European Crime Prevention Award and Best Practice Conference

Discover the 2023 winners on human trafficking below

The EUCPN organises an annual Conference for sharing and disseminating experience and knowledge of Best Practices in preventing crime and increasing safety and security in the EU Member States (BPC). At the same time the European Crime Prevention Award (ECPA) is also handed out. The ECPA is a contest that rewards the best European crime prevention project. The nominated projects are presented each year during the Best Practice Conference. The theme is chosen by the Presidency of the EUCPN and is in line with the EU priorities.

Interested in participating?

Participation in ECPA is open to any project, initiative or package of measures. An objective of the project must be to reduce crime and the fear of crime within the specified theme. Entries can originate from, for example: local authorities, the police, educational institutions, community groups, sports clubs, youth organisations, business community, probation service, neighbourhood watch schemes, parish councils, public transport operators, voluntary organisations/groups etc. The persons entering the projects do not need to have participated in the projects themselves. It is entirely possible that the initiative of a third party is brought to the attention of the jury. Each participating country may enter one project for consideration under the European Crime Prevention Award scheme. It is up to each participating country to decide how to select projects for consideration under the scheme.
There are some binding criteria:

  •     The project shall focus on prevention and/or reduction of everyday crime and fear of crime within the specified theme
  •     The project shall have been evaluated and have achieved most or all of its objectives
  •     The project shall, as far as possible, be innovative, involving new methods or new approaches
  •     The project shall be based on co-operation between partners, where possible
  •     The project shall be capable of replication by organisations and groups in other Member States

Entries for the European Crime Prevention Award should be submitted through the National Representative of each Member State to the EUCPN Secretariat. The next call for projects was launched on 3 July 2023. 



The European Crime Prevention Award (ECPA) and Best Practice Conference (BPC) took place on 13 and 14 December 2023 in Valencia. The theme was preventing the trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation and other kinds of exploitation.

Discover the winners: 

  1. Portugal: MERCADORIA HUMANA 4 (Human Merchandise 4) - Awareness Project on Human Trafficking
    The Jury wholeheartedly congratulates the Portuguese "Human Merchandise 4" entry with winning the 2023 European Crime Prevention Award. The Portuguese project was lauded for its many approaches, each customised for one of the several target groups on which the project focusses. Especially the inclusion of some highly vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities was appreciated. The activities put forward are all connected in a well-thought-out manner with a clear goal in mind. The innovative angle of THB in sports was rated very positively. While the link between raised awareness and behavioural outcomes remains unsubstantiated, there is fairly convincing evidence that the project achieved significant improvements in knowledge in the target groups.
  2. Greece: National Emergency Response Mechanism (NERM)
    The Jury congratulates the Greek project with its second place. The Greek programme focusses on one of the most exploitable group related to Trafficking in Human Beings: unaccompanied children, specifically those outside of the protection system. By creating a strong synergy between the police and civil society the risk factors are also reduced in an efficient way. However, due to the high costs, the replicability in other Member States is slightly burdened. Design strengths of the programme are its elaborate, research-based problem analysis as well as its specific and measurable objectives; the outcome evaluation unfortunately did not measure relevant outcome indicators.
  3. Romania: The prevention campaign “Prison is not only behind bars!"
    The Jury awards the Romanian "Prison is not only behind bars" project the third place. Its approach of focussing on the demand side: those who by the products or services produced by exploited labour. This is unique and brings the topic to the society as a whole, empowering consumers to take action too. The dissemination strategy was well-thought-out and the programme theory well-developed. The problem analysis and the objectives were adequate, but an outcome evaluation with relevant outcome indicators could have substantiated the results. The campaign appears mostly state-run and could benefit from the involvement of other, international stakeholders.

Discover all initiatives 



The European Crime Prevention Award (ECPA) and Best Practice Conference (BPC) took place on 8 and 9 December 2022. The theme is working with a particularly vulnerable crime victim.

ECPA winners

Discover the winners:




The aim of the BPC-ECPA 2022 was to exchange experiences and good practices, most importantly in the areas of early identification of victims of crime (especially those particularly vulnerable ), prevention of their secondary victimization and re-victimization and how to increase motivation to report crimes and thus to reduce the latency of crime. This can be achieved, inter alia, by improving the communication skills of law enforcement authorities (mostly, but not only, the police), increasing pro-client access to crime victims, witnesses and persons reporting crime. We can achieve our goal also by increasing trust in working with victims, by using new methodologies for identifying victims and for working with particularly vulnerable victims, and last but not least by raising legal awareness of risk groups (e.g. seniors), etc.