develop a set of conclusions or ‘vision’ for the future, which needs not be unanimous. The first jury was convened in the U.S., although similar initiatives were emerging in Germany, and the concept is now used in several countries, including Australia, Denmark, Great Britain, and Spain70.

70- See for example The Jefferson Centre (2004): Citizens’ Jury Handbook. http://www.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

Participatory budgeting One of the most effective and powerful methods of involving communities is participatory budgeting, a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making in which ordinary city residents determine investment priorities and decide how to allocate part of the municipal budget. In the context of a strategic approach to urban security, it can be used to democratically determine priorities for action and how a particular community or group would like to see resources divided between different options. As with the Citizens’ Jury, it is important that there be a clear commitment from the safety audit team to hear the conclusions and respond constructively to them, if the participants are to feel that it is worthwhile. Various studies suggest participatory budgeting results in improved services, more equitable public spending, greater accountability, higher levels of public participation (especially by marginalised residents), and citizenship learning. Developed and used widely by local governments in Brazil, it has now been adopted elsewhere in Latin America, as well as in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Although a simple concept, the success of participatory budgeting depends on it being undertaken within a well-defined framework that includes:

 a clearly defined geographical structure, complementing political boundaries, which facilitates decision-making and service delivery;

 well supported, city-wide meetings and debates to involve local communities in discussion on thematic issues, decision on strategic priorities, the development of actions plans and the evaluation and monitoring of on-going activity, in a manner that complements existing representative democratic structures;

 a widely understood annual cycle, which provides a framework for participation, planning and implementation;

 a network of support agencies involved in local capacity building and the communication and promotion of policy information and practice;


 a budget matrix, which processes local priorities into a comprehensive table to inform expenditure across the city and across established themes.71

ICT tools to involve citizens New information and communication technologies (ICTs) have in many ways changed our lives and are also changing that of our cities, which are becoming “digital” and “smart”. ICTs provide local and regional authorities with new tools, not only to protect and control, but also to foster the participation and empowerment of citizens and to provide better services and governance. Urban democracy and security can now be connected to digital innovation. Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people or organisations to create, share, or exchange information in virtual communities and networks. Social media depend on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. Building on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, they allow users to interact and collaborate, which is precisely the step that leads from informing to participation. Most local authorities use Internet and social media to inform citizens. Many have also started to use social media to engage with citizens, which is also highly relevant for the governance of security and mobilising citizens for urban security. Many prevention campaigns have a social media component and urban security issues can be discussed on social media. Mobile apps can also play an important role to involve citizens and obtain their feedback. Many local authorities have created apps through which citizens can report problems, or their feeling of insecurity or acts of delinquency. While social media are relatively inexpensive and widely accessible, they are not used by all citizens. Hence obtaining the

71- Developed from What is Participatory Budgeting? A Community Pride Initiative Briefing Paper, 2003.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

opinion of citizens in this way is usually not representative. Moreover, their effective use requires, as other forms of participation, a commitment from the authorities to actually engage in participation and to take into account and react to the citizen participation that was solicited. Nevertheless, these tools have considerable potential to help strengthen democratic governance and the governance of urban security. The virtual space can allow direct democracy involving more or less large groups that would be impossible or very costly to consult otherwise. Various social network services (e.g. Google+ with Google votes) or web services (Doodle, Survey Monkey) allow to organise votes, which is almost by definition an intrinsic feedback feature of social media. Moreover, particular software packages are designed as platforms for e-democracy, that is in addition to e-governance, e-voting and e-participation. While e-democracy is a digital complement to analogue representative democracy, software can also facilitate direct democracy or mixed forms such as liquid democracy. Delegative democracy, or liquid democracy, is a form of democratic control whereby an electorate vests voting power in delegates rather than in representatives and where there is a direct access for the electorate to voice its opinions or make proposals. This type of software, which is usually open-source, has in particular been used by the Pirate Parties in Germany, Italy, Austria, Norway, France and the Netherlands (Liquid Feedback), Belgium (Get Opinionated) or the Spanish “Partido de Internet” (Agora Voting). Local authorities also use liquid democracy software for their citizen participation websites (for example “Mein Berlin”).


