Criminal activity can be driven by a series of factors, including poverty, inequality, the rate of urbanization, political transitions, urban density, population growth and poor urban planning, design and management. Increased trafficking in the region, as well as poverty and the lack of opportunities, make it easy to enroll individuals in low-level criminal activities. Rural exodus is rampant and the unemployed find themselves trapped in suburbs of major cities, contributing to very high levels of urban crime. The challenge is immense and requires a comprehensive and engaged development strategy with economic support.

It is recognized among criminal justice actors that the police have a key role to play in preventing crime before it occurs. Preventive and proactive policing as a philosophy and management practice is being increasingly used in many countries, with a positive impact on security and support from the public.

UNODC assists Member States to prevent crime more effectively, through evidence-based crime prevention strategies, action plans and measures. Working with governments, police forces, and local communities UNODC helps to develop and operationalize crime prevention strategies and enhance cooperation between the police and the community, leading to an increased police capacity to prevent crime.

More specifically, UNODC offers assistance in:

  • Promoting interventions based on knowledge gained through victimization surveys and crime statistics;
  • Providing advisory services for the development and implementation of regional and national strategies and action plans;
  • Supporting sector-specific programmes and projects with a particular focus on at-risk youth groups and the prevention of re-offending.

 Additional Information:

Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Tools Catalogue