Evidence-based crime prevention is the principle that all crime prevention policy and practice should be based on the best available evidence. This allows us to maximise the effectiveness, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of crime prevention initiatives. Fundamentally, the European Crime Prevention Network shares information and good practices regarding crime prevention. However, it is not always clear what is good practice or, in other words, what is worth sharing or promoting. In its Evidence-Based Strategy, adopted in December 2021, the Networks has laid out the framework for addressing this issue. The Strategy also identifies needs and defines action to further improve the field while strengthening and supporting an evidence-based approach throughout the European Union.
The corner stones of the EUCPN’s Evidence-Based Strategy are the following:
- A set of minimum criteria for crime prevention interventions to be disseminated and promoted as “good practice” by the Network:
- There is a clear description of the crime problem(s) the activity wishes to address
- There is a clear description of the way in which the intervention addresses the identified problem(s) and why it is expected to be effective
- There should be a robust and positive outcome evaluation, or at least strong indications of theoretical plausibility
- There is sufficient information available about the nature of the intervention, its original context, and the implementation of the activities to help practitioners select, replicate or innovate from it.
- QUALIPREV: a tool to objectively assess the design quality of crime prevention initiatives.
- EUCPN crime prevention registry.
- Trainings on crime prevention fundamentals and evaluating crime prevention initiatives.
Finally, a set of practical tools is provided for those interested in setting up an evaluation or that need help in systematically creating a crime prevention initiative.