References and bibliography >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Efus documentation  Guidance on Local Safety Audits: a Compendium of International Practice, 2007.  The Manifesto of Aubervilliers and Saint-Denis, produced at the international conference “Security, Democracy and Cities: the Future of Prevention”, held on 12, 13 and 14 December 2012, December 2012.

Research, studies and articles  Alvarez, J., Bezzozi, C., and Sansfaçon, D., Vivre en Sécurité, se donner les moyens: les diagnostics locaux de sécurité, une étude comparée, pour mieux comprendre et mieux agir, National Institue of Public Health, Quebec, International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) and Ministry of Public Security of Quebec, 2006.  Basile, C.K., Advancing the Study of Violence Against Women: response to Jordan, Violence Against Women, 15(4), 428 - 433, 2009.  Burns-Howell, T. and Pascoe, T., Crime Prevention Evaluation: a realistic framework based on experience and reality, Criminology and Public Policy, 3(3), 527-534, 2004.  Carroll, J., Ben-Zadok, E. and McCue, C., Evaluation of Efficiency in Crime Control and Crime Prevention Programs, Am J Crim Just, 35,219 - 235, 2010.  Ceccato, V. and Dolmen, L., Crime Prevention in Rural Sweden, European Journal of Criminology, 10(1), 89-112, 2013.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 Clarke, S. Trends in Crime and Criminal Justice, 2010, Population and Social Conditions, Eurostat, Statistics in Focus 18/2013.  Corrections and Conditional Release: statistical overview 2013 Annual Report, Building Safe and Resilient Canada, Public Safety Canada, 2013.  Des « marches exploratoires » pour que les femmes changent la ville, La Gazette des Communes, 6/11/2015.  Dossetor, K., Cost-benefit Analysis and its Application to Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Research, AIC Reports, Technical and Background paper 42, Australian Government and Australian Institute of Criminology, 2011.  Edwards, A., Hughes, G. and Lord, N., Urban Security in Europe: translating a concept in public criminology, European Journal of Criminology, 10(3), 260-283, 2013.  Ekblom, P., and Pease, K., Evaluating Crime Prevention, Crime and Justice, 19, Building a Safer Society: Strategic Approaches to Crime Prevention, 585-662, 1995.  EMCDDA, Document EMCDDA/28/13, draft budget for 2014, 48th meeting Agenda Item VI.1, Management Board Lisbon 5-6 December 2013.  EMCDDA, EMQ (European Model Questionnaire) Questions Map: Questions used in National General Population Survey Questionnaires, 2002 - 12, EMCDDA Epidemiology Unit, 4.6.2013.  EUCPN, Standard Conceptual Framework for the Description and Exchange of Good Practices, 25/09/2003, Paris, France, EUCPN Department of Citizenship, Prevention and Security.  European Commission, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council : Measuring Crime in the EU: Statistics Action Plan 2011 - 2015, COM(2011)713 final, Brussels, 18/01/2012.  European Research Area, Measurement of Crime and Evaluation of Public Policies of Prevention and Security, European Policy Brief, June 2009.


 Evaluating Crime Prevention Through Social Development Projects: handbook for community groups, Public safety and emergency preparedness Canada, (n/a).  Fisher, B.S., The Effects of Survey Question Wording on Rape Estimates: evidence from a quasi-experimental design, Violence Against Women, 15(2):133-147, 2009.  Granickas, K., Open Data as a Tool to Fight Corruption, European Public Sector Information Platform Topic Report No. April 2014, 2014.  Guide d’Évaluation de Projets: prévention des problèmes de sécurité et de criminalité, diagnostic groupes visés objectif action, Ministry of Public Security, Quebec, 2008.  Guide de l’Évaluation des Politiques Locales de Prévention de la Délinquance, Mission Permanente d’Évaluation de la Politique de Prévention de la Délinquance, Première édition - September 2011.  Hagemann-White, C., Measuring Progress in Addressing Violence Against Women Across Europe, International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 32(2), 149-172, 2008.  HM Government, Open Data White Paper: Unleashing the Potential, Presented to Parliament by the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General by Command of Her Majesty, June 2012.  Hope, T., New Labour’s crime statistics: a case of ‘flat earth news’, Criminal Justice Matters, 83(1):14-16, 2011.  Hope, T., Pretend it Doesn’t Work: the ‘Anti-Social’ Bias in the Maryland Scientific Mehtods Scale, European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 11:275-296, 2005.  ICPC, International Report Crime Prevention and Community Safety: trends and perspectives, International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, 2008.  ICPC, International Report Crime Prevention and Community Safety: trends and perspectives, International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, 2010.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

