Crime prevention perspective into urban planning
A recent review drawn up by the National Council for Crime Prevention deals with the improvement of safety in the local environment and gives recommendations on how to take the crime prevention perspective into consideration in the planning and design of the built environment and how to engage residents in the planning process.
The crime prevention review examines the different elements of the built environment that affect criminality and the sense of safety. Several studies on the factors directly and indirectly affecting the sense of safety have been conducted, but they are not well-known and the information contained in them is not systematically utilised at the different stages of the planning process.
Furthermore, the review introduces different models for increasing the sense of safety in neighbourhoods and residential areas. These include participatory budgeting, resident-oriented development of the urban environment and activities that aim to remove prejudice and conflicts. The models have been charted as part of the implementation of the National Crime Prevention Programme.
Recommendations to support local safety planning
Local safety planning expertise should be utilised in the planning processes. For example, the police could comment on the plans of the point of view of the crime prevention also in addition to the traffic safety. Local residents should be consulted at the different stages of the planning process, and a wide range of different methods should be utilised in the consultation.
The National Council for Crime Prevention encourages municipalities to develop and introduce new practices to engage their residents in the creation of a pleasant and safe living environment. The relevant actors should make use of various methods to support good relations between neighbours and arrange different kinds of common events. For preventing and resolving conflicts in residential areas, the Council recommends the use of dialogue-based methods.