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Data Informs Effective Community Safety Approaches

The best comprehensive community development strategies are guided by practical, up-to-date information about neighborhood conditions, trends and needs. Crime and safety work is no exception. In this post, we bring you a set of resources that can help community developers and concerned citizens find data about crime in their neighborhoods and use that information to craft successful crime reduction strategies.  

How to pinpoint where crime is happening and identify patterns and trends:

This slide show on Crime Mapping Basics introduces users to some of the fundamentals of identifying and examining crime patterns. Designed for novices at crime analysis, the presentation explains common terms and methodologies for crime mapping and Geographic Information Systems and shows how crime data can be used with other information to create a clear picture of criminal activity in specific locations, including some of the possible causes and effects. Crime analysis expert Julie Wartell of the Analysis Group created the slides for a 2015 webinar for leaders in the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program.

How to get residents involved in producing crime data:

Gathering resident feedback through safety audits and other surveys can give you important information about places in a neighborhood that are unsafe or, equally important, are perceived to be unsafe. This video focuses on the implementation of a community safety audit and features Gregory Saville, course developer of SafeGrowth approach to crime prevention and senior partner at Alternation LLC.  The Safety Audit is a helpful tool for practitioners seeking to assess physical design liabilities, perception of fear and crime at specific locations, and how those factors may be related. Samples are available here.

How to identify the right strategy for your needs:

Crimesolutions.gov is a searchable National Institute of Justice clearinghouse for research on justice programs and practices. This database helps practitioners match up proven strategies with the problems identified in their data, and assess whether their proposed strategies have been evaluated for effectiveness elsewhere. For other links and resources about evidence-based practice in crime prevention and policing, visit the LISC Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation website here.

Posted in Community Safety

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