 Morgan, A., and Homel, P., Evaluating Crime Prevention: lessons from large-scale community crime prevention programs, Australian Government and Australian Institute of Criminology, Trends & Issues in crime and criminal justice, No.458, July 2013.  NCPC, Local Safety Audit Guide: to prevent trafficking in persons and related exploitation, National Crime Prevention Centre, 2013.  NCPC, Pathways to Prevention: developmental and early intervention approaches to crime in Australia, National Crime Prevention Centre, 1999.  Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data Handbook Documentation: release 1.0.0, 14 November, 2012.  Prince, J. and Carrière, J., Observatoire de la criminalité: répertoire d’expériences internationales, International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, August 2009.  Public Safety Canada 2012 - 2013 Evaluation of the Crime Prevention Program: final report, Public Safety Canada, 2013  Recasens, A., Cardoso, C., Castro, J., and Nobili, G.G., Urban Security in Southern Europe, European Journal of Criminology, 10(3):368-382, 2013.  Robert, P., L’ Évaluation des Politiques de Prévention et de Sécurité Examinée sous une Perspective Méthodologique, CRIMPREV, Study day on research and public policies, University of Porto, Faculty of Law, School of Criminology 15 January 2009.  Safer Cities, 100 promising practices on safer cities: collation of Urban Safety Practices, The Global Network on Safer Cities, Work in Progress, 2014.  Stark, L., Warner, A., Lehmann, H., Boothby, N.,and Ager, A. Measuring the Incidence and Reporting of Violence Against Women and Girls in Liberia Using the ‘Neighborhood Method’, Conflict and Health, 7(20), 2013.  Sturgis Sam, Kids in India are Sparking Urban Planning Changes by Mapping Slums: a new project aims to give young Indians a voice in the city-development process, The CityLab, 19 February 2015.


 Tavares, C., Thomas, G., and Bulut, F., Crime and Criminal Justice, 2006 - 2009, Eurostat, 6/12.  Tavares, C., and Thomas, G., Crime and Criminal Justice, Eurostat, 58/2010.  Tilley, N. Crime Reduction: responsibility, regulation, and research. Policy Essay, American Society of Criminology, Criminology and Public Policy, 11(2), 2012.  The Value of Danish Address Data: social benefits from the 2002 agreement on procuring address data etc. free of charge. Danish Experience and Construction Authority, 7/06/2010.  Ubaldi, B., Open Government Data: towards empirical analysis of open government data initiatives, OECD Working Papers on Public Governance No.22, OECD Publishing, 2013.  UNEG, UNEG Handbook for Conducting Evaluations of Normative Work in the UN System, United Nations Evaluation Group, November 2013.  United Nations, A World that Counts: mobilising data revolution for sustainable development, Data Revolution Group, United Nations, 2014.  UNODC, Handbook on the Crime Prevention Guidelines: making them work, Criminal Justice handbook series, United Nations, New York, 2010.  UNODC & UNECE, Manual on Victimization Surveys, United Nations, Geneva, 2010.  Varone, F., Jacob, S., and Winter (De) L., Polity, Politics and Policy Evaluation in Belgium, Evaluation, 11(3), 2005.  Vinas, V., The European Union’s Drive Towards Public Policy Evaluation, Evaluation, 15(4), 2009.  Weatherburn, D. Critical Criminology and Its Discontents: a response to Travers’ critique of criminal justice evaluation. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 38 (3): 416-420, 2005.


Methods and Tools for a Strategic Approach to Urban Security

Online resources, organisations’ websites Beccaria project: Concil of Europe:  Cardiff University Violence and Society Research Group: CrimPrev Project: Danish Crime Prevention Council:  European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI): European Crime Prevention Network:  General Direction for Safety and Prevention Policy (Belgium):  Home Office Research, Development and Statistics (UK): about/research International Association for Public Participation:  International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC):  National Council for Crime Prevention (Finland): National Council for Crime Prevention (Sweden):  Netherlands Centre for Crime Prevention and Community Safety:  Observatoire français des drogues et des toxicomanies (French Observatory on Drugs and Addiction:  United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):  United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI):


World Health Organisation (WHO):