National Crime Prevention Programme 2016–2020
The programme aimed to improve local crime prevention.
The National Crime Prevention Programme Working Together for Safer and More Secure Communities was prepared by the National Council for Crime Prevention. The decision in principle for the new programme was made by the Government 24 November 2016. Drawing up a new national crime prevention programme was one of the priorities for the Council’s.
Objectives and measures
The basic premise in the National Crime Prevention Programme was that by working together we can increase citizens’ sense of solidarity and security and reduce their risk of becoming a crime victim and the harm caused by crime. It is important that non-governmental organisations and citizens participate in the prevention of crimes. Anyone can take part in the building of safe and pleasant surroundings for all by taking other members of the community into consideration and by helping others. In addition, crime- and security-related problems in residential areas can be resolved and a stronger sense of security created in residents’ everyday lives through coordination of the local crime prevention work and cooperation between the relevant professionals.
The Crime Prevention Programme had five main objectives. The programme included a total of 29 measures to be carried out by actors in various sectors.
1) Clarification of the role of crime prevention in municipal plans
Crime prevention objectives will be incorporated into municipal strategies and into the security and welfare work carried out in municipalities. A model for the assessment of security impacts will be created to be utilised in municipal decision-making. Assessment of the cost-effectiveness of crime prevention work and the e-welfare report indicators used by local authorities will be developed in order to obtain more information to support the security work. In addition to the National Council for Crime Prevention, these measures will be carried out by local authorities, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, and several ministries and regional state administrative agencies, among others.
2) Improvement of crime prevention cooperation and networking between authorities, businesses, organisations and citizens
The National Council for Crime Prevention will develop crime prevention work and be responsible, for its part, for the measures specified in the Internal Security Strategy. Regional state administrative agencies will enhance the coordination of crime prevention measures in regional welfare networks. The regional government reform will bring about new needs to develop crime prevention work, as the regional actors’ responsibilities in preventing crime will be reviewed in connection with the reform. The crime prevention perspective will be taken into account in the local welfare and security groups of municipalities and sub-regional units so that the work will take local needs into consideration and engage the different local authorities, residents and organisations in this work. Every municipality and sub-regional unit must assign a contact person or a coordinator who will be responsible for the coordination of crime prevention activities in the region. In addition to the National Council for Crime Prevention, these measures will mainly be carried out by local authorities, regional state administrative agencies, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance.
3) Increasing crime prevention expertise at local and national level
Needs to provide training in the field of crime prevention will be examined together with educational institutions. Regional courses and seminars on crime prevention will be organised together with regional state administrative agencies. Materials on crime prevention will be produced for the use of schools and youth work actors, and it will be ensured that the instruction of security matters in educational institutions is carried out in accordance with the curriculum. A cooperation network will be established for youth work organisations in order to provide a channel for dissemination of information on the prevention of crime among young people. The National Council for Crime Prevention will compile a database on Finnish evaluation research on crime prevention. Government support for research and development projects related to crime prevention work will also be increased. In addition to the National Council for Crime Prevention and the regional state administrative agencies, these measures will be carried out by actors in the youth sector, the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy, and the Ministry of Justice, among others.
4) Consultation of local residents and non-governmental organisations in the planning of crime prevention measures
Persons in charge of communications in municipalities will be trained to provide information on crime prevention and the local security situation. Local authorities’ communications will be enhanced so that local residents will receive more information about the security situation in their area. At the same time, the threshold for residents to contact authorities in security questions will be lowered. The possibilities to use online and mobile applications for reporting crime and disturbances and for consulting children and young people in security matters will be explored. Local authorities will be encouraged to utilise the existing local channels for participation, such as village associations, for the consultation of residents in order to hear their security-related concerns. Moreover, it should be ensured that local disability councils, older people’s councils and youth councils are consulted in security matters. In addition to the National Council for Crime Prevention and local authorities, these measures will be carried out by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and relevant local actors.
5) Improvement of citizens’ opportunities to influence and participate in the prevention of crime and in the increasing of the sense of security
Information on best practices which are verifiably effective e.g. in reducing the sense of insecurity will be collected. Moreover, information will be collected on practices applied by housing companies and housing service providers to increase the sense of community and security. Information on practices for discussions between local residents, to be conducted if they have fears or a crime has been committed in the community, will also be disseminated. The Council will plan and carry out a pilot development project utilising participatory budgeting in crime prevention work. In participatory budgeting, community members get to directly influence the use of the community’s budget. Furthermore, local networking opportunities of organisations involved in crime prevention work will be improved, organisations’ equal opportunities to apply for funding will be promoted, and public and private premises will be better utilised in the activities of residents and local organisations. In addition to the National Council for Crime Prevention, these measures will be carried out by local authorities, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and various organisations and associations.