"Crime Prevention comprises strategies and measures that seek to reduce the risk of crimes occurring, and their potential harmful effects on individuals and society, including fear of crime, by intervening to influence their multiple causes." the Prevention of Crime ECOSOC Resolution 2002/13, Annex.
Well-planned crime prevention strategies not only prevent crime and victimization, but also contribute to sustainable development. Prevention is key to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16 in terms of reducing violence, crime and injustice, as well as for creating safe and resilient cities (SDG 11) and for eliminating all form of violence against women and girls (SDG 5).
Effective prevention requires actors in the justice system to collaborate with those in other sectors to address the root causes of disputes and avert conflict, violence and human rights abuses. In relation to crime and violence, this means that it is necessary to move from punitive measures to evidence-based prevention that reduces levels of violence, in particular against women, children, and vulnerable groups. It also means that sectors that interact with offenders and victims, such as social workers, prosecution authorities and defence attorneys, should be included in the implementation of prevention programmes, to ensure that communication is effective and that referrals of individual cases to appropriate service providers run smoothly and are in the best interest of the concerned individuals.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) assists requesting Member States to enhance the capacity of key crime prevention actors and systems to operate more effectively and in accordance with human rights with a view to reduce crime, violence and victimization.
Further to the relevant United Nations standards and norms on crime prevention, UNODC provides advisory services to requesting Member States seeking to develop local or national strategies, policies and programmes to prevent crime and victimization.
The technical assistance that the Office provides focuses on several key areas:
1) Data collection and analysis;
2) Policy development and advice;
3) Capacity building;
Locally-based crime prevention initiative in the Niger Delta, Nigeria: