Database on Finnish evaluation research on crime prevention

Crime preventative measures strive towards decreasing crime and increasing the safety of the citizens. How do different preventative measures succeed in achieving this goal?

This knowledge can only be achieved through research. The Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy at the University of Helsinki has developed a database for collecting and summarizing all existent national evaluation research on crime preventative measures on the behalf of the Research Division of the Council. 

Contents and aim of the database

The aim of the database is to gather information on national evaluation research regarding crime prevention measures to a unified, convenient dataset. The contents of the database consists of evaluation research (incl. approved theses) of crime preventative measures that have aimed to decrease crime or increase safety. The database is grounded on a wide perception and understanding of crime prevention. The measures that havebeen evaluated vary from situational prevention, social prevention, treatment programs for prisoners to surveillance of public space and changes in official sanctions (punishments).

The database covers both descriptive process evaluations as well as impact evaluations. All of the information on the evaluations in the database has been registered by the researchers carrying out the evaluation research. The evaluations consist of an overview of the measures that have been evaluated, the arrangement of the research and the results of the evaluation.

The goal of the database is to facilitate the use of the data on the evaluations for both producers and users of this information. Users of the data can examine whether a specific crime preventative measure has been evaluated, and if so, what results have been produced. The database strives towards supporting and highlighting the position and visibility of evaluation research within crime prevention as a part of the development of strategy testing culture.

Which crime preventative measures are evaluated through research in Finland?

All research that has been saved to the database so far can be found in the summary chart (below). The chart covers the evaluation research that has been saved to the database. For each research, the table covers a short description of the research, and the preventative measure it’s based on, as well as the result of the evaluation. When examining the summary chart, it’s important to note the columns “impact” and “arrangement”. The column “impact” consists of the registered result of the evaluation by the researcher. The column “arrangement” presents the evidence status based on the Maryland scale: the higher the number, the stronger the evidence status is. For example, if two preventative measures have received a grading of “promising” by the researcher, but the first received an evidence status of 3 and the latter that of 4, the latter result provides a stronger evidence.

Where do I get additional information on the research?

Additional information on the covered researches can be attained by studying the original research or by contacting the researchers who’ve carried out the evaluation. The column “additional information” in the summary chart contains contact information to a contact person, or the person responsible for each research. The contact person is most often the researcher who’s executed the research, since these people also register the data on the research to the database.

If you are searching for a specific evaluation of a preventative measure and cannot find it in the database, we recommend you to contact the researchers behind the evaluation, or the measure that has been evaluated. The database only has information that has been registered by the researchers behind the evaluation. The data is likely more representative regarding more recent research.

Database summary chart (Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy, May 2017)

Registration of new research information to the database

The database for evaluation research is meant to be permanent and updated continuously. More detailed information on registering research to the database can be found in the cover letters follow-up form in the link below.

The research division of the Council for crime prevention urges all researchers who have carried out evaluation research to register the information of the research to the database. Older research may also be registered.

Registration of data to the database (Switch the language if necessary)

Further information:

Janne Kivivuori, Research Director of the Research Division, Professor of Criminology, Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy at University of Helsinki, janne.kivivuori(at)

Markus Alanko, Senior Planning Officer, Council for Crime Prevention, markus.alanko(